As a human-centred policy practitioner...

you are sensitive to culture in all its diversity and have the people in question participate throughout the policy cycle to meet their needs.

Why is this important?

  • To better serve Canadians and reduce the burden they face when accessing government services.
  • To take into account the large array of realities susceptible of impacting the achievement of the expected policy outcomes.
  • To offer flexible services that meet real and multiple needs.
  • To encourage trust and empathy.
  • To demonstrate that you are there to serve all Canadians.
  • To create optimal solutions to the problems we want to resolve.
  • To adopt and implement the most appropriate solution possible.
  • To support Canadians and provide them with the means to actively participate in the definition, design and modalities for delivering public services to them.  

What new avenues does this open?

  • Defining the problems from day one, setting objectives and focusing policy solutions to meet real needs before implementing a solution or service.
  • Hearing voices that you do not normally hear.
  • Carefully examining an array of needs to achieve a more efficient and feasible delivery of services to Canadians.
  • Engaging people in the actions undertaken.
  • Generating increased trust.
  • Targeting the co-designing of solutions.
  • Bringing people together from various backgrounds, from various sectors of government and the private sector, charities, non-profit organizations, etc. so they can collaborate in achieving a common objective.
  • Relying on various types of knowledge and taking advantage of their complementarity.
  • Using a common language and bringing together the winning conditions for achieving the objectives.
  • Paying special attention to Canadians, their needs and their perceptions.
  • Defining the true target audience (e.g. seniors who receive assistance from their children, children who use a service) in order to implement the best-adapted solutions.
  • Providing information on the target audience and using this information in other projects.  

Without this skill, what obstacles present themselves?

  • Risk of missing out on opportunities to simplify the steps taken by Canadians by failing to combine service deliveries.
  • Risk of the service being mediocre and difficult to access and not achieving its objective.
  • Persistence of the bias that civil servants are insensitive, non-cooperative and ignorant.
  • Less tolerance by Canadians regarding the wasting of public funds. 

Examples of behaviours and aptitudes to be adopted

  • Listening respectfully to others and remaining open to changing your own point of view.
  • Applying methods for drawing out the latent needs that people may not be aware of.
  • Connecting with other people and exposing yourself to experiences that are different from the ones you have had.
  • Engaging extreme users who think and consume differently to better understand their needs and discover new perspectives.
  • Observing what people do and do not do and paying attention to what they say and do not say.
  • Determining what should be observed, drawing useful information from the information gathered and deciding on the appropriate moment for beginning the consolidation process for developing an array of solutions.
  • Observing similar issues or phenomena in various contexts in order to find inspiration to create new possibilities.
  • Considering members of the community as active participants in the problem resolution process.
  • Recognizing the engagement difficulties for each group and developing strategies that foster inclusion.
  • Searching for new options in order to offer a better experience by optimizing the delivery of services with other governmental groups. 

Examples of behaviours to be avoided

  • Solely considering your own perspective as the only one that is valid.
  • Solely considering the needs expressed and dismissing those that were not formulated.
  • Avoiding contact with different points of view or diverging orientations.
  • Trying to satisfy the average typical Canadian based on generalizations.
  • Sticking to apparent facts and not digging deeper to find out more.
  • Not observing.
  • Considering Canadians as the final users.