Citizen engagement is the process of inviting feedback and input from citizens on programs, policies and services that impact their lives.
Citizen engagement represents a significant policy and communications activity of government, ranging from high profile projects that gather large amounts of public input from around the province to local processes that gather public input on regional infrastructure plans or public services.
Citizen engagement initiatives work to involve key audiences in the public. At a basic level, they support more informed decisions by delivering information about preferences or priorities around policy options. While at a more sophisticated level, they can also drive priority setting, a better understanding of trade-offs, and can clearly connect government action to the informed judgement of contributors. Meaningful public engagements have the ability to garner mutual goodwill and respect between government, stakeholders and citizens.
Collectively, the B.C. government engages tens of thousands of British Columbians per year, and Government Communications and Public Engagement (GCPE) has catalogued over 200 projects since 2012 on govTogetherBC, B.C.’s public engagement listing site.