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Forums for the 4th: The NIF network at age 25 (NIF Report)

This 3-page report summarizes some of the themes that Joyce Hanna encountered as she contacted and interviewed a wide variety of people connected with the National Issues Forums (NIF) network of people who convene and/or moderate deliberative forums or workshops around the country. Joyce Hanna, a moderator, convener, trainer and observer of public deliberation, began her involvement with NIF in 1985.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction to the report:

In 2006, in my role to promote, encourage and publicize celebration of NIF’s 25th anniversary under the banner of Forums for the 4th, I contacted as many members of the NIF network as possible. Through the uses of the NIFI website, emails, telephone calls and in person interviews, I gathered information not only on anniversary activities, but on how public deliberation is being carried out in locations throughout the U.S.

In the report, Hanna lists people, locations, and/or summary information related to each of the following eight themes:

  • NIF practitioners continue to increase their outreach capabilities through the use of websites and other technologies.
  • NIF becomes or is on the way to becoming institutionalized.
  • Framing of local issues remains important.
  • Teaching others to carry on the work.
  • Adapting to changing times.
  • NIFI website and online communication are crucial to the network’s ongoing maintenance and growth.  The network is ever increasing its role in using/supporting the website and in online communication.
  • For the third time in its 25 year history, the NIF network has deliberated the issue of governing.
  • Yes, we do have a network; with each entity unique and independent.

More about National Issues Forums and their Reports on the Issues…

The National Issues Forums (NIF) network includes civic, educational, and other organizations, and individuals, whose common interest is to promote public deliberation in America. NIF issue guides introduce participants to several choices or approaches to consider. Rather than conforming to any single public proposal, each choice reflects widely held concerns and principles. Panels of experts review manuscripts to make sure the choices are presented accurately and fairly. Look through all the NIF issue guides and their corresponding moderator guides, DVDs, and other resources at www.nifi.org/issue_books.

Reports are published periodically to communicate the outcomes of forums held across the nation about a particular issue. Making use of participants’ answers to forum questionnaires, reports from moderators, and in-depth studies of selected forums, these reports describe in some detail what happened as people deliberated about the issue at hand. View all NIF Reports on the Issues at www.nifi.org/reports/issues.aspx.

Resource Link:  www.nifi.org/stream_document.aspx?rID=7971&catID=19&itemID=7970&typeID=8 (59 K)

Or download this 3-page summary report directly from the NCDD site here: https://ncdd.org/rc/wp-content/uploads/ForumsForTheFourth.doc

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