Engagement Framework and Evaluation Tabled

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 12:45 PM
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Today, City staff tabled an evaluation report of the City’s Public Engagement efforts at Council’s Committee of the Whole which included 12 recommendations to improve public engagement for citizens, Council and staff. The report reflects feedback from staff and Council as well as a robust survey of the public which was carried out between July and September and was completed by over 600 residents.

“As a new Council, we are keenly interested in using public engagement effectively to help us in the decision making process,” said Mayor Danny Breen. “We want to engage citizens early, with a clear purpose and do appropriate follow up to show them how their input helps inform our decisions, and while this report demonstrates that we have made progress in the past three years, there are still some areas where we can improve.”

The report and online survey notes that engagement is important to citizens, Council and staff.

• 54 percent of respondents to the online survey felt that the City’s public engagement efforts had improved over the past three years since the adoption of the engagement policy and framework
• 64 percent had shared input with the City in the past three years by participating in a public engagement activity; 70 per cent of participants indicated that they were satisfied with the activity overall
• 66 percent had visited the City’s online engagement platform engagestjohns.ca, and 89 percent visitors indicating the site was a valuable tool for public engagement

“The City has a strategic direction to be responsive and progressive,” said Dave Lane, former Council lead for Public Engagement with the City. “The recommendations in this report ensure that we continue to build our engagement efforts, make it as easy as possible for people to become informed about engagement activities and participate in ways that work for them.”

Action items have been outlined in all of these areas and will be undertaken over the next number of months. The full report with recommendations and the “What We Heard” document can be found on the City’s website and at engagestjohns.ca