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Posts with the Tag “consensus building”

Can America’s Democracy Be Improved?

Ideally, the democratic process ought to "direct the exercise of political rights toward the satisfaction of interests" and operate in ways that involve and educate all relevant stakeholders . The current structure and practice of representative democracy in the United States fall short of this ideal in several ways. First, too few people are involved in a meaningful way in most decisions that affect them and their communities, and there is too much dependence on electing representatives to speak on behalf of those whom they serve. Second, there is an over-reliance on majority rule, and a lack of emphasis on forging political consensus. This means that the concerns of certain "minorities" are constantly ignored. Very little effort has been made to increase the capacity of people who disagree or come from disparate schools of thought to interact in ways that encourage deeper understanding or reconciliation of differences. (continue)

A Practical Guide to Consensus

This 75-page step-by-step handbook walks readers through the stages of sponsoring, organizing, and participating in a public policy consensus process. Designed primarily for government agencies or departments, the guide also is useful for any other sponsor of - or participant in - a consensus building process. (continue)

Trainer’s Manual: Getting The Most Out Of Consensus Processes

This Trainer's Manual, designed as a "workshop for public officials," provides essential information for any individual, agency or organization that participates in a collaborative process. The workshop is presented in eight modules, each covering an aspect of what has been found to be the "best practices" in participating in a collaborative or consensus building process. It is based on the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR) Report, "Best Practices for Government Agencies: Guidelines for Using Agreement-Seeking Processes." (continue)

Too Much Sun? Emerging Challenges Presented by California & Federal Open Meeting Legislation to Public Policy Consensus-Building Processes

Public policy consensus-building processes, which have been heralded as forums for genuine citizen involvement in government decision making, are increasingly subject to state and federal open meeting laws. While both open meeting laws and consensus-building processes were developed with the laudable intent of enhancing the legitimacy of government, it has been alleged that open meeting laws pose significant challenges for consensus building bodies. (continue)

Decision Aiding, Not Dispute Resolution: Creating Insights Through Structured Environmental Decisions

Public participation in environmental decisions has become commonplace. A favored model for public input is to use the tools of dispute resolution to seek consensus among members of a multi-party stakeholder group. The authors believe that a focus on dispute resolution and consensus building can pose impediments to the creation of insights for decision makers and lead to the adoption of inferior policy choices. (continue)

International Institute for Facilitation and Consensus

The International Institute for Facilitation and Consensus is a professional team of facilitators, trainers and consultants who specialize in participatory processes. We work with change-oriented groups in both the public and private sector, as well as with national and international networks. Headquartered in Mexico, IIFAC relies on a group of skilled colleagues around the world to provide customized services designed to meet our clients' training and facilitation needs. IIFAC's monthly electronic publication, Bonfire, is designed to inform and inspire facilitators. (continue)

Consensus Building Institute, Inc.

CBI is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based organization committed to refining the art and science of consensus building. Consensus building involves informal, face-to-face interaction among representatives of stakeholding groups. It aims for 'mutual gain' solutions, rather than win-lose or lowest common denominator outcomes. (continue)

National Roster of Environmental Dispute Resolution and Consensus Building Professionals

This roster was developed by the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution from a desire to improve access to qualified professionals for all who are sponsoring or engaging in ECR processes. Roster members are all impartial third-party practitioners (e.g., professional facilitators and mediators) experienced with environmental, natural resource and public lands issues, including matters related to energy, transportation and land use. (continue)


Home of the Policy Consensus Initiative and the National Policy Consensus Center. The Policy Consensus Initiative is a national nonprofit organization that works with states to promote collaboration to achieve more effective governance. The National Policy Consensus Center provides assistance to state leaders in addressing difficult policy issues using consensus-based governing models. (continue)

U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution

The U.S. Institute provides a neutral place inside the federal government, but independent of other agencies, where public and private interests can reach common ground through the use of non-adversarial, interest-based negotiation. The U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution was created by Congress to assist parties in resolving environmental, natural resource, and public lands conflicts. The U.S. Institute is a program of the Morris K. Udall Foundation, an independent federal agency. (continue)