I have previously commented on the vital nature of information flows in the community engagement process for educational development initiatives. Information flows, particularly those containing relative statistics and comparative trends for parents and communities to understand how their educational services compare with others in the region and nation, are vital in both strengthening connections and accountability for schools and schooling systems. However, a recent comment by April Harding on the Development Drums website raised the crucial issue of these information flows being companioned by actionable "leverage" in service delivery. Information alone cannot cause change. Information must be paired with the ability to act, to raise voices, spur movement. How these leverages need to be spurred (external, artificial leverages will most certainly be subject to the same fate as externally created "community groups") The idea of "citizen participation" has been discussed in relevant literature, from the top and bottom, but but "leverage" often exists in monetary contributions alone.
In moving forward, the essential ingredients most certainly involve true participatory design, critical reflection and critical development, and the more tangible linkages of educational incentives, both intrinsic and extrinsic, to community information flows.