MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Horak, Martin

Geographical Areas

Brockville, Port Hope, Brantford, Halton Hills, Barrie, Hamilton


One of the techniques used by municipal administrators to evaluate their spending is the Service Delivery Review (SDR), for which a “how-to” manual, known as the Guide to Service Delivery Review for Municipal Managers, was created. This paper examines the Guide to determine whether it proposes a useful SDR structure that has adequate provisions for public participation. It analyzes the literature pertaining to the SDR process and public participation and it also provides an examination of public participation using case studies of six municipal SDRs in Ontario: Brockville, Port Hope, Brantford, Halton Hills, Barrie, and Hamilton. The findings reveal that SDRs are consistently conducted separately from further public participation initiatives – despite them being viewed as incomplete or illegitimate without public participation – because municipalities perceive SDRs with properly conceived public participation as an expensive and time-consuming process.