Informed Participation:
Solutions that Work for
Governments and People
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Informed Participation:
Solutions that Work for
Governments and People
Click Here

Who We Are

Middle Ground Policy Research is an expert provider of research and analysis services.  Although we often use conventional methods, we specialize in the innovative use of public engagement processes to help our clients resolve issues, meet needs, and achieve objectives related to:

  • Policy Development
  • Strategic Planning and Analysis
  • Needs Analysis
  • Service Delivery
  • Change Management
  • Stakeholder Relations

Informed Participationour approach to engagement, includes a wide variety of dialogue and deliberation techniques — in-person, virtual, and online — which ensure that our processes not only achieve the clients’ goals but engage the members of their community in ways that these members see as collaborative and respectful.  For us, engagement is all about finding the win-wins.

Silhouette view of business people team in group meeting

Our Approach

When it comes to public policy, people today increasingly expect a meaningful say on the issues that matter to them, whether they are experts with informed views, stakeholders with interests, or citizens with lived experience.  Our approach — Informed Participation — gives the public a meaningful role in the policy process — but there is a price to pay.  In exchange, participants must agree to some “rules of engagement,” such as being open about their views, listening to one another respectfully, adhering to evidence, and agreeing to try to accommodate one another’s views.  This rules-based approach helps ensure that dialogue is disciplined, fair and results oriented.

Informed Participation (our engagement methodology) follows an ordered series of steps, which produce a detailed engagement plan that sets key objectives, frames the issues, identifies the participants, describes the process, and explains the “dialogue strategy” for how we will tackle the issues.  The approach is inclusive, disciplined, and collaborative.

Middle Ground is part of a network of close partners.  Where appropriate, we work together to provide clients with a full suite of in-person, virtual, and online engagement services, from beginning to end, including:

  • Process planning and advice
  • Process design and implementation
  • Project management
  • Facilitation
  • Report writing and analysis
  • Project evaluation
  • Capacity-building, skills training, and knowledge to transfer

Middle Ground Policy Research has been preapproved to contract with the Governments of Canada and Ontario through:

  • The Government of Canada’s ProServices Supply Arrangement (SA) and the Task and Solutions Professional Services (TSPS).  Our approval is in the Business Consulting / Change Management stream and includes the roles of:
    • Business Consultant
    • Change Management
    • Needs Analysis and Research Consultant
    • Facilitator Consultant
    • Strategic Advisor
  • The Government of Ontario’s Vendor of Record Agreement.  Our approval is in the Management Consulting Services stream, and includes the roles of:
    • Strategic Advisor
    • Strategic Public Engagement Advisor

Here's where our approach can help you:

Policy Development, Strategic Planning, Needs Analysis
Service Delivery, Organizational Change, Stakeholder Relations
Thought Leadership
Training, Knowledge Transfer, Capacity Building

Our skills and services include:

Conducting Research and Engagement
Report-Writing and Analysis

The work we've done:

Past Projects
Access Publications
Meet Don Lenihan

Middle Ground's Associates

Middle Ground has working partnerships with other organizations and consulting firms, including:

  • The Institute on Governmance
  • PACE Public Affairs and Community Engagement
  • PubliVate
  • The Open Government Partnership

Our Client List

Over the years, Middle Ground has worked with scores of departments from federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments across the country, and internationally.  While these projects are generally sponsored by one or more government departments, they almost always involve representatives from the private sector, civil society, and/or citizens.  These working relationships are often deeply involved and may extend over many months or even years.  The list of governments that have engaged Middle Ground to design and lead such projects include:

National Governments
  • The Government of Australia
  • The Government of Canada
  • The Government of Trinidad & Tobago
  • The Government of Singapore



Professional Associations
  • Canadian Teachers’  Federation
  • Saskatchewan Teachers’  Federation
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • The Alberta Electric System Operator
Municipal Governments
  • City of Ottawa
  • Regional Municipality of Waterloo
  • City of Hamilton
  • City of Edmonton
  • City of Vancouver
  • Ottawa Police Services Board
Provincial and Territorial Governments
  • British Columbia
  • Ontario
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Alberta
  • Quebec
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Northwest Territories
  • Saskatchewan
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland
  • Yukon
  • Manitoba
Public Sector Organizations
  • The Ottawa Hospital
  • The Bank of Canada
  • Algonquin College

Contact Us