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Best-of-the-Best Resources

Here is NCDD director Sandy Heierbacher’s list of what she considers the best books, guides and tools out there about dialogue, deliberation and public engagement. This list is kept intentionally short, but feel free to email your suggested additions to sandy@ncdd.org.

Best Tools for Understanding the Field

  • Resource Guide on Public Engagement (NCDD) go
  • Engagement Streams Framework (NCDD) go
  • Public Participation Spectrum (IAP2) go
  • Public Participation Toolbox (IAP2) go
  • People & Participation: How to Put Citizens at the Heart of Decision-making (Involve.org.uk) go
  • Core Principles for Public Engagement (NCDD, IAP2, and the Co-Intelligence Institute) go
  • Goals of Dialogue & Deliberation Graphic (Sandy Heierbacher, based on Martin Carcasson’s work) go
  • See more in the “Big Picture Tools” category

Best How-to Guides and Manuals

  • Fostering Dialogue Across Divides: A Nuts & Bolts Guide from the Public Conversations Project go
  • Organizing Community-Wide Dialogue for Action & Change (Everyday Democracy) go
  • Cafe to Go! A Quick Reference Guide for Putting Conversations to Work (World Cafe) go
  • Let’s Talk America Hosting Manual (basic structure for running a Conversation Cafe) go
  • See many more dialogue guides and manuals, including many issue-specific guides, in the Manuals & Guides category

Best Handy Little Tools for D&D Facilitators

  • Sample Ground Rules for D&D Processes (NCDD compilation) go
  • YouTube Playlists of Dialogue & Deliberation Videos go
  • Group Works Card Deck go
  • What is Deliberation? Quotes from Leaders in the field (NCDD compilation) go
  • What is Dialogue? Quotes from Leaders in the field (NCDD compilation) go
  • Upgrading the Way We Do Politics article & flier (NCDD) go
  • Keypad Technology & Experts (NCDD compilation) go
  • A Ladder of Citizen Participation (Sherry Arnstein) go
  • The Ladder of Inference (Chris Argyris) go
  • Let’s Talk America Wallet Card (basic dialogue principles & rules in a nutshell) go
  • The Little Book of Cool Tools for Hot Topics ($5 book by Ron Kraybill and Evelyn Wright) go

Best How-to Guides for Public Managers and Government Agencies

  • Public Dialogue: A Tool for Citizen Engagement, A Manual for Federal Departments and Agencies (CPRN) go
  • How to Hold a Public Meeting (Archon Fung) go
  • A Practical Guide to Consensus (Policy Consensus Initiative) go
  • People & Participation: How to Put Citizens at the Heart of Decision-making (Involve) go
  • Public Deliberation: A Manager’s Guide to Citizen Engagement (Carolyn Lukensmeyer and Lars Hasselblad Torres) go
  • See more recommended tools and guides in the “Great for Public Managers” category

Best Articles on D&D

  • Making the Case for Public Engagement (Involve.org.uk) go
  • The Promise and Problems of Online Deliberation (Laura Black) go
  • Deliberative Dialogue to Expand Civic Engagement: What Kind of Talk Does Democracy Need? (Martha McCoy & Pat Scully) go
  • Citizens at the Center: A New Approach to Civic Engagement (Cynthia Gibson) go
  • Sustaining Public Engagement: Embedded Deliberation in Local Communities (Archon Fung and Elena Fagotto) go
  • Beginning with the End in Mind: A Call for Goal-Driven Deliberative Practice (Martin Carcasson) go
  • Democracy, Growing Up: The Shifts that Reshaped Local Politics and Foreshadowed the 2008 Presidential Election (Matt Leighninger) go
  • Talking With the Enemy (Public Conversations Project) go
  • Deterring Fake Public Participation (Jim Snider) go

Must-Have Books on Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement

  • Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home (Susan Clark and Woden Teachout) go
  • The Ecology of Democracy: Finding Ways to Have a Stronger Hand in Shaping Our Future (David Mathews) go
  • Democracy in Motion: Evaluating the Practice and Impact of Deliberative Civic Engagement (Tina Nabatchi, John Gastil, Michael Weiksner, and Matt Leighninger, eds) go
  • Bringing Citizen Voices to the Table: A Guide for Public Managers (Carolyn Lukensmeyer) go
  • Toward Wiser Public Judgment (Daniel Yankelovich and Will Friedman) go
  • The Next Form of Democracy (Matt Leighninger) go
  • A Public Peace Process (Hal Saunders) go
  • Community: The Structure of Belonging (Peter Block) go
  • See more in the “Must-Have Books” category

Best Compendiums

  • The Change Handbook (Peggy Holman, Tom Devane and Steve Cady) go
  • Democratic Dialogue: A Handbook for Practitioners (Bettye Pruitt and Philip Thomas/UNDP) go (free download!)
  • The Deliberative Democracy Handbook (John Gastil and Peter Levine) go
  • The Handbook for Working with Difficult Groups (Sandy Schuman) go
  • The Handbook of Large Group Methods (Barbara Bunker and Billie Alban) go
  • Creating a Culture of Collaboration: The International Association of Facilitators Handbook (Sandy Schuman) go

FacilitatorsGuide-coverBest Books for Facilitators

  • Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making (Sam Kaner) go
  • The Skilled Facilitator: A Comprehensive Resource for Consultants, Facilitators, Managers, Trainers, and Coaches, 2nd Edition (Roger Schwarz) go
  • IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation: Best Practices from the Leading Organization in Facilitation (Sandy Schuman) go
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