Dufferin County introduces Community Engagement Framework and Climate and Equity Lenses

Nov 15th, 2023
By mball

Dufferin County is making strides towards its 2023 to 2026 Strategic Plan vision of creating a community that grows together with the introduction of a Community Engagement Framework and Climate and Equity Lenses.

Community Engagement Framework
The County’s first Community Engagement Framework will serve as a guide to future consultation and engagement opportunities. Based on the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) public engagement spectrum, the Framework:

  • Defines community engagement and the County’s commitment to it
  • Outlines the roles and responsibilities of County Council, staff and the community
  • Defines the different levels of community engagement and tactics for each based on IAP2’s spectrum
  • Features useful tools for staff to help develop community engagement plans that will help ensure County engagements are meaningful, accessible and inclusive

The County is committed to actively engaging and partnering across departments and with community members, stakeholders, and other organizations to collectively address local challenges and achieve shared goals. The Framework will be integral to developing and nurturing relationships with the community, building capacity for civic participation to allow meaningful engagement and reaching the County’s goals under the Strategic Plan.

Climate and Equity Lenses
As part of the Strategic Plan, the County is adopting Equity and Climate Lenses that will be applied across the entire administration through its day-to-day operations, decision making processes and policy design.

The Equity Lens is a process for analyzing or diagnosing the impact of the design and

implementation of policies and programs on under-served individuals and groups that experience marginalization, and to identify, mitigate and potentially eliminate systemic barriers. It is explicit in drawing attention to the inclusion of marginalized populations, typically racialized communities, Indigenous peoples, 2SLGBTQ+ communities and persons with disabilities, and can be adapted to focus on other communities.

The Climate Lens is a mechanism to systematically analyze the relationship between a municipal decision and climate change. The Lens will prompt the County to consider whether its policies, plans and projects will affect the climate through the production of greenhouse gas emissions, or be affected by climate through variables like temperature or precipitation.

The County will trial the Equity and Climate Lenses on a set of projects and initiatives from across the organization to inform ongoing work and update them if required. The Lenses will help the County understand and evaluate the impacts of new or changing policies, programs and services, ensuring decisions are made with social and environmental considerations foregrounded and in alignment with its long-term objectives.

About the Strategic Plan
The County’s 2023 to 2026 Corporate Strategic Plan was approved by County Council in January 2023.  

The ambitious, interconnected Plan will guide Council and staff as the County plans for the future and form the foundation of operational plans, the annual budget, and recommendations to Council and day-to-day decision making.  

The Strategic Plan was developed through collaboration with the community, Council and staff, and will be the roadmap through 2026 as the County looks to contribute to positive and meaningful outcomes that make Dufferin a great place to live, do business and visit. 

“The County is charting a path to a sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous future for our community, and the Community Engagement Framework and Climate and Equity Lenses will help us as we work to achieve our goals under our Strategic Plan. With a focus on collaboration and social and environmental considerations, the County will ensure a thriving, equitable and resilient community for all in Dufferin.”

- Wade Mills, Warden, Dufferin County

“The County’s Strategic Plan has a strong focus on the collective and collaborative effort required to deliver on the County’s goals – between the County, its local municipalities, the community and across every County department. We are proud to present the County’s first Community Engagement Framework and Equity and Climate Lenses. These foundational tools will help guide us as we work to achieve our vision of being a community that grows together.”

- Sonya Pritchard, Chief Administrative Officer, Dufferin County




Megan Ball, Manager of Communications