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Wicked Problems and Public Policy
 555 K

Evaluating Deliberative Processes        
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Annotated Bibliography: Deliberative Processes
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Deliberations about Deliberative Methods: Issues in the design and evaluation of public participation processes. Abelson, J., et al. (2003).  Social Science and Medicine, 57(2): 239-251. Available on the site of the Canadian Policy Research Networks.

L'impératif délibératif. Sintomer, Y. & Blondiaux, L. (2002).  Politix – Revue des sciences sociales du politique, 15(57): 17-35. (On the site of Persee. In French only.)

Citizen Engagement in Health Casebook. On the site of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Canadian Policy Research Networks

Institut du Nouveau Monde (In French only)

Val Morrison



Wicked Problems and Public Policy
This fact sheet defines the essential features of wicked problems and discusses how they might be addressed.
Published in June 2013. DescriptionDownload  555 K

Wicked problems are particularly complex, persistent and hard-to-resolve. They are commonly encountered in public policy work, and notably within the public health sector. Wicked problems defy the usual linear approaches and are not amenable to straightforward solutions. One of the reasons they are particularly difficult to resolve is because they are usually intertwined with other complex issues. Health inequalities, for example, may be tied to a multitude of issues such as poverty, education, race/ethnicity or gender.

This fact sheet defines the essential features of wicked problems, differentiates them from other kinds of problem, and discusses how they might be addressed.


Wicked problems and public policy
5 pages
 555 K


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The production of the NCCHPP website has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada.