News at Medicine - July 2012 - CIHR releases Citizen Engagement Casebook

CIHR releases Citizen Engagement Casebook
July 5, 2012

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) recently released its Citizen Engagement in Health Casebook, which draws on examples of citizen engagement in health from across Canada. One of the book’s editors is Dr. Roger Chafe, assistant professor and director of pediatric research in the Faculty of Medicine.


“The book is a great way to showcase a small selection of the various types of public engagement activities occurring across sectors of the health field in Canada,” said Dr. Chafe. “We hope that the examples in the book will encourage other organizations to pursue greater public involvement in health care decisions.”

One of the cases is on Eastern Health’s work with its patient advisory council for cancer care.
”The 14 case studies from across the health sector and different regions of Canada  will not only increase understanding of how to engage citizens but also support a better understanding of the experiences of those undertaking citizen engagement activities,” he said.

Citizen engagement exercises are a key ingredient in integrating public input into health care governance, priority setting and decision making. While there have been some high profile examples of citizen engagement processes, they are still not widespread across Canadian health care organizations. “We hope this new publication, which showcases diverse examples of citizen engagement processes, will be a useful reference for both practitioners and decision-makers,” said Dr. Chafe.

He explained that Canadian health care organizations and their stakeholders would benefit from descriptions of processes where members of the public have shared their values and opinions around important questions and challenges in health care. “Meaningful citizen engagement processes can benefit both the organizations and the citizens involved and contribute to building a stronger civil society.”

An electronic copy of the Casebook is available for download from the CIHR website at