This 2013 report from the IBM Center for The Business of Government is based on five case studies of e-rulemaking experiments to better engage the public, and offers advice on how agencies can increase the quantity and quality of public participation. By authors Cynthia R.Farina and Mary J.Newhart with CeRI (the Cornell eRulemaking Initiative). From Center Executive Director Dan Chenok’s announcement: This report provides important insights in how governments can improve the rulemaking process by taking full advantage of Rulemaking 2.0 technology, building on the progress made […] (continue)
Reports & Articles…
Reports and articles on dialogue, deliberation, public engagement and conflict resolution.
The U.K.-based Democratic Society produced a white paper in association with Public-i Ltd., on how democratic engagement can help local government save money in a time of cuts. Executive summary: This is a time of fiscal pressure and service cuts. Councils are restructuring services and looking to cut back on non-essential areas of spending. Is democratic engagement one of those areas? Aside from the moral argument for democratic engagement, there is evidence that investment in strong democratic participation is important if reformed local government approaches are […] (continue)
This June 2013 thought piece from Sciencewise-ERC explores the opportunities and challenges of engaging online. The report represents a systematic attempt by Sciencewise to bring together two trends in public policy decision making: digitalization and open government, with a focus on how public dialogue efforts can harness the full potential of online and digital technologies. (continue)
The “Building a Culture of Participation” report describes workshop outcomes and participant ideas to empower citizens of Vancouver, British Columbia in official city decision-making. This May 2013 workshop brought together City of Vancouver employees, members of Vancouver’s Engaged City Task Force and community members and was jointly presented by Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, SFU Public Square and the City of Vancouver. Feature guest and community organizer Dave Meslin presented examples of active citizen engagement from his projects in the Greater Toronto Area. Meslin […] (continue)
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)
This 46-page report from the CommunityMatters partner organizations shares resources and highlights from sessions run by each of the partners (including NCDD) in February 2013 for a day-long workshop for local leaders in Newport, Vermont. The workshop focused on tools and techniques to encourage broad citizen participation, improve local decision-making, and to help Newport leaders work together to build civic infrastructure in their rapidly developing town. (continue)
What is the state of public participation in local government decision making in California? Two 2013 Public Agenda reports present the shared — and divergent — perspectives of public officials and the leaders of civic organizations on the issue. The research indicates: Public meetings often do not meet the needs of residents or local officials. Large segments of the public are often missing from the decision-making process — especially low-income populations, immigrants and young people. Local officials and civic leaders in California share concern for a […] (continue)
This report to the Kettering Foundation focuses on civil society and “the need for a stronger associational life for citizens.” John McKnight, professor emeritus and co-director of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University and author of the report, ”distinguishes associations from not-for-profit corporations, though they are often combined as the third leg of a “three-legged stool,” the other legs being business and government. He points out their differences: not-for-profit corporations are usually formal and hierarchical, whereas associations tend to be informal and horizontal; not-for-profits use the […] (continue)
This April 2013 paper Rachel Burstein of the New America Foundation it subtitled “Understanding local government innovation and how it spreads.” The term “innovation” is often applied to products emerging from the private sector. When innovation is discussed in the context of government, commentators generally concentrate on achievements at the federal level. The popular press rarely devotes attention to innovation in local government, or examines innovation as a process, rather than an output. Yet cities and counties have the capacity to engage and impact wide […] (continue)
The Armory as Argument: Cultural Communication Practices and the (Dangerous) Prospects for Civil Discourse about Gun Violence in the U.S.
This 10-page essay by Stephen D. Konieczka, Ph.D, Educator and researcher at the University of Colorado, was written for the University of AZ’s National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD). After the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, NICD called for essays to address the challenges of conducting constructive conversations about gun violence in the U.S. As part of their mission, NICD seeks to promote civil discourse on issues of public interest and does not take a policy position on gun violence or gun control but is committed to encouraging […] (continue)