Beyond Inclusion: Equity in Public Engagement

Inclusion is integral to ethical and effective public engagement. Hearing from people with diverse lived experiences leads to more innovative ideas, better decisions and stronger democracies. However, many groups of people remain under-represented in engagement processes due to systemic barriers and inequities.

Beyond Inclusion: Equity in Public Engagement proposes eight principles to support the meaningful and equitable inclusion of diverse voices in public engagement processes across sectors.

Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue developed the Beyond Inclusion guide through a participatory research and consultation process from 2019-2020 involving community members, engagement practitioners, and representatives from governments and civil society. While we began with a framework of inclusion, participants emphasized the importance of equity—building reciprocal relationships and sharing power with communities to co-create accessible and meaningful engagement processes.

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Download your free copy of the Beyond Inclusion guide to learn more about these principles alongside:

  • Concrete strategies to help enact these principles and address barriers.
  • Suggested approaches to common challenges practitioners face.
  • Real-world case studies illustrating the principles in action.
  • A discussion of what inclusion, equity and accessibility mean within public engagement.
  • A list of further resources to support inclusive engagement

The Eight Principles

Principle 1:
Invite participation within an authentic and accountable engagement process

Principle 2:
Plan early and proactively

Principle 3:
Establish respectful relationships with Indigenous Peoples

Principle 4:
Engage the internal diversity of a community

Principle 5:
Work in reciprocal relationships with communities

Principle 6:
Tailor engagement plans to the context

Principle 7:
Commit to ongoing learning and improvement

Principle 8:
Advance systemic equity

If you are interested in working with us to convene transformative conversations or increase your organizational capacity to engage, our consulting services team would be happy to explore your needs today – we can design an engagement process that is right for you.

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