Want to build trust and increase participation in your community? A review of your community engagement policies and practices is a great place to start, and will reveal what you’re doing well, what the barriers and preferences of community member are, and the areas for improvement.
With a strong history of community engagement and the core belief that consultation and participation are essential for community trust and good governance, the Resort Municipality of Whistler community decided it was time to conduct a community engagement review. WCS Engagement + Planning helped to scope and then executed the project, which included three objectives, each with a specific deliverable:
- Identify improvements and additions to engagement and information channels. Deliverable: Community Engagement Review Findings and Recommendations Report
- Update and formalize RMOW engagement approach and commitment to the public. Deliverable: Community Engagement Policy
- Provide clear expectations and resources to staff to execute. Deliverable: Staff guide/toolkit
The project covered the full spectrum of engagement activities, including basic communications, engagement required by the Community Charter, and discretionary project-related engagement. It also included a scan of external trends affecting public participation, and best practices being employed by leading communities and organizations that were used to help inform the recommendations.
Community members were surveyed to learn about barriers they face with it comes to participating in municipal processes, as well as their satisfaction with and preferences for engagement and communications channels. Staff and Council were involved in the process through an internal survey to identify gaps, challenges and areas for improvement.