DC Community Conversations Town Hall

September 27, 2017    1:00pm - 3:30pm    See Agenda Below


Please join us for a Community Conversation on the Measurement of Civic Engagement at the Local Level 

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is supporting a series of projects across the United States that are exploring ways to improve measurement of volunteering and civic engagement activities at the local or neighborhood level; and how to better capture and describe various facets of civic life which may be linked to other important indicators of individual and community wellbeing.

In support of this initiative, the Washington, DC Community Conversations Team – comprised of Guardians of Honor, the George Washington University, Age Friendly DC, and Washington Area Villages Exchange (WAVE) – has recently completed various interviews, observations, community consultations, and focus groups seeking to better understand what “civic engagement” and “volunteerism” mean to older Americans, how they talk about and think about these activities, the mechanisms by which they engage and volunteer, and why they choose to engage in these activities.

Given your expertise and interest in these issues, we hope you will join us Wednesday, September 27, 2017 from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm at the True Reformer Building located at 1200 U Street, NW Washington, DC 20009 to learn about our partners’ current initiatives and to contribute to a discussion on the team’s findings.

Background on the CNCS Community Conversations Initiative

The CNCS is a federal agency that administers the AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Social Innovation Fund programs. CNCS, in collaboration with the U.S. Census, also conducts surveys of U.S. residents across the country that seek to measure volunteering and civic engagement activities. 

In 2012, CNCS enlisted the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate and recommend ways to improve CNCS and U.S. Census measurement efforts, and in 2014 the NAS issued its report.  The Academy directed CNCS to consider measuring civic engagement at the local or neighborhood level.  Measures of civic activity at this level of analysis could prove useful in capturing the various facets of civic life that may not be included in the national surveys and could potentially be linked to other social issues including: health, crime, employment, volunteering, community efficacy, and other emergent social issues. 

To assess the feasibility of measuring civic engagement at the local level, and inform future efforts, CNCS has funded and implemented four exploratory projects in San Marcos, CA; Richmond, VA; Flint, MI; and Washington, DC.

The purpose of these projects is to assess various methodologies and innovative strategies to capture data and stories on how neighbors come together to solve problems or address issues within their communities; and highlight various facets of local civic engagement, community capacity, and volunteering. More specifically, the projects have aimed to:

  1. Identify examples of how volunteering and civic engagement, “at the community level,” are manifest;
  2. Identify factors that promote or inhibit the realization of these activities;
  3. Identify practices that can potentially strengthen the capacity of local communities to foster civic engagement and volunteering;
  4. Enhance the capacity of communities to measure these activities and their outcomes; and/or
  5. Assess the relative feasibility of various data collection strategies for community level Civic Engagement.

If you have any questions, please contact a member of the Guardians of Honor (GOH) Community Conversations Team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 703.224.4412.

We hope to see you there!