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Big Picture Tools…

Great tools for understanding the broader dialogue and deliberation field.

Approaches to Public Engagement in the U.S.

This chart introduces 10 approaches to deliberative forms of citizen engagement that have evolved in the United States over the last 25 years. The approaches included are 21st Century Town Meeting, Deliberative Poll, Large-Scale Online Dialogue, Citizen Jury, Dynamic Planning Charrette, National Issues Forum, Constructive Conversations, Community-Wide Study Circles, ChoiceWork Dialogue, and online Small Group Dialogue. Includes distinguishing characteristics and notable examples of each method. (continue)

Citizens Building Communities: The ABCs of Public Dialogue

This League of Women Voters booklet is designed to share some of the basic principles involved in public dialogue processes and to acquaint the reader with what is needed to organize various types of gatherings, from small- and large-group interactions to online formats. Included are some basic planning questions as well as resources to help the reader conduct citizen engagement through dialogue at the community level. Citizens Building Communities is designed to help users understand some of the basics and guide them to resources so that they can foster dialogues at the community level. (continue)

Core Principles for Public Engagement

The Public Engagement Principles (PEP) Project was launched in mid-February 2009 to create clarity in our field about what we consider to be the fundamental components of quality public engagement, and to support President Obama's January 21, 2009 memorandum on open government. The following principles were developed collaboratively by members and leaders of NCDD, IAP2 (the International Association of Public Participation), the Co-Intelligence Institute, and many others. (continue)

Deliberative Dialogue to Expand Civic Engagement: What Kind of Talk Does Democracy Need?

Martha McCoy and Pat Scully of Everyday Democracy (formerly the Study Circles Resource Center) wrote this excellent article that distinguishes deliberation from dialogue and discusses the merits of 'the marriage of deliberation and dialogue.' Although the article focuses on the Study Circles process (now called dialogue-to-action), it is a great introduction to public engagement processes and their principles. This is a very readable 19-page article that we highly recommend you read. (continue)

Democratic Dialogue: A Handbook for Practitioners

This 242-page handbook by Bettye Pruitt and Philip Thomas (2007) is a joint effort of CIDA, International IDEA, OAS and UNDP, receiving valuable input from a wider network of organizations (including NCDD). This handbook is the result of a joint initiative to provide decision-makers and practitioners with a practical guide on how to design, facilitate and implement dialogue processes. It combines conceptual and practical knowledge, while providing an overview of relevant tools and experiences. NCDD highly recommends this handbook. (continue)

Goals of Dialogue & Deliberation graphic

Created by NCDD director Sandy Heierbacher in collaboration with Martin Carcasson, Will Friedman and Alison Kadlec (and based on Carcasson's paper Beginning With the End in Mind), the Goals of Dialogue & Deliberation graphic pictured here outlines 3 types of goals for public problem-solving work. In a nutshell, the three tiers of goals are individual and knowledge-based goals, immediate group/community outcomes, and longer-term capacity building and community change. Click on the image to view a larger version of the graphic. (continue)

IAP2 Public Participation Spectrum

This one-page chart shows how various forms of public participation have different levels of public involvement.  It categorizes public participation by the level of public impact on the decision-making process, beginning with informing the public, moving on to consulting with the public (taking feedback and ideas into consideration), then involving the public throughout the decision-making process, followed by collaborating with the public in the development of alternatives and the identification of a perferred solution, and culminating with empowering the public with decision-making power.  The chart lists a few techniques that fall under each category. (continue)

IAP2 Public Participation Toolbox

This 9-page chart introduces nearly 50 "techniques to share information."  The techniques range from websites and newspaper inserts to future search conferences and citizen juries. Includes brief descriptions, as well as bullet points summarizing things to think through, things that can go right, and things that can go wrong. (continue)

Innovative Techniques to Engage the Community

This phenomenal 36-page handout was distributed at Janette Hartz-Karp's workshop ("Breakthrough Initiatives in Governing with the People: The Australian Experience") at the 2004 NCDD Conference in Denver, Colorado. It provides detailed information about a variety of community engagement techniques, including citizens jury, consensus conference, future search, charrette, consensus forum, multi criteria analysis conference, local area forum, people's panel, deliberative poll/survey, televote/telesurvey, and e-democracy. Under each method are details about why, when and how they are used, as well as a useful how-to flowchart. (continue)

Mapping Dialogue: A research project profiling dialogue tools and processes for social change

This research project was commissioned by GTZ as part of their supporting the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) to explore ways in which dialogue can be used to address social challenges in South Africa. During and since South Africa's transition to democracy, Nelson Mandela has exhibited a formidable ability to forgive and suspend judgment, along with an awareness of the importance of listening to all sides. Pioneers of Change was asked in this context to map out a variety of approaches, and to provide an overview, case examples and commentary on each. (continue)

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