Public participation is about engaging with the public during the decision-making process, benefiting from their diverse range of ideas, views and concerns, and using that information to make better decisions.
Who is involved in P2?
P2 practitioners are a diverse community of professionals, citizens, academics, and decision-makers who are committed to involving the public in decisions that affect them. Beyond formal practitioners, P2 includes all people involved in public participation including individuals, governments, communities, interest groups, organizations and other entities that affect public interest in nations throughout the world.
Decisions that impact the public should not be made in isolation. Engaging in meaningful P2 can result in:
increased engagement and inclusion for all people including racialized groups, Indigenous peoples, and other groups who are more likely to be overlooked, identifying a wide range of ideas, views and concerns
better decision-making that reflects public interests and values making it easier to communicate, implement, and understand the process, decisions, and impact
building capacity for collaborative decision-making over the long term by improving relationships and increasing trust between decision-makers and the public
The IAP2 Spectrum is a framework designed to enhance collaboration and transparency throughout the decision-making process, increasing the public’s impact on the decision.
According to the spectrum, meaningful P2 and engagement includes:
Ultimately, P2 helps decision-makers apply what they’ve learned from the public in meaningful ways to address real-life problems. Here are some outstanding efforts of individuals, organizations, and projects that embody the core values of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) in Canada. Learn more