Design an engagement experience – a toolkit


The Designing Public Engagement Experiences toolkit helps guide the design and exploration process before a public engagement plan takes shape. Planning for a public engagement is an important first step, and using this toolkit to plan your engagement is a way to be intentional, thoughtful and inclusive. This resource has been developed using the collective thoughts of federal public engagement, public policy and open dialogue colleagues. It continues to be designed and tested as more is learned about the public engagement environment.

The toolkit

The kit is available in both English and French. There is an online HTML version that you can browse to understand the structure of the toolkit.

Key activities to help you plan your engagement process:

  1. Identify the people who have a stake in the issue (Activity 1)
  2. Understand and design for the context in which your engagement will take place (Activity 2)
  3. Articulate clear goals that describe what success looks like for everyone involved (Activity 3)
  4. Select potential engagement methods that align with your goals (Activity 4)

The Presenter’s handbook explains how to take an engagement scenario (be it your own example or the one provided) and complete activities 1 through 4. Take note of the question prompts and use them to check-in with yourself or your co-designers as you plan your engagement. As an additional step, you may also use this toolkit as a workshop, and bring in the people you plan to engage with to develop your engagement plan collaboratively.

Download the materials:

We recommend that you download all the printable PDF versions. This includes everything you need to start planning.

Suggested ways to use this toolkit:

About this toolkit

The Privy Council Office Engagement team’s Designing Public Engagement Experiences toolkit began as a workshop born out of engagements with our community at these events:

Each time we ran the workshop, we questioned our assumptions about how we were building capacity in public engagement and revised the materials based on what we heard.

This toolkit is intended to complement other engagement planning resources available online or through your organization. We encourage you to incorporate knowledge from many people and spaces as you plan your engagement process.

How to get involved

We are always looking to improve the toolkit. If you run it as a workshop, or notice a method card that might be missing, please share your feedback with us through the Public Engagement Community of Practice on GCcollab.

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