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Posts with the Tag “consensus building”

Finding Better Ways to Solve Public Problems: The Emerging Role of Universities as Neutral Forums for Collaborative Policymaking

This report describes how universities are establishing centers that serve as forums for using collaborative approaches to address public issues. The report, which is based on a survey of 42 conflict resolution and consensus building programs housed at universities in 35 states, describes one way of filling a key need identified in their research on how collaborative governance can best work. That need: a neutral forum where all sectors can come together to work on solutions to public problems. The survey was conducted in late 2004 by David Kovick. (continue)


This e-participation platform aims to provide an online environment for the conduct of participatory problem solving, consensus building, mediated conflict resolution, and teaching and consulting. One of the first applications of this tool occurred in the city of Esslingen, Germany to involve citizens in discussion about plans for a neighborhood development project. (continue)

Quaker Meeting for Business

Here are two write-ups regarding the spirit (not the process) of consensus used in Quaker Meetings for Business. For Quakers, the insights they get together come not so much from their conversation, as from the higher Wisdom (which they call the Light of Truth) that comes to them in their prayerful, respectful, silence-filled, friendly conversation. (continue)

Building Consensus for a Sustainable Future: Guiding Principles

This guide was developed by Canadian Round Tables to build awareness, understanding and interest in using consensus decision-making processes as a means to achieve a sustainable future. It is not a "how-to" for consensus building but a set of guidelines and key steps to help a consensus process succeed. It reflects the experiences of round tables throughout Canada. (continue)

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)