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Posts with the Tag “research”

Evaluating Public-Participation Exercises: A Research Agenda

The concept of public participation is one of growing interest in the UK and elsewhere, with a commensurate growth in mechanisms to enable this. The merits of participation, however, are difficult to ascertain, as there are relatively few cases in which the effectiveness of participation exercises have been studied in a structured (as opposed to highly subjective) manner. This seems to stem largely from uncertainty in the research community as to how to conduct evaluations. In this article, one agenda for conducting evaluation research that might lead to the systematic acquisition of knowledge is presented. (continue)

The Virtual Agora Project: A Research Design for Studying Democratic Deliberation

In 2001, the National Science Foundation provided $2.1 million in funding for the Virtual Agora Project, a three-year exploration of the effects of online and face-to-face democratic deliberation. The project sought to shed light on deliberation's effects on individuals, the community, and decision quality as well as how best to use technology to achieve positive outcomes. Of special concern to the project was determining whether deliberation builds better citizens. This paper describes the research design of this project to stimulate future research on deliberation. (continue)

Embedded Deliberation: Entrepreneurs, Organizations, and Public Action

This very meaty 151-page final report to the Hewlett Foundation includes detailed case studies on West Virginia's National Issues Forums, Public Deliberation in South Dakota, Public Deliberation in Hawai'i, and Connecticut's Community Conversations about Education. Elena Fagotto presented a workshop on her research at NCDD's 2006 conference called "Embedded Deliberation: Moving from Deliberation to Action." She decided to share the report with the NCDD community since many of her workshop participants requested it. (continue)

Leave-Us-Alone Democracy

Editorial addressing a study showing that people don't want more political power, and that many would prefer less. The study by John R. Hibbing and Elizabeth A. Theiss-Morse concluded that people want the government's most important decisions to be made by leading experts in the field. (continue)

Taking America’s Pulse III

Taking America's Pulse III (TAP III) was the third major national survey of intergroup relations conducted by The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ). The survey provides insight into intergroup relations in contemporary America and how, if at all, attitudes have changed in recent years. Data from TAP III demonstrates that, as American society grows more complex, intergroup relations are increasingly critical to social well-being and national progress. (continue)

Participatory Budgeting in Brazil: Contestation, Cooperation, and Accountability

In this first rigorous comparative study of participatory budgeting (PB) in Brazil, Brian Wampler (Penn State University Press, 2007) draws evidence from eight municipalities in Brazil to show the varying degrees of success and failure PB has experienced. He identifies why some PB programs have done better than others in achieving the twin goals of ensuring governmental accountability and empowering citizenship rights for the poor residents of these cities in the quest for greater social justice and a well-functioning democracy. (continue)

Taking Democracy to Scale: Large Scale Interventions for Citizens

This article reviews the AmericaSpeaks model for large group interventions followed by an examination of AmericaSpeaks' intent to institutionalize the practice of national discussions on critical policy issues. (continue)

Report to the Deliberative Democracy Consortium: Building a Deliberation Measurement Toolbox

This project was charged with creating a toolbox of measures for evaluating democratic deliberation, a toolbox of use to practitioners and researchers of deliberation. With a couple exceptions, there are few measures of the consequences or quality of deliberation with a proven record of detecting effects or quality. Indeed, some observers have suggested that it is unlikely researchers will be able to detect most effects of deliberation, in part because the effects may be small and require repeated deliberation experiences. In an encouraging sign, this report introduces a set of measures that does detect strong effects of deliberative experiences, even in one-day deliberations with relatively few participants. (continue)

Is There a Place for Private Conversation in Public Dialogue? Comparing Stakeholder Assessments of Informal Communication in Collaborative Regional Planning

This article, which is based on Lee's dissertation research, compares how ideals like inclusion, transparency, and social capital are interpreted very differently in two different collaborative partnerships and explores the long-term challenges this might create for those attempting to develop formal institutions or best practices for dialogue and deliberation in local communities. (continue)

The Deliberative Agency: Opportunities to Deepen Public Participation

Public involvement in the activities of federal agencies is required by numerous Acts of Congress. Recent legislative activity suggests a heightened interest in this area as well. This, together with the increasing use of both face-to-face and online collaborative forums in civil society and the private sector, is increasing pressure upon government agencies to bring the public into decision-making processes. Methods for deliberative citizen engagement emphasize non-adversarial, results-oriented, community-wide decision-making on large issues and are being used with increasing frequency around the world in a range of settings. This emerging field of practice is producing an array of tools and processes that can support the evolution of the deliberative agency. This discussion paper provides a general introduction to this exciting and growing field of democratic activity. (continue)

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