The IAP2 Canada Research Committee presents bite-sized information and graphics from the 2020 State of Practice Survey results.
This summer we shared some key findings from IAP2’s semi-annual State of the Practice survey noting that P2 practice in Canada appears to be ‘pandemic proof’. Respondents identified virtual and digital engagement tools as key to pandemic-resilience.
When asked about the impact of COVID-19 on their P2 practice, not surprisingly, almost all respondents reported an increase in virtual engagement and a decrease in in-person engagement. Based on responses, it appears the virtual environment prevented some groups from participating as much as before the pandemic, while other groups found participation more feasible (e.g. young parents).
Less than 12% of respondents indicated they did not use web-based or mobile tools in their engagement practice. Online surveys, questionnaires or polls are most commonly used, however the predominance of these in proportion to other digital tools has dropped since the last survey. Social media tools such as Facebook and Instagram, and to a lesser extent, Blogs and Twitter, have risen in importance as a ‘go to’ for P2 practitioners. The survey results demonstrate that P2 practitioners have seized the challenge of pivoting to online tools and learning new skills and platforms.
However, the complexity of the virtual and digital realm is adding challenge to P2 practice. Respondents identified concern about barriers to virtual engagement for people who lacked access to the online environment or lacked skill or comfort with online tools. Greater effort by practitioners seems necessary to ensure underrepresented groups are included in engagement activities. Losing in-person engagement during the peaks of the pandemic had a noted negative impact, particularly for hard-to-reach groups such as the Indigenous community and rural farmers. Some practitioners identified that meaningful conversations were harder to have online and harder to facilitate. Some also identified that participants overall do not prefer these tools and/or have difficulty using them.
Of particular concern, survey respondents identified a lack of engagement tools and technologies as a significant barrier; in fact this gap had the highest weighted average among noted barriers, surpassing language, policies and meaningful metrics (i.e. those that make the case for future engagement effort). Technical information was also identified as harder to present electronically.
IAP2 Canada is here to help you reduce barriers to practice in the virtual and digital space. Of particular note, the following learning opportunities are available:
To continue your innovation journey in the virtual and digital space, visit the IAP2 Event Calendar to register for the many opportunities available for strengthening your digital engagement skills.
As world leaders begin to talk about a future transition to normalcy, we reflect on the impact COVID-19 has had on P2 practice in Canada. Last fall, while still in the thick of lockdowns, waves, ‘pivots’, and other things pandemic, IAP2 Canada reached out to P2 practitioners with the bi-annual State of the Practice survey. We asked you how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic impacted your work – and you spoke up with courageous optimism. What you said is not surprising: P2 research and practice has been pandemic-resilient!
First and foremost, the majority of survey respondents are optimistic about the future of P2 despite the ongoing pandemic. Practitioners believe that COVID-19 has had a significant and lasting impact on their P2 work, including driving them towards using more virtual and digital engagement tools. They agree that this shift is here to stay.
On the flip-side, one in ten survey respondents agree that COVID-19 has financially impacted their P2 work and one-fifth believe that there has been a decline in the quality of P2 work as a result of the pandemic
IAP2 Canada continues to examine the trends affecting P2 practice across the nation. IAP2 sponsored research by authors Stephanie Yates and Hugo Mimee into COVID-19 and Its Impact on the Field and Practice of Public Participation. This paper builds understanding of remote participatory approaches in our new virtual and digital practice. Watch for the release in September.
IAP2 Canada also continues to actively tailor learning and networking opportunities to support members in ‘pandemic-proofing’ their P2 work, including digital transformation and building capacity for diversity, equity and inclusion.
To continue your own learning journey to ‘pandemic-proof’ your practice, register for the many opportunities available through IAP2 Canada. Learn more
Areas to Monitor
Subscribe Today For News & Updates
Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest updates from IAP2 Canada.
Subscribe For Updates