City of Edmonton Leads the Way!
During the summer, the Advisory Committee and five working groups of the Council Initiative on Public Engagement (CIPE) continued implementing their action plans as they head into the final stages of their work.
One of the most unique and exciting outcomes from the collaborative work of community members and City staff has been the revision of the public engagement continuum, with the removal of ‘inform’ from the slate of public engagement options. This does not mean providing information is not important in public engagement; it is in fact a foundational element of communication to ensure participants are well informed. However, it reinforces that public engagement must have a two-way component and a direct link to decision-making.
Additional developments include the approval of a new vision for the City’s renewed approach for public engagement, along with a new definition and set of guiding principles as follows.
Vision: A city where we are connected, invested and proud to participate in shaping our community.
Public engagement definition: “Public engagement creates opportunities for people to contribute to decisions about Edmonton’s policies, programs and services, and communicates how public input is collected and used.”
All of this will be guided by the following principles:
A shared responsibility - Engagement of people in an authentic way contributes to robust solutions to challenging issues, and encourages participation that supports democratic decision-making.
Relationship-building and perspective seeking - Meaningful engagement values local perspectives and community experiences; it recognizes that respect and equitable processes foster trust and stronger relationships.
Proactive, timely, and transparent - People have enough time and notice to engage early in the process, which enables considered input and impact on decision-making. How input will be assessed and used is clearly communicated during engagement, and reported on afterwards.
Inclusive and accessible - Engagement planning and delivery is inclusive and accessible to best serve our city by encouraging two-way conversations and strategies that reach diverse communities, and ensure people feel heard and know their input is valued.
Innovative and continuously improving - As Edmonton grows and evolves, we aspire to co-create and embrace new and better engagement processes, tools and tactics based on a sound approach to evaluating success.
Through this work, the City of Edmonton is leading the way in redefining the terms of public engagement and undergoing a significant transformation at a culture level with regards to how the City approaches public engagement now and into the future.