Our Approach to Engagement

Inclusiveness. Transparency. Access. Respect. Honesty.


Our team stresses a collaborative approach - not only working in a professional creative manner amongst the consulting team, but also by ensuring that the expertise of staff, the task force, technical resources from other stakeholders, and feedback from the community are incorporated into the process. Facilitating meaningful dialogue amongst stakeholders across the community will be a critical goal of our process. In all forms of consultation, emphasis will be placed on considering both collective and individual needs, ensuring all voices are heard and analyzing the range of issues identified. Our team leans heavily on two tried and tested engagement methodologies:

  • The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2); and
  • Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM).

IAP2 is an international association of members who seek to promote and improve the practice of public participation / public engagement in relation to individuals, governments, institutions, and other entities that affect the public interest in nations throughout the world. Their mission is to advance and extend the practice of public participation through professional development, certification, standards of practice, core values, advocacy and key initiatives with strategic partners around the world.

Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) techniques can provide a complement to IAP2 methods. CBSM draws heavily on research in social psychology, which indicates that initiatives to promote behaviour change are often most effective when they are carried out at the community level and involve direct contact with people.

In all our projects, we have the following desired outcomes:

  • Effectively engage the community and key stakeholders to provide input to the plan/project;
  • Advertise and notify the community on ways to become involved in the process and engagement events;
  • Obtain media coverage for special events, as appropriate, by issuing press releases at key points in the process;
  • Allow opportunities for the community and key stakeholders to take ownership over the plan/project; and
  • Gain support, acceptance, and “buy-in” for the plan and its implementation.

The following indicates how our public engagement activities relate to the IAP2 spectrum:

Inform. Consult. Involve. Collaborate. Empower.


To provide the public and key stakeholders with balanced and objective information to assist them in understanding the problems, alternatives, opportunities, and/or solutions facing agriculture and food security.

To obtain feedback and input from the public and key stakeholders on the analysis, alternatives, and/or decisions through the planning process.

To work closely with the public and key stakeholders throughout the planning process to ensure concerns and aspirations are consistently understood and considered.

To partner with the public and key stakeholders throughout the planning process on each aspect of the plan to find common ground and identify preferred solutions.

To place final decision making in the hands of the public.