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SPARC BC’s Community Engagement ToolKit

SPARC BC's Community Engagement ToolKit


The Social Planning and Research Council of B.C. (SPARC BC) is an independent, non-partisan, registered charity working with BC communities  in building a just and healthy society for all.  The organization operates on the understanding that communities are just and healthy when people have equitable access to places, knowledge, services, adequate incomes, and community decision-making processes.  To this end, SPARC BC works with people on income security, accessibility, and community development; and on the connections between them.

SPARC BC published a Community Engagement Toolkit to offer advice to municipalities in the design and implementation of a community engagement process.


About the Community Engagement Toolkit

SPARC BC's Community Engagement ToolKitThe Community Engagement Toolkit offers an adaptable approach to designing a community engagement process tailored to specific issues and/or developments in your community.

The five (5) steps of effective community engagement planning are outlined in this document along with forty-seven (47) community engagement methods. A diverse range of examples are provided throughout this toolkit to show community engagement methods in action.

This toolkit was designed for municipal social planners and other municipal planning staff that are thinking about how to design and carry out a community engagement process that is inclusive, accessible and results-oriented.


PlaceSpeak is honoured to be profiled in this resource.  Here is what SPARC had to say about our platform:

PlaceSpeak: Geo-verified Online Consultation

PlaceSpeak’s mandate is to promote meaningful dialogue on local issues and engage with local decision makers. PlaceSpeak recognizes Internet technology offers new accessible opportunities for communication and for gathering verifiable evidence to support decisions. PlaceSpeak is a location-based online community consultation platform that connects residents and citizen users with governments, businesses and organizations in their own neighbourhoods.

Online Geo-verification is useful to promote non-anonymity particularly in consultations where the proponent may want to limit participants to within specific geographic boundaries. PlaceSpeak provides an easy-to-use platform with multiple features including: discussion forums, polls and surveys and notice boards. 

  • PlaceSpeak’s geo-verification allows proponents to know that they consulted with the right people from the right place and residents to connect to topics in areas that affect them the most, and prevents fraudulent responses from the same user. It is a cost-effective way to reach a broad spectrum of the public and produce verifiable evidence to support decision-making and public policy development.
  • Anyone can sign up for PlaceSpeak and connect to topics. It can be integrated with Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • PlaceSpeak has been the geo-verification platform for a growing number of projects, including the City of New Westminster’s Master Transportation Plan and the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Taskforce on Affordable Housing.

You can download the entire toolkit from SPARC’s BC’s Sprout Resource Centre


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