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Constructive Engagement

Engage with policy makers, practitioners and the public to make changes that further your impact goals


How can we develop effective strategies to achieve our goals through policy change?

Generating positive social impact often requires working outside your own organization with partners, the public and policy leaders. When a key barrier to making change sits beyond your control (e.g., a policy that must be adapted or a behavior that must be altered) community-sector organizations have a variety of tools at their disposal to engage with other stakeholders and influence that shift.

What is Constructive Engagement?

Constructive Engagement helps leaders of community-sector organizations develop effective strategies to understand and work with policy makers, practitioners and the public to make specific changes that will directly improve the outcomes that the organization seeks and advance their mission.

This process often involves defining the barriers and opportunities to advancing the organization’s mission, understanding the priorities, beliefs, and constraints of policy makers and determining potential areas for success. Finally, it includes assessing and deciding among engagement tactics that will meet key objectives.

Constructive Engagement is a tool that can lead to important outcomes through collaborative work. For instance, discussions between disability groups and several governments led to the creation of the Registered Disability Savings Plan, which has provided long-term income security for thousands of people with disabilities.

The Innoweave self-assessment tool is designed to help you determine your organization's readiness and whether your initiative or program model is well suited for Constructive Engagement.


This assessment has 5 questions.

Please respond to each of the questions to the best of your ability by choosing the option that most accurately reflects your organizational context.

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Does your organization have a clear sense of the issue-level outcomes it wishes to achieve?
Have you identified any specific changes to policies or practices that will be critical to you achieving the change you seek?
Do you know who you need to engage to make the policy or practice change that you require?
Do you have an understanding of how relevant ‘decision makers’ view your issue?
What is your organization’s capacity to participate in a focused effort to legitimately influence the actions of policy makers and practitioners?

Info Session

For organizations interested in Innoweave’s Constructive Engagement coaching stream, we encourage you to review our Information Session:

Watch a recording
Download the slides


    No upcoming events.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? We might have more events in French. Or, contact the Innoweave team to discuss hosting a learning event for you and other organizations in your community.


Innoweave offers coaching support to organizations that are well positioned to implement a Constructive Engagement approach. You can connect with an Innoweave coach to help you explore and implement your initiative. Then apply to Innoweave for funds to support that coaching engagement.

Mariam Larson
Sean Moore
Nancy Dubois
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Apply for support

Your organization is eligible to apply for Innoweave coaching support if you have submitted an Expression of Interest and it has been approved.

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These are our most frequently asked questions.

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We need to engage with governments to get better funding for our work. Is Constructive Engagement the right approach?

No, Constructive Engagement is not about fundraising. It focuses on changing policies that can help lead to greater impact.

Our organization is small but we want to engage on big policy issues. How can we use Constructive Engagement?

Coaching in this stream may help you identify how you can get involved in large policy issues, but you may need to consider acting through a broader coalition. Constructive Engagement approaches may be able to help you plan how to do this.

Can Constructive Engagement help us build a grassroots social movement?

Coaching in this stream is not focused on social movements, but rather on the particular tools and approaches of engaging with leaders (in public and private sectors) to work with them to make policy changes.