Learning Together for Better Public Engagement


The Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) and the Privy Council Office (PCO) are pleased to invite you to a collaborative online program on public engagement and consultations called Learning Together for Better Public Engagement. This is an opportunity to share tools and tips on everything from planning a consultation to running and facilitating a session to analyzing your data.  Learners will be shaping future ideas for building capacity, community and a public engagement team.

What is it?

This program will run as a massively open online course over five weeks.

Program outline:
Week 1 Reasons to Engage… or Not
Week 2 Strategy, Methodology, and Planning
Week 3 Implementation
Week 4 Impact, Results, Outcomes
Week 5 Building capacity, Community, Teams

Who can get involved?

Everyone with an interest in Public Engagement is invited.

Although the program is geared to Government of Canada employees, employees of provincial, territorial and municipal governments and of not-for-profit organizations, as well as academics and the public, are all invited to attend, learn and collaborate with each other.

When is it?

The program will run from June 10, 2019, to July 12, 2019.

What is the time commitment?

The program will be divided into three streams based on level of involvement in public engagement. All participants will cover the same material; however, the time commitments will vary based on the activities.

  1. Public engagement practitioners: People directly involved in the public engagement process
    • Recommended time commitment: three hours a week
  2. Public engagement managers and executives: People who make decisions on public engagement initiatives
    • Recommended time commitment: 10 to 20 minutes a week
  3. Public engagement supporters: People who support public engagement initiatives but may not be directly involved in them
    • Recommended time commitment: two hours a week

Participants in the three streams will work through the same resources and tools. However, expectations with regard to level of involvement are flexible and can vary based on responsibilities, availabilities and needs. We recommend that practitioners spend as much as three hours a week in activities related to the program (one hour in an online session and two hours in other activities, which will be online). Executives and managers, on the other hand, can derive value from spending a few minutes a week with the program—for instance, by watching a short video. People supporting public engagement, meanwhile, can collaborate with practitioners on an as-needed basis.

How and where do I participate?

All the activities and modules will be hosted online. Class structure is split between online resources and weekly activities. The activities can be completed at each individual’s own pace.

The structure of the program:

  1. We will host a one-hour WebEx session to kick off each week-long session. English and French sessions will take place separately. The structure of each week will vary, and some weeks will include guest speakers.
  2. Participants will work through curated resources and tools relevant to weekly topics, posting their results in the online Learning Management System forum. They will have access to the data literacy website, take the quizzes and post on the forum.
  3. Facilitators will conduct group activities (online), posting results and experiences in the online Learning Management System forum.

How will this course help me?

For all those signed up, this program may serve as professional development. Though practitioners’ individual needs will differ, one of the primary learning objectives the (PCO) Public Engagement team sets for them is this: “by the end of these five weeks, public engagement practitioners will be able to conduct impactful and meaningful consultations or other forms of public engagement in accordance with the Government of Canada’s core principles for Public Engagement.”

The goal of the learning bundle is to enable public servants to build capacity and train public engagement units, as well as to collaborate on shaping the learning process for the next generation of public servants working in public engagement.

How much will it cost?

Absolutely nothing!

What will I need?

A computer, smartphone or tablet and access to the Internet. No other materials are required.

Registration information:

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