Has the City done any analysis on the increase of public engagement, and whether or not that has significantly altered decision-making processes or outcomes? How much has the cost of public engagement increased in the past 5 years?
In 2016, Administration prepared a report (CR_3097 - Public Engagement Process - Statistics) that provided an overview of public engagement costs expended by the City of Edmonton over the previous five years (2011-15), a summary of typical engagement costs, and examples of projects where public engagement added costs or value.
As identified during the Council Initiative on Public Engagement, equally important to considering the cost of engagement is to consider the cost of not engaging, in terms of the quality of decisions, the impact on volunteerism, the City’s reputation, the influence on creating awareness for the purpose of projects and the value to community building. The commitment to the new policy on public engagement has substantially increased since the Council Initiative. Council reports now include details on what public engagement was done around each report's subject matter.
As noted in this report, the tracking of costs for Public Engagement is complex as these tasks are integrated into broader project and are not itemized in that manner. Administration has not done any further analysis since this report was developed.
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