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Manuals & Guides…

Discussion guides and how-to manuals related to dialogue, deliberation, public engagement and conflict resolution.

Working Together to Remove Racial and Ethnic Barriers to Student Achievement (Facilitators Discussion Guide)

The 44-page guide, Working Together to Remove Racial and Ethnic Barriers for Student Achievement (Facilitator Discussion Guide) by Everyday Democracy, was published January 2009. The facilitators guide discusses the Montgomery Country Public Schools (MCPS) Study Circles Program and provides minute-by-minute details for how to facilitate this six session Dialogue-to-Change program. This Study Circles Program was created to remove the racial and ethnic barriers to student achievement and parent involvement within the Montgomery Country Public School system. The objectives of this program were to build a unified group of diverse parents, […] (continue)

Intersector Toolkit: Tools for Cross-Sector Collaboration

This 31-page Toolkit (2015) is the cornerstone of The Intersector Project’s work. It provides practical knowledge for practitioners in every sector to implement their own intersector initiatives. At The Intersector Project, we think of a toolkit as a resource that provides actionable guidance on how to solve a problem. Toolkits can be broad or narrow in focus, providing general guidance or sector-, industry-, or issue- specific guidance. In a cross-sector context, toolkits assist practitioners in navigating the differences in languages, cultures, and work practices that […] (continue)

Community Heart & Soul Field Guide

The Community Heart & Soul™ Field Guide (2014) is the Orton Family Foundation’s guide to its tested and proven method of community planning and development. This step-by-step, four-phase method is designed to increase participation in local decision-making and empower residents of small towns and rural communities to shape the future of their communities in a way that upholds the unique character of each place. Community Heart & Soul is based on wide and broad participation from as many residents as possible. Whether the focus is on comprehensive […] (continue)

A Practical Guide to Collaborative Governance

This 62-page step-by-step handbook from the Policy Consensus Institute walks readers through the stages of sponsoring,convening, organizing, and participating in a public policy collaborative process. Designed primarily for elected and appointed government officials and civic leaders, the guide also is useful for those who provide leaders with the staff assistance, facilitation services, and support they need to employ these approaches effectively. The Practical Guide was developed and written by Chris Carlson, founding director of PCI and a leading authority on consensus building in the public […] (continue)

Making Public Participation Legal

Most of the laws that govern public participation in the U.S. are over thirty years old. They do not match the expectations and capacities of citizens today, they pre-date the Internet, and they do not reflect the lessons learned in the last two decades about how citizens and governments can work together. Increasingly, public administrators and public engagement practitioners are hindered by the fact that it's unclear if many of the best practices in participation are even allowed by the law. Making Public Participation Legal, […] (continue)

Mental Illness in America: How Can We Address a Growing Problem? (NIF Issue Advisory)

In October 2013, National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) released an Issue Advisory that contains materials that can be used in deliberating over the issue of the impact of mental illness in America. This “issue advisory” is not a full NIF issue guide, but a basic outline of the options, entitled Mental Illness in America: How Do We Address a Growing Problem? It can be downloaded here. From the introduction… Many Americans share a sense that something is wrong with how we address mental health and mental […] (continue)

Political Fix: How Do We Get American Politics Back on Track? (NIF Issue Guide)

One of the National Issues Forums Institute’s issue guides, Political Fix: How Do We Get American Politics Back on Track? outlines this critical public issue and several choices or approaches to addressing the issue. National Issues Forums do not advocate a specific solution or point of view, but provide citizens the opportunity to consider a broad range of choices, weigh the pros and cons of those options, and meet with each other in a public dialogue to identify the concerns they hold in common. From the […] (continue)

Gather: The Art and Science of Effective Convening

Over the last century, The Rockefeller Foundation has seen the incredible power of convening to create shared dialogue, to debate pathways to impact and to catalyze groundbreaking ideas and history making sectors. Learning from this past, the Foundation and our partners at Monitor Institute saw a critical and unmet need to document the skills, training, and competencies that go into a successful convening.  They present the result of two years of work with the 2013 publication of Gather: The Art and Science of Effective Convening - a unique guidebook for convening […] (continue)

Reaching Out Across the Red Blue Divide

Many people are reluctant to discuss politics across party lines.  This 4-page guide entitled Reaching Out Across the Red Blue Divide, One Person at a Time (available for download in PDF format) by PCP Associate and NCDD member Maggie Herzig is a step-by-step approach to inviting one other person—someone whose perspectives differ from your own—into a conversation, focusing on developing a better understanding of each other’s perspectives.  Here's an excerpt from the guide... Why bother to reach across the divide? Many people have at least one […] (continue)

Early Childhood Dialogue to Action Initiative

The first three years of a child’s life are a time of great opportunity, as well as risk. We can tip the scales in favor of healthy development by providing early experiences and relationships that help babies and toddlers thrive. Our failure to do so can lead to long-lasting harm to our children, communities, and economy. In order to consider ways to ensure a good start for all West Virginia’s children, the Early Childhood Advisory Council of West Virginia joined with the West Virginia Center […] (continue)

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