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A conference is usually organised by a like-minded group or association to share information, present the latest innovations, and/or to make decisions about or on behalf of the organisation. Conferences can vary from 'shoestring' budget gatherings to large-scale, week-long events that may justify hiring a professional conference organiser. (continue)

Media Release

Project information released to various media outlets are called "media releases." Media releases are seen as being official and reflecting the corporation/group/agencies' position or the outcome of a project. They can also be used to raise awareness and generate publicity. (continue)

Search Conference

A search conference is a large-group task-oriented 'conversation' (Emery & Purser 1996). Search conferences emphasize face-to-face interaction among stakeholders to create a new community. The process of meeting and discussion engenders new ideas. The venue and seating plan of the conference are designed to engender conversation and good relationship building. (continue)

Consensus Conference

Consensus Conferences, developed in Denmark, are used in a variety of settings and typically involve a group of citizens with varied backgrounds who meet to discuss issues of a scientific or technical nature. The conference has two stages: the first involves small group meetings with experts to discuss the issues and work towards consensus. The second stage assembles experts, media and the public where the conferences main observations and conclusions are presented. (continue)

Multi Objective Decision Support System

Multi-Objective Decision Support Systems (MODSS) technology allows programs to be developed that focus on management effects in environmental issues. This technology is part of the science of environmental management, which recognizes that natural and social systems are dynamic, interlinked and unpredictable, and need complex systems that allow flexible responses. (continue)

Shop Front

Shop fronts (or site offices) are attempts to improve participation in programs by bringing a participatory venue into a heavily used public area, such as a main street or shopping centre. They are designed to allow people to drop in at their convenience and therefore display materials are usually provided along with project staff to answer questions. (continue)

Deliberative Opinion Poll

Deliberative Opinion Polls (DOPs) measure informed opinion on an issue. They differ from ordinary opinion polls in that participants are informed via briefing notes and access to experts (these may include politicians) and have time to consider the issue in detail, whereas participants in ordinary opinion polls do not have the opportunity to learn about the issue (and so may know little about it), and have no opportunity to deliberate on it, alone or with others. (continue)

Newspaper Insert

An insert is a fact sheet that can be disseminated via a local newspaper. Inserts achieve high-level publicity for a project and normally are used at the commencement of a project. They create interest, describe the issue being considered and outline opportunities for public involvement in the participation process. (continue)

Sketch Interview

A sketch interview is a visualization technique applicable to planning, design and problem solving. This tool provides for the visual articulation of ideas facilitated through drawings and sketches. (continue)

Delphi Study

The Delphi group approach is a technique for gathering data that is similar to focus groups. Its value is that unlike focus groups, Delphi groups do not have to physically meet. The Delphi technique is a method of generating ideas and facilitating consensus among individuals who have special knowledge to share, but who are not always in contact with each other. Delphi study carefully selects individuals who have knowledge necessary to analyze a specific problem. (continue)