Learning Together for Better Public Engagement (Learn4PE) was a pilot initiative designed to build public engagement capacity across the Government of Canada. In its first iteration, participants spent five weeks learning together in English and French, both online and by participating in live sessions with experts. While targeted towards federal public servants, registration was open to all, enabling the exchange of relevant ideas and resources.
Combining Design Thinking and Rapid Impact Evaluation methodologies allows for a user-centered counterfactual to measure the impact of the current program design, while simultaneously identifying programmatic design flaws and generating solutions for improvement. The participative process for co-developing the counterfactual triangulates multiple user perspectives and data sets to provide new lines of evidence to pursue innovative solutions and offer a more iterative approach to evaluation.
The Heating Assistance Rebate Program (HARP) helps over 42,000 low income Nova Scotians with the high cost of heating their homes in the winter. In 2016 Service Nova Scotia used an innovative approach to modernize HARP from a paper-based application to an online system to improve user experience and government processes. The modernization of this program was uniquely user-driven with significant user-testing leading the transition process and continuous user-testing for ongoing improvement.
Community Connects is a pilot project that came out of the Transportation Innovation Lab. Problem/Opportunity: Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) is a region with high levels of poverty and unemployment. Innovation: Taxi service, doorstep pick-up, defined drop-off points, flat rate: $7 seat. Why innovative? In short, the approach (social innovation lab) and those that were engaged (first-voice participants).
As part of the engagement process on the redesign of Canada’s homelessness program, Employment and Social Development Canada engaged directly with people with lived experience of homelessness. Dedicated tools and mechanisms were developed to ensure the meaningful participation of people with lived experience, the removal and mitigation of financial barriers to engagement and recognition of the unique expertise and knowledge of people with lived experience.
In 2016, British Columbia (B.C.) had the second highest poverty rate in Canada but was the only province without a poverty reduction strategy. To inform its first strategy, a new government completed the most extensive poverty engagement to date in Canada, focusing on people with lived experience of poverty.
To address barriers, B.C. used a range of innovative engagement approaches including direct supports for participants, dedicated Indigenous engagement and funding grants to non-profits.
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