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Posts with the Tag “highly recommended”

Healing the Heart of Democracy

In Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit, Parker J. Palmer quickens our instinct to seek the common good, proposing practical ways to bridge our political divides. In this personal as well as political book, Palmer explores five “habits of the heart” that can be developed in everyday settings like families, neighborhoods, classrooms, congregations and workplaces to help restore a government “of the people, by the people, for the people”: An understanding that we are all […] (continue)

Community Heart & Soul Field Guide

The Community Heart & Soul™ Field Guide (2014) is the Orton Family Foundation’s guide to its tested and proven method of community planning and development. This step-by-step, four-phase method is designed to increase participation in local decision-making and empower residents of small towns and rural communities to shape the future of their communities in a way that upholds the unique character of each place. Community Heart & Soul is based on wide and broad participation from as many residents as possible. Whether the focus is on comprehensive […] (continue)

Everyone Counts: Could Participatory Budgeting Change Democracy?

Written by Josh Lerner, Executive Director of the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP), Everyone Counts was commissioned by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State to celebrate the Participatory Budgeting Project winning the inaugural Brown Democracy Medal in April 2014. According to John Gastil, Director of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy, “The Participatory Budgeting Project exemplifies the essential features the award committee was looking for in its inaugural recipient. Political and economic inequality is part of the American national discussion, and participatory budgeting helps empower marginalized groups that […] (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)

A Practical Guide to Collaborative Governance

This 62-page step-by-step handbook from the Policy Consensus Institute walks readers through the stages of sponsoring,convening, organizing, and participating in a public policy collaborative process. Designed primarily for elected and appointed government officials and civic leaders, the guide also is useful for those who provide leaders with the staff assistance, facilitation services, and support they need to employ these approaches effectively. The Practical Guide was developed and written by Chris Carlson, founding director of PCI and a leading authority on consensus building in the public […] (continue)

Codigital

Codigital’s cloud-based tool is used by facilitators and conference organizers to engage communities and stakeholders in a simple, participant-driven process that generates ideas, insight, consensus and solutions to the issue under discussion. The tool is used in live face-to-face situations and also in 1-2 week online projects such as gaining input from attendees when planning a conference. Codigital’s tool incorporates features that (i) enable people to cross-fertilize their ideas so as to benefit from the different perspectives of the group’s members, (ii) avoid individual bias, […] (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)

Making Public Participation Legal

Most of the laws that govern public participation in the U.S. are over thirty years old. They do not match the expectations and capacities of citizens today, they pre-date the Internet, and they do not reflect the lessons learned in the last two decades about how citizens and governments can work together. Increasingly, public administrators and public engagement practitioners are hindered by the fact that it’s unclear if many of the best practices in participation are even allowed by the law. Making Public Participation Legal, […] (continue)

Challenges to Democracy Public Dialogue Series and Blog

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government advances excellence and innovation in governance and public policy through research, education, and public discussion. One of its three major programs is the Program on Democratic Governance, which researches those practices that resolve urgent social problems in developed and developing societies. In honor of its 10th anniversary, the Ash Center launched a public dialogue series named Challenges to Democracy. Through a series of events with scholars, policymakers, journalists, and artists, the […] (continue)

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