Learning to Engage: Experiences with Civic Engagement in Canada, Canadian Policy Research Networks, 1999.

Well-respected Canadian Policy Research Networks undertook this research as part of an international effort to examine the roles of citizens and governments in a healthy society, under the auspices of the Commonwealth Foundation. The research team identified six Canadian case studies – two government initiated, one in health; two citizen initiated; and two with citizens involved in the global arena – that reflect Canada’s rich experience with public involvement, and highlight “obstacles to a trusting relationship between governments and citizens.” The report concludes with an alternate model for mutual engagement, and action steps for more effective mutual engagement in four areas: building capacity; setting ground rules; reporting and evaluation; and making it easier for citizens to engage governments. This lengthy but well written and highly regarded resource – a “most valuable document,” according to Tamarack Institute – is a comprehensive primer on governments’ role in CE.

Topics: Background/introduction, Capacity building, Change management, Determinants of health, Evaluation/effectiveness, Follow-up, Goal setting, Indigenous people, Issue identification/issue framing, Legal requirements, Multicultural, Planning – CE, Policy development, Research, Seniors, Stakeholder selection, Vulnerable/marginalized groups, Youth

Techniques & tools: Choosing the right tool, Committee/working group, Communication materials, Communication tools, Dialogue, Framework/model/template, Group facilitation, Interview, Stakeholder forum, Survey