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Giving Consumers a Say in Policy Development: Influencing Policy or Just Being Heard?


  • Jane Aronson


This paper focuses on the trend to involve consumers in public policy-making and implementation. The development of long-term care policies for elderly people in Ontario is examined as an illustrative case to explore the purposes and accomplishments of such initiatives. Building upon analysis of policy documents, observation of a community consultation process and debates in the literature on consumer participation and on the politics of needs interpretation, it is suggested that government-initiated participatory strategies elicit only particular kinds of information from consumers and do not live up to their democratizing promise.

Suggested Citation

  • Jane Aronson, 1993. "Giving Consumers a Say in Policy Development: Influencing Policy or Just Being Heard?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 19(4), pages 367-378, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:19:y:1993:i:4:p:367-378

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert G. Evans, 1987. "Hang Together, or Hang Separately: The Viability of a Universal Health Care System in an Aging Society," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 13(2), pages 165-180, June.
    2. C Charles & S DeMaio, 1992. "Lay Participation in Health Care Decision Making: A Conceptual Framework," Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis Working Paper Series 1992-16, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA), McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1979:69:8:809-812_9 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Abelson, Julia & Giacomini, Mita & Lehoux, Pascale & Gauvin, Francois-Pierre, 2007. "Bringing `the public' into health technology assessment and coverage policy decisions: From principles to practice," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 37-50, June.
    2. Pivik, Jayne & Rode, Elisabeth & Ward, Christopher, 2004. "A consumer involvement model for health technology assessment in Canada," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 253-268, August.

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