MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Irwin, Bill

Geographical Areas

Southwestern Ontario


This paper explores what topics municipalities are utilizing public engagement for the most and the reasons behind those decisions, as well as the tools that municipalities are using most frequently to engage the public and the associated rationales behind those decisions. The research data was collected using an online questionnaire that was sent to various municipalities in Southwestern Ontario. The findings reveal that the respondent municipalities are engaging in public engagement to some extent, particularly with provincially legislated topics. Furthermore, traditional tools of engagement, such as public meetings, are favoured over innovative tools, and the benefits associated with local problem solving are a priority for municipalities in Southwestern Ontario.