Engagement & Facilitation

Its not just how many, it is how well it is done. We work with clients and communities to employ a suite of creative engagement methods supported by leading-edge communication graphics that build on each step of the process. This ensures that engagement is both effective and leads to broad-based support. EcoPlan has been recognized with awards from AIP2 to CIP for the quality and depth of community engagement we bring to our projects. From project partners and stakeholders to the general public, our experience ranges across a broad range of communities (people and places) and scales (remote and rural to dense urban) and scope (experts, councils, board rooms, community groups). While we have proven success with:

• Surveys – open ended, structured, trade-off/prioritization, web-based, paper, face-to-face, etc.
• Public Events — open-houses, pop-up happenings, etc.
• Deliberation and dialogue — focus groups, open space, etc.
• Facilitation – strategy meetings, council retreats, conflict resolution, etc.

Senior staff are members of the International Institute of Public Participation (IAP2), and we are continuously engaged in sharing best practices in the field of consultation, engagement and facilitation.

 Interested in training or capacity building? Contact us.

Our Approach

Driven by Community Values: Every community is different. We start by listening to community members to find out what is important. Then, we use the values that we identify through this process as a framework to prioritize actions that are appropriate, feasible, and broadly supported. 

Based on Local Knowledge: We work with local people who know their communities and regions and are well positioned to generate practical ideas that make the best use of local assets. We then tap into, organize, and evaluate this local knowledge, using methods and tools from structured decision making to focus investment and energy where it will have the strongest impact.

Expert Supported: We step in where expertise is needed by providing rigorous analysis, cutting-edge research, innovative ideas and over 20 years of experience in the field. We have found that top-down, expert-directed planning approaches work only in unique circumstances and typically do not produce the results communities and clients need for success.

Pragmatic and Effective: Great strategies are strategies that get implemented. We hate to see strategies that are nothing more than laundry lists gathering dust on a shelf. Our approach ensures that the people who will be implementing the plan are involved throughout its development, and that the plan lay out the implementation architecture (i.e., who will be doing what, when). We can also provide supplementary services during implementation, such as project management and coaching. We call this “surge capacity”.

Guidebooks, Toolkits and Publications

Shaping Active, Healthy Communities – Community Leaders Guide
Heart and Stroke Foundation

Promoting Local Economic Development Through Strategic Planning (Training Series)

Health Impact Assessment Guidebook and Toolkit
Metro Vancouver, PlanH

Planning for Climate Change: A Strategic, Values-based Approach for Urban Planners

Promising Pathways: Strengthening Engagement and Relationships with Aboriginal Peoples in Parks Canada Heritage Places
Parks Canada


Tides of Change: Cormorant Island Joint Economic Development Strategy
2016 AIP2 Core Values Project Award for Diversity & Inclusion
2016 Planning Institute of B.C. Honourable Mention for Excellence in Planning Practice in the category of Small Town and Rural Areas

Cowichan Tribes Community Transportation Plan and Mobility Plan
2016 Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence in Aboriginal Community Planning and Development

Giiwedaa – Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishnaabek (AZA) Comprehensive Community Plan
2013 Canadian Institute of Planners Planning Excellence Award in Aboriginal Community Planning and Development

Tla’amin Land Use Plan
2010 Planning Institute of B.C. Award for Excellence in Comprehensive Planning & Policy