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Reports & Articles…

Reports and articles on dialogue, deliberation, public engagement and conflict resolution.

Effects of the Internet on Participation

The 38-page study, Effects of the Internet on Participation: Study of a Public Policy Referendum in Brazil, by Paolo Spada, Jonathan Mellon, Tiago Peixoto and Fredrik M. Sjoberg, was published February 2015. It explores how online voting increases voter participation during an annual participatory budgeting vote in Brazil and what factors were influential for citizen engagement. You can download the paper here. From the Abstract Does online voting mobilize citizens who otherwise would not participate? During the annual participatory budgeting vote in the southern state of Rio […] (continue)

Strategies to Take Action and Build Trust Between the Community and Police

Strategies to Take Action and Build Trust Between the Community and Police (2014), from Everyday Democracy puts forth four strategies for positive community change from 25 years of experience with community-police relation dialogues. From Everyday Democracy 1. Join with other who want to create change on this issue. Community change happens when we all work together.  Join others already working toward change on this issue, or start a new group to organize community dialogue and action on community-police relations. Check out stories from South Bronx, N.Y.,Stratford, […] (continue)

Participatory Practices in Organizations

This 17-page review article, Participatory Practices in Organizations by Caroline Lee was published 2015 in Sociology Compass, an online journal aimed at reviewing state-of-the-art research for a broad audience of undergraduates, researchers, and those who want to stay posted on developments in particular fields. The piece is a relatively quick overview and digest of a range of historic and current research on participation (not just deliberation, but much that is relevant to it) in a variety of different types of organizations. It might be useful for […] (continue)

Ripple Effect Mapping: A “Radiant” Way to Capture Program Impacts

A group of leaders in college extension programs created a participatory group process designed to document the results of Extension educational efforts within complex, real-life settings. The method, known as Ripple Effect Mapping, uses elements of Appreciative Inquiry, mind mapping, and qualitative data analysis to engage program participants and other community stakeholders to reflect upon and visually map the intended and unintended changes produced by Extension programming. The result is not only a powerful technique to document impacts, but a way to engage and re-energize […] (continue)

Working Effectively with Public Engagement Consultants: Tips for Local Officials (ILG Report)

In planning and implementing public engagement activities, local officials often contract with external consultants for services. These may be consultants who design and lead activities devoted solely to public engagement, such as a series of community conversations contributing to the development of a local agency budget. Or they may be consultants who carry out tasks well beyond public engagement alone, such as assisting in the overall development of a general plan update. This tip sheet from the Institute For Local Government offers several recommendations to […] (continue)

Testing the Waters: California’s Local Officials Experiment with New Ways to Engage the Public (ILG Report)

This report—the first of two—presents the perspective of California’s public officials. It concludes with practical recommendations emerging from this study and its companion study on civic leaders’ perspectives for how to encourage productive relationships between local officials and the public and expand opportunities for broad sections of the public to meaningfully participate in local decision making. (continue)

Legal Issues Associated With Social Media (ILG Report)

What legal issues do public agencies face relating to their use of social media?  This paper chronicles a number of them. It also offers “dos and don’ts” advice for reaping the benefits of social media while minimizing the pitfalls.  A version of this paper was delivered to the May 2010 City Attorneys Spring Conference. (continue)

Workshop Findings – Bringing Citizen Voices to the Table: Infrastructure Needs in a Democracy

This report describes the findings of the May 22, 2014 workshop “Bringing Citizen Voices to the Table: Infrastructure Needs in a Democracy,” hosted by Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue in partnership with SFU Public Square. The featured speaker was Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, founder of AmericaSpeaks, and one of the foremost citizen engagement practitioners in North America. The report summarizes participant evaluations of the citizen engagement infrastructure in British Columbia, Canada, as well as participants’ […] (continue)

Playing for the Public Good: The Arts in Planning and Government

Arts and culture play a crucial role in increasing, diversifying, and sustaining public participation, navigating contentious issues, and fostering productive public dialogue and decision making. In 2013, Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts, published Playing for the Public Good: The Arts in Planning and Government — a trend paper that highlights a wide range of arts and culture-based projects or programs that broaden participation and deepen meaning beyond typical planning processes and/or governmental systems and structures. When governmental and civic entities employ the arts to engage people in public processes, […] (continue)

Community Rhythms: Five Stages of Community Life

Communities have rhythms to them that we must come to understand so that our approaches, programs and initiatives — and the building of public capital — work with those rhythms, take advantage of them, even accelerate them. This 1999 report from the Harwood Institute describes five stages of community life: The Waiting Place, Impasse, Catalytic, Growth, and Sustain and Renew. According to the Harwood Institute, while a community can accelerate its movement through the Stages of Community Life, it cannot violate, or simply pass over, […] (continue)

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