B.C.'s Engagement Story
Starting in 2012, the B.C. government put a concerted emphasis on involving British Columbians in the programs, policies and services that directly affect their lives. As a result, the Citizen Engagement Team was formalized to help ministries create engagement opportunities to meet our commitment to transparent, inclusive and responsive governance. Since then, the B.C. government has talked to citizens about a variety of topics that impact their lives through a variety of channels.
The Citizen Engagement Highlights Package is a useful resource that can be used to create a better understanding of the expectations, planning, and processes that surround public engagement - this document may also be a helpful resource for other governments or non-governmental organizations who are implementing citizen engagement. For a more detailed outline of public engagement, the team also created the Citizen Engagement Detailed Planning Guide which further highlights engagement processes, planning and design considerations, and potential challenges that may arise.
It is important to first read through these documents, and to speak with your ministry’s Communication Director, prior to contacting the Citizen Engagement Team. While the Citizen Engagement Team will do a lot of the heavy lifting and help to guide ministries through the process, the ministry’s subject matter expertise and their GCPE Communications Shop are vital to the overall process. A citizen engagement initiative must be a three-way collaborative partnership.
For general questions regarding public engagement in the B.C. government or to obtain a copy of the Citizen Engagement Detailed Planning Guide, the Citizen Engagement Team can be contacted by email at: CitizenEngagement@gov.bc.ca
govTogetherBC is the hub for all B.C. government public engagement initiatives both past and present. Having a centralized website where public engagements are listed allows individuals and organizations to browse through open engagements in which they can participate, and to find out more about closed engagements and their results. The site allows users to search for specific engagements by keyword, topic, region or status. govTogetherBC allows government to both promote engagement opportunities, and to close the feedback loop between participants and what happened with their ideas.
govTogetherBC also has an active Twitter account which is used to highlight open engagement project to its followers.