Consultation on Public Consultations
The City of Edmonton wanted to determine how best to do public consultation. At first: Public consultation was often held on major city initiatives but people often complained that the process was flawed, because of lack of participation and poor engagement in sessions. Our approach: Hold a large public consultation throughout the city that would have most of the elements ever needed in any consultation, to demonstrate best practices, and also get good results. At first: A series of forums were held to determine what stakeholders wanted in a fulsome engagement process for any large city initiative. Second: Another stage in the process discerned the blocks to engagement and how these could be addressed. A representative group pulled from all sessions performed a meta-gestalt to determine the pattern of responses throughout all sessions. Even the Mayor and City Council participated. The results were very powerful and the city is using them to design its public engagement processes. A comprehensive set of guidelines are now being used for public consultation for all departments, and are a model for other cities.