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Manuals & Guides…

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

Transforming Historical Harms

The 96-page manual, Transforming Historical Harms by David Anderson Hooker and Amy Potter Czajkowski, was uploaded October 2013 on Coming to the Table‘s site. The manual gives a holistic framework to address historical injustices, in a way that engages all participants, and identifies the aftermath and legacies of [generational] trauma. This manual was developed by Coming to the Table and has been a collective effort of Eastern Mennonite University’s (EMU) Center for Justice & Peacebuilding (CJP) and their Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) program. From the […] (continue)

Deliberative Publicity

Deliberative Publicity by Chris Karpowitz and Chad Raphael, was published on the Deliberative Democracy Consortium blog in April 2015. The article talks about the evolving role of publicity around deliberative forums, and how deliberative publicity has the power to amplify the public’s voice and create meaningful connections to the larger political structure. Karpowitz and Raphael analyzed a wide variety of deliberative forum practices, and found that many had opportunities for improvement when publicizing a forum around transparency and accurately sharing participant’s viewpoints. They recognized the growing […] (continue)

Reaching Out Across the Red-Blue Divide, One Person at a Time

The four-page conversation guide, Reaching Out Across the Red-Blue Divide, One Person at a Time (2009), was written by Maggie Herzig from Public Conversations Project. This useful guide provides a framework for navigating highly polarized conversations and includes several starter questions to help keep the dialogue open. Read the intro to the guide below and download the PDF, as well as, find the original guide on PCP’s blog here. From the guide… What this guide offers This guide offers a step-by-step approach to inviting one other person—someone whose […] (continue)

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)

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