Book Launch - Rescuing Policy: The Case for Public Engagement

When: Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 17:00 - 19:00

Where: Ottawa

In 2012, Canada's Public Policy Forum held a book launch for Rescuing Policy: The Case for Public Engagement, by Don Lenihan.

In 2009, the Forum launched the Public Engagement Project to explore new ways of thinking about how governments, stakeholders, communities and ordinary citizens can work together-collaborate-to find and implement solutions to complex problems, such as climate change, poor public health or the failure to innovate.

The project involved seven provincial/territorial governments-British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Nunavut-the Canada School of Public Service, the City of Hamilton and the Government of Australia.

Why read this book?

This book draws on the findings of the Public Engagement Project, a two-year initiative involving seven provincial/territorial governments—British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut—the Canada School of Public Service, the City of Hamilton and the Government of Australia.

Hard copies of the book are available, free of charge, from the Public Policy Forum and an e-version is available for download.

About the author

Dr. Don Lenihan is Vice President, Engagement at the Public Policy Forum in Ottawa, Canada. He is an internationally recognized expert on democracy and public engagement, accountability and service delivery. Don has over 25 years of experience in the field as a project leader, writer, speaker, senior government advisor, trainer and facilitator. He is the author of numerous articles, studies and books.

What early readers said...

“Governments work best when they include people in the decisions that touch their lives. Lenihan’s work provides a thoughtful analysis of the factors that influence those decisions, and draws a roadmap toward new models of citizen engagement.”
– Hon. David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick


“A great read and a reminder why I come to work each day...”
– Chris Murray, City Manager, City of Hamilton


 “…a must-read, particularly for the skeptics, who still think of engagement as utopia.  It can be done, and Lenihan shows us how.”
– Graham Fox, President and CEO, Institute for Research on Public Policy


“This book gives me hope that our elected governments really can work with the public to find sustainable solutions to the complex public policy issues of our generation”
– Penny Ballem, City Manager, Vancouver


“Lenihan delivers a sharp and telling critique of the shortcomings of contemporary policy-making…He also proposes a provocative way out…”
– Giles Gherson, Deputy Minister and Associate Secretary of the Cabinet, Government of Ontario


“Don Lenihan sets out a blueprint for a new open-source democracy which is an ambitious call to action for citizens, elected officials, and policy leaders...”
– Nik Nanos, President & CEO, Nanos Research

“…a persuasive and very readable book that makes a compelling case for public engagement...”
– David Zussman, Jarislowsky Chair in Public Management, University of Ottawa. 


“…an important analysis of the challenges facing policy makers in an increasingly complex and interconnected world...”
– Honourable John Milloy, House Leader and Minister of Community and Social Services, Government of Ontario


“Rescuing Policy shines a much needed light on the damage “consumer politics” is having on Canadian society and offers an exciting alternative to realize the potential and promise of our communities.”
– Karen Farbridge, Mayor, City of Guelph