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Beginner’s Guide

If you are new to dialogue & deliberation, new to the NCDD website, or new to the breadth of dialogue & deliberation (“D&D”) approaches out there, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the following resources.

For Starters…

NCDD’s Resource Guide on Public Engagement

Showcasing NCDD’s best work (like the Core Principles for Public Engagement and the Engagement Streams Framework), NCDD’s October 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement also recognizes a lot of the great work that has been done by others in our field.

Created to supplement our 2010 regional events (all attendees receive a copy of the publication), this resource guide was developed to share stories and resources with the dialogue and deliberation community, public managers, and anyone else with an interest in public engagement.

Download the Resource Guide at www.ncdd.org/files/NCDD2010_Resource_Guide.pdf

NCDD’s Engagement Streams Framework

This valuable resource helps people decide which dialogue and deliberation method(s) are most appropriate for their circumstances and resources. NCDD’s Engagement Streams Framework has been used by numerous D&D practitioners to help public managers, community leaders and others understand their options for public engagement.

Go to ncdd.org/streams to download the framework, a series of two charts that categorize the D&D methods into four streams based on intention or purpose (Exploration, Conflict Transformation, Decision Making, and Collaborative Action), and show which of the most well-known methods have proven themselves effective in which streams.

Upgrading the Way We Do Politics article & flier

This article on on why and how legislators can engage citizens in ways that are more participatory and more productive was written by NCDD director Sandy Heierbacher at the request of Yes! Magazine (and published here on August 21, 2009), during the contentious August 2009 town hall meetings on health care. With the involvement and input of many NCDD members, Sandy also created two abbreviated versions of this article and a one-page ready-to-print flier for public officials, encouraging NCDD members and others to use the resources freely for blog posts and letters to the editor.

Goals of Dialogue & Deliberation

Created by NCDD director Sandy Heierbacher in collaboration with Martin Carcasson, Will Friedman and Alison Kadlec (and based on Carcasson’s paper Beginning With the End in Mind, which we highly recommend), the Goals of Dialogue & Deliberation graphic pictured here outlines 3 types of goals for public problem-solving work. In a nutshell, the three tiers of goals are individual and knowledge-based goals, immediate group/community outcomes, and longer-term capacity building and community change. Click here for more details on this resource.

D&D Models & Techniques

NCDD has gathered and developed detailed (but not overly-long) descriptions of many of the leading models of dialogue and deliberation. Included when possible are details about what circumstances the models are best suited for, information about the organizations and networks affiliated with the model, and resources that are recommended for learning more about the model.

You may have already heard of some of these models – Study Circles, Sustained Dialogue, Wisdom Council, AmericaSpeaks’ 21st Century Town Meeting, Deliberative Polling, Appreciative Inquiry, World Cafe, and so on – and we recommend that you look over what’s posted about the models and techniques that you’re not too familiar with.

“Big Picture” Tools

NCDD has been tracking the resources out there that help people in this rapidly-growing community of practice to get a handle on their options. In the Big Picture Tools category in our Resource Center, you’ll find matrices that outline the D&D field and closely related fields, resources that categorize the field in various ways, and articles that provide helpful overviews of the field or large segments of the field.

Guides to Dialogue and Deliberation

In the Manuals & Guides category in our Resource Center, NCDD provides an annotated, linked listing of guidebooks that help you organize, convene, and facilitate dialogue & deliberation processes. Dialogue guides, issue books, and facilitator/moderator guides are included in this category.

Dialogue & Deliberation Success Stories

D&D practitioners often need documentation that shows that these processes really do make an impact, and success stories are one way to demonstrate to funders, government officials, community leaders and others that this stuff does work! This resource provides dozens of links to dialogue and deliberation Case Studies & Stories that are available online. Approaches covered on the D&D Success Stories page in the Resource Center include Deliberative Polling, Citizens Juries, Future Search, National Issues Forums, Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue, AmericaSpeaks, Study Circles, the Public Conversations Project, and Wisdom Councils.

Trainings & Educational Opportunities

Interested in receiving training in a specific method? Getting your master’s degree in conflict transformation? Or just learning more about dialogue and deliberation in a more structured setting? Look over the listings in our Trainings & Educational Opportunities category in the Resource Center to learn about some of the options that are available to you.

Core Principles for Public Engagement

In spring 2009, dozens of members of the dialogue, deliberation and public engagement community worked together an agreed-upon and widely endorsed set of Core Principles for Public Engagement. Download the 12-page Core Principles document (PDF), which includes details about how the principles were developed, a partial list of endorsing organizations, and expanded text outlining what each of the 7 principles looks like and what practitioners and leaders should avoid. Over 80 organizations have officially endorsed the Core Principles.

“Deliberative Dialogue to Expand Civic Engagement: What Kind of Talk Does Democracy Need?”

This great article by Martha McCoy and Pat Scully distinguishes deliberation from dialogue and discusses the merits of “the marriage of deliberation and dialogue.” Although the article focuses on the Study Circles process, it is a great introduction to public engagement processes and their principles. This is a very readable 19-page article that we highly recommend you take the time to read. Download Deliberative Dialogue to Expand Civic Engagement now.