2019

Rebuilding Cohesion And Trust

Major trends are reshaping our society, including sharp declines in both social cohesion and trust in public institutions are especially worrying consequences. Cohesion and trust can be rebuilt by rallying Canadians around solutions to the issues of our day. Unfortunately, the trend is in the other direction. Increasingly, public debate divides Canadians more often than it unites them. This new study from Don Lenihan, Rhonda Moore and Laura Edgar (published by the Institute on Governance) argues that the real problem is not so much with the people, the politicians, or even the issues, as the process. The paper proposes a way for governments to rebuild Canadians’ capacity for effective dialogue, debate, and decision-making through a new generation of engagement processes.

2019

Informed Participation: A Guide to Designing Deliberative Processes

Volume II of The Deliberation Series is out! This Guide walks practitioners through key tasks in designing Informed Participation processes, step by step, to develop an engagement process that matches the issue they want to solve. Don Lenihan is co-chair and principal writer for the Open Government Partnership’s Practice Group on Dialogue and Deliberation, a body of experts from around the world who collaborated on this paper. Volume III in the series will be released in September 2019.

2019

Deliberation: Getting Policy Making Out from Behind Closed Doors

Volume I of the OGP Deliberation Series shows why public deliberation is the cornerstone of any workable solution to falling levels of public trust and the general malaise in government decision-making. Don is co-chair and principal writer for the Open Government Partnership’s Practice Group on Dialogue and Deliberation, the body of experts from around the world who collaborated on this paper.

2018

Alberta’s SuperNet: Connectivity in a High-Speed World

In the very early 2000s, the Province of Alberta undertook one of the most ambitious and innovative digital infrastructure projects of its time: SperNet.Some 12,000 kilometres of fiber optic and wireless infrastructure were installed across every region of the province, yet, today there is little in the way of a record of the effort.

2017

How Big Data is About to Explode Policymaking as We Know It: The Rise of Civil Analytics

The Age of Big Data is just beginning and there is no doubt it will be a period of tumultuous, historic change. In this paper, Don Lenihan and Tom Pitfield assess the opportunities for using this new resource to transform policy making and government.

2017

What is “Open Dialogue” and Is it the Answer to Post-Fact Populism?

This study, based on a Canada-wide consultation, describes wo kinds of dialogue – narrative-building and deliberation – and how they can be combined to produce policy solutions that are evidence-based AND supported by a powerful and popular narrative.

2014

Open-By-Default

At the invitation of Premier Kathleen Wynne, Don served as Chair of Ontario’s Open Government Engagement Team, a panel of nine distinguished experts who traveled the province to develop recommendations “to make Ontario the most open and transparent government in the country.” This is the Team’s final report.

2012

Rescuing Policy: The Case for Public Engagement

Don Lenihan’s third book lays the foundation for Informed Participation. Supported by original case studies and years of research in the field, it is also an authoritative and highly accessible guide to the filed of public engagement.

2011

Co-Design: Toward a New Service Vision for Australia

The article was co-written by Don Lenihan and Australia’s former CEO of Medicare, Lynelle Briggs. It compares Don’s work on public engagement and Medicare Australia’s work on co-design and shows how these two streams converge on a new approach to policy making and service delivery.

2008

It’s More than Talk: Final Report of the New Brunswick Public Engagement Initiative

At the request of Premier Shawn Graham, Don spent a year as New Brunswick’s Advisor on Public Engagement, where he designed and ran five pilot projects to develop a model and policy on engagement for the government of the day. This report contains the findings.

2007

Progressive Governance for Canadians: What you need to know

Don was the lead writer on this book-length study on collaborative governance, and its implications for a range of important theme, from federalism to shared accountability.