The Centre, through its partner organizations, provides leadership in understanding and applying innovative public involvement ideas, practices and technologies, for citizen participation and deliberation.
The Centre for Public Involvement was proposed in 2009 as a unique partnership between the City of Edmonton and University of Alberta. It was proposed in response to a demonstrated and recognized need for decision-makers and the public to actively seek, consider and apply the most effective means for public involvement. The collaboration is designed to advance research and learning in the area of public involvement, with the objective of enhanced decision-making at all levels. The organization and governance framework established by the partnering organizations draws on the unique expertise of each, establishing an environment where creative cooperation facilitates public involvement results beyond what is possible via single entity endeavours.
The City of Edmonton, as a municipal corporation, brings a commitment to public involvement (expressed in Policy C513) and provides a ready and available arena within which to research. As local government, the City operates within an environment of immediacy to its citizens, where people are often directly aware of and impacted by decisions made there, and as such contributes unique experience and knowledge of public involvement in decision-making at the political and administrative levels.
The University of Alberta is committed to meaningful public involvement in its decision-making processes. It contributes research and expertise to the Centre: it is a source of existing knowledge and emergent learning on public involvement, including the areas of communication and technology.