CASE STUDY – Saskatchewan Government Online Community Project

As part of its investigation into the need for a provincial anti-bullying strategy, the Saskatchewan Government challenged Insightrix to develop and deliver the most effective public consultation process.

Challenge

Bullying is a serious issue in schools, communities and workplaces, with many people experiencing long-term issues and complications. As part of its investigation into the need for a provincial anti-bullying strategy, the Saskatchewan Government challenged Insightrix to develop and deliver the most effective public consultation process.

Approach

To ensure that all members of the public had a chance to be heard and to keep discussions focused on solutions, Insightrix conducted both in-person and online consultations through the following process:

  • Over a two-week period, Insightrix managed, promoted and facilitated 16 in-person consultations throughout the province.
  • Approximately 400 people attended the sessions.
  • To ensure that everyone had a chance to be heard, Insightrix created an online community which Insightrix and the government promoted. Roughly 600 residents joined the community.
  • An online community was conducted concurrently with the in-person sessions. An Insightrix moderator posed questions to community members, giving them the opportunity to respond.
  • Community members interacted with each other in the online community, allowing the government and Insightrix to listen to residents and glean new insights.

Outcome

Insightrix compiled the results and provided the government with a report outlining people’s thoughts and experiences regarding anti-bullying initiatives and strategies. The report illustrated the following:

  • The online consultation process was well-received by residents, and the dialogue was rich and thoughtful, providing information and views that would not have been gathered with in-person sessions alone.
  • Residents from all over the province participated in the online consultation, giving the government the opportunity to hear from a broad audience.
  • All of the information from the online community was documented, meaning every single comment was available. The government was able to access the community at any time and monitor, read and respond to comments.
  • The community was open for two weeks after the in-person sessions were completed, allowing for ideas generated from the in-person sessions to be tested with the broader online community. These additional consultations increased confidence in the study’s recommendations.

Based on the study results, government representatives were able to inform and assist with the development of the Legislative Secretary’s report and recommendations to the Minister of Education for the development of a provincial anti-bullying strategy.