MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science

Geographical Areas

Ontario, Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs)


This study identifies and explains variation in the choices of public engagement methods across Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks, in order to inform the policy space these organizations operate in with respect to enabling citizen participation in regional health planning decisions. The websites of all 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) were searched for three key documents that detail their past and future public engagement method choices. Drawing from the literature, a multi-metric qualitative scoring framework was designed to explore patterns of variation in public engagement method choices across each region. The findings demonstrate that there is minimal variation in the choices of public engagement methods across Local Health Integration Networks, but suggest that variation in regional characteristics provide different justification for the same methods being chosen across multiple jurisdictions. The study concludes by outlining opportunities for public engagement practitioners in Ontario and other jurisdictions to improve the rigour of the proposed framework and potential use as a predictive tool of public engagement method choice dependent on variation in regional characteristics.