About this Process: Creating Canada’s 4th Plan on Open Government

The engagement for Canada's plan on open government covers a two-year cycle of listening, responding and learning as we collaboratively set an agenda and implement commitments. Anyone can contribute to the plan. The graphic below describes the process for this cycle.

Open Government Engagement Cycle

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Figure: Text version

The Open Government Engagement Cycle consists of 6 different phases:

  1. Planning
    September to October 2017
    Solicit involvement and community suggestions on priorities and approach. Establish partnerships.
  2. Shaping
    October 2017 to April 2018
    Generate ideas and refinements. Gather and analyze data. Develop potential commitment list.  Digital and in-person engagement aligned with third party events. 
  3. Drafting
    April to June 2018
    Integrate results and co-create commitments. Prepare comment disposition. Confirm delivery partnerships.
  4. Reviewing
    July 2018
    Cabinet and digital public review of draft plan. 
  5. Finalizing
    August 2018 – September 2018
    Integrate comments from public. Collaborate as required to accommodate changes. Publish final plan, What We Heard report and comment data.
  6. Implementing
    October 2018 – November 2020
    Facilitation, project management and reporting as commitments go live.

These 6 phases are arranged around a core of listening, responding and learning:

  • Ongoing social media, email, onsite comments.
  • Categorization, analysis and reporting of what we are hearing and doing.
  • Ongoing review of process and continuous improvement.

How your ideas shaped the plan

We reviewed every comment, idea and suggestion received online or at engagement events. Your input became the basis for conversations throughout the Government of Canada, which were then fed back into the public engagement process. This helped us identify goals and define them in a specific and measurable way.

You can view the full dataset of every comment received, including our analysis and selection methods below:

How we developed the draft commitments

The open government team, on behalf of the Government of Canada, worked with civil society and interested stakeholders to collect and evolve ideas. This is in addition to workshopping commitments at public meetings, reading people’s feedback on posted ideas, sharing ideas with the Multi-stakeholder Forum on Open Government, and working with government partners. During the drafting phase, the emphasis shifted from idea generation towards shaping and co-creating commitments using the following considerations:

Can we do it?

Is the commitment realistic? Can we find a lead department in the Government of Canada, or a lead partner in civil society, private sector, or in a subnational government, that can take the lead? Do we have the resources to do it? Are there any legal, privacy, or security concerns that would prevent us from doing it?

Do Canadians want it?

Did we receive many comments or feedback around this theme? Are our partners in civil society, private sector, or academia asking for this commitment? Has this idea been discussed in media articles, blogs, or on social media? Is there any Public Opinion research supporting the commitment?

Does it fit with our current priorities?

Does the commitment reflect one or more of our priorities as co-chair of the Open Government Partnership (inclusion, participation, and impact)? Is it a continuation of a commitment from a previous Plan that still needs work? Would it help us better deliver on work the Government of Canada has already committed to doing? Does it support a mandate letter or item from the Speech from the Throne?

Does it solve a problem?

Would the commitment have an impact on a lot of Canadians? Would it have an impact on a group that has traditionally been marginalized or under-represented in government (youth, LGBTQ2 community, Indigenous communities, women and girls, or others)? Will it actually help to open up government (transparency, accountability or public participation)? Does it generate learning that helps move government forward?

Between July 23 and August 13, 2018, you commented on the draft commitments, helping us strengthen our next plan on Open Government. We are now reviewing these comments and finalizing the plan. Stay tuned to see the final version of Canada’s 2018-20 National Action Plan on Open Government!

Learn more

What to know more about what we are up to? Sign up for our mailing list to receive updates and check out this reading list: