Related Resources for Techniques
This list of mainly international resources further explores the wide range of participation techniques.
Using Online Tools to Engage - and be engaged by - The Public
Choosing a technique
This publication is part of a wider ‘Local Government Community Engagement Project’ - a joint initiative of the Local Government association of South Australia (LGA) and the SA Government through the Office for State/Local Government Relations. It follows on from an earlier 'Community Engagement Showcase' publication and is a process orientated 'how to' guide. Local Government Association of South Australia (2008).
See the 'Consultation Related Resources' section of this website for guidance on planning, and the different consultation methods to use if you have already determined that consultation is the type of participation you seek for your project (or someone else/circumstances have determined this for you).
This series of three booklets on effective engagement includes a planning workbook and an engagement toolkit. It is intended as a resource for facilitators of projects involving community and other stakeholders. It aims for better project outcomes, improved community relationships and better understanding of community issues. State of Victoria, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne, Australia, 2005.
This guide brings together introductory information on a range of traditional and innovative techniques. It is intended as a guide for public officials at all levels, and for other practitioners who want assistance in choosing the most appropriate community engagement process. It is part of a suite of resources produced by the Strategic Policy Directorate, Department of Communities in collaboration with other agencies. Department of Communities, Queensland Government, Australia, 2005.
This website provides resources for community groups who want to take environmental action in their area but the tools and suggestions could be applied to any area. It includes games to show what is already being achieved and an evaluation tool for measuring future progress. The lead agency is the Community Development Foundation, which is a non-departmental public body and a registered charity supported by Communities and Local Government (CLG) United Kingdom.
This book discusses tools and techniques to help with group decision-making. It starts off with a discussion of the group dynamics of decision-making and discusses the values of participation. A further 15 chapters address topics ranging from designing realistic agendas and chart-writing techniques to dealing with difficult dynamics. S Kaner, L Lind, C Toldi, S Fisk and D Burger. Jossey-Bass, California, United States of America, 2007.
This reference tool for workshop participants has a step-by-step guide to the issue-framing process, along with examples. The Kettering Foundation, United States of America, 2002.
The International Association for Public Participation has developed a toolbox design to help agencies share information.
This article discusses social collaboration and how to develop social capital within an organisation. It includes diagrams for formulating and understanding social connectedness, and how to preserve social connectedness when implementing change. It is an excellent resource for understanding the concepts involved in building social capital and social connectedness. D Sandow and A Allen, Reflections: The Sol Journal (Vol 6: 2-3). Society for Organizational Learning, 2005.
The guide documents various successfully used techniques and the required actions and resources for each method. It includes case studies and covers the traditional types of citizen participation, as well as those that encourage minority groups to participate, such as migrants or disabled people. New Economics Foundation, United Kingdom, 1999.
The website is maintained by a Natural Resource Management and Participation Specialist. It focuses on participatory approaches to planning and development, adoption of sustainable production systems and collaborative natural resource management.
The 2nd edition of this guide written by practitioners for practitioners is designed to facilitate practical knowledge sharing. It is a hands-on toolkit for starting up and managing participatory projects. For each method, there is a description of when to use, the different steps, best practices and budget - accompanied by different hints and tips. A chapter with general guidelines for using participatory methods includes a comparative chart of the discussed methods and the brief overview of 50 methods and techniques. Authors: Janice Elliott (Public Policy Forum, Canada); Sara Heesterbeek (Rathenau Institute, The Netherlands); Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer (Global Voices, USA); Nikki Slocum (United Nations University - Comparative Regional Integration Studies) in collaboration with the King Baudouin Foundation and the Flemish Institute for Science and Technology (viWTA), Brussells, Belgium, 2005.
People and Participation online is an interactive tool designed to help those seeking to engage with the public. The Process Planner can help to select participatory methods based on specific circumstances (such as budget, time available, targert audience, etc). The associated website provides a comprehensive methods database, covering traditional and innovative approaches to public participation from around the world and has a selection of case studies. United Kingdom.
This book considers the role of citizens working with politicians to bring about change. It analyses the five stages of Sustained Dialogue and suggests reasons for engaging with citizens as a way of over-coming complex social problems. H Saunders, Palgrave MacMillan, New York, USA, 2005.
The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) is an active network and community of practice centred around conflict resolution and public engagement practices. The NCDD compiled this guide as a companion to a 2010 series of events designed to connect practitioners, public managers and community leaders to build local capacity in quality public engagement. Showcasing NCDD's best work (like the Core Principles for Public Engagement and the Engagement Streams Framework), the guide also recognises a lot of the great work done by others in this field. The guide shares stories and resources with the dialogue and deliberation community, public managers, and anyone else with an interest in public engagement. USA, 2010.
This publication covers initial considerations for community involvement, scoping the project, preparing the community participation plan, and implementation. It also includes techniques and tools to help ensure consultation processes are clear, fair and ultimately rewarding for all those involved - suggesting methods for on-going evaluation. Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Government of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, 2006.
This on-line resource is intended to for anyone who has decided to use participatory processes and wants some ideas on how to achieve this. It includes examples of participatory approaches, and has an appendix of various tools and methods that can be used in any community. It also has a section devoted to enablement of the poor in the participatory process. The Word Bank.
This is a training resource for facilitators that can also be used to enable group members to understand facilitation and take on this role themselves. Authors Hunter, D, Bailey, A, and Taylor, B (1994). Auckland: Tandem Press.
This book offers guidance on choosing the best approach to planning learning/training programmes and activities, and developing appropriate systems for assessing the results of those programmes and activities. Authors Davis, J R, and Davis, A B (1998). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.
Presents an eight-step method for resolving differences of opinion and achieving enduring resolution. This is the model used by the Conflict Partnership Facilitation Service of Aotearoa. Weeks, D (1992). New York: Putnam Publishing Group.
This site is sponsored by the Centre for Policy Research at the University at Albany and the International Association of Facilitators. It contains a wide range of resources on the practice and theory of group facilitation.
This book focuses on how to develop principled relationships. Authors Fisher, R, and Brown, S (1988). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
An old book which still offers sound principles for developing good relationships. Authors Fisher, R, Ury, W, and Patton, B (1991). USA: Penguin.
This is a guide to the process of formal meetings, ways of running less formal meetings and tips for making meetings work well. Mountjoy, L (1998). Wellington: GP Publications.
In a text written for early childhood centres, Metge and Kinloch examine verbal and non-verbal communication, the use of eye contact, interpreting and reacting to silence, decision-making and time management in cross-cultural contexts. Metge, J, and Kinloch, P (1999). Wellington: Victoria University Press.
This short booklet from Bang the Table covers ten big issues: why engage online, planning to engage online, creating rich and engaging content, promoting your online consultation, consultation accessibility, anonymity in online forums, moderating online forums, facilitating online forums, qualitative and quantitative reporting, and following up with your community. Bang the Table, Australia, 2010
A starting place for government agencies considering the implications that short message services (SMS) may have on their core business. It offers case studies of agencies already using SMS, and lists some of the lessons learnt. It is not intended to be a definite guide, nor as hard and fast laws. It is hoped that agencies will add case studies as more projects are completed. State Services Commission, New Zealand, 2009.
This document discusses some issues raised in the on-going debate regarding e-democracy and has an emphasis on the deliberative element within democracy. It considers the democratic rationale for on-line public engagement in policy deliberation, the need for institutions of governance to consider the impact of online public engagement, the skills and strategies required by citizens to enable involvement and the role of technology. There are examples of e-democracy undertaken in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Estonia, France Italy, Germany, Scotland and The Netherlands. Coleman, S and J Gøtze. London, UK: Hansard Society.
After more than a decade of innovative community engagement projects, this site has a number of research and guidance documents including an e-participation handbook. United Kingdom.
This site describes the eConsultation Management System (eCMS) used for online participation by the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and a number of British local authorities.
The State Services Commission has released research on the most important drivers of satisfaction with online public services for New Zealanders - whether they were used for obtaining information or carrying out a transaction. Important drivers included ‘The service experience met my expectations' and ‘It's an example of good value for tax dollars spent'. New Zealand, 2011.
The State Services Commission e-Government site with a section on ‘Participation’.
This book presents new primary research evidence into the scale and character of current e-democracy practices in local authorities in England and Wales. Authors: I. Kearns, J. Bend and B. Stern (2002). London: Institute for Public Policy Research.
E-Democracy.Org is a non-profit, non-partisan, volunteer-based project whose mission is to expand participation and build stronger democracies and communities through information and communication technologies and strategies.
This booklet provides a framework for online consultations and should be used in conjunction with the “Consulting Citizens” series of guides which can also be found on this web site. Department of the Premier and Cabinet Office of e-Government. (2005) Western Australia: Department of the Premier and Cabinet Office of e-Government.
This site has a number of publications that examine the possibility for a ‘wired democracy’ in the electronic age.
This is a free monthly email service covering electronic public services, ‘teledemocracy’ and the information society in the UK and worldwide.
The US National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation offers tools for engaging with the public in the development of policy, and provides some examples of hi-tech and online experiments in public participation.
This 'Social Media in Government' guidance is made up of two documents: 'High-level Guidance' and 'Hands-on Toolbox'. The intent of the guidance is to encourage best practice social media use by government agencies, provide useful templates and tools for planning, and give an overview of the strengths, weaknesses, benefits and risks of this very important and rapidly growing toolset.
Information Renaissance is a US non-profit corporation that promotes the use of the internet to empower citizens to participate more fully in the functioning of the democratic state, including the legislative process of Federal Government.
This Policy Brief highlights lessons drawn from OECD member countries' experiences of online consultation. It suggests 10 guiding principles for successful online consultation. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2003).
From here you can access dozens of articles and resources on e-democracy.
This is a UK organisation that builds websites to encourage citizens to participate in their communities. Its projects are focused on improving the quality of civic, community and political life.
This report describes common scenarios where public managers may find themselves needing, or using, public input. It describes a mix of ten different tactics that are useful for engaging the public online and highlights over 40 different technologies in use today to support those kinds of engagements. IBM Center for the Business of Government, USA 2011.
Most nonprofits use social media like Facebook and Twitter as an ancillary part of what they do. A few organisations, however, are using these tools to fundamentally change the way they work and increase their social impact. This article from the Monitor Institute explores what’s involved in this approach, which is characterised by greater openness, transparency, decentralised decision-making and collective action. USA, 2011.
Zebralog is a not-for-profit German organisation that supports modern democratic decision-making through the use of interactive media. In Germany, they were among the first to conduct online consultations for various State bodies, among them, the Government of Berlin, Hamburg and the South German City of Esslingen.
This case study explores how an intentional social agreement known as a Full Value Contract, can help relax scepticism while supporting trust in sustaining full and conscientious participation and community in a purposeful online dialogue. In this instance it was used in an on-line dialogue involving eight hundred participants debating the 9/11 tragedy over a period of two weeks in 2002. The participants comprised survivors, relatives of victim’s, medical professionals, police and residents of Manhattan and the surrounding areas. It discusses the use of FVC’s to promote on-line etiquette and the importance of safety for participants in this type of dialogue. Pyser, S and C Figallo (2004) The Impact of a Full Value Contract in Conflict Resolution Quarterly, Vol 21:3 pp 381-393
Specialised participatory methods
This book is intended as a source book for students introducing them to the techniques of appreciative inquiry. Authors D.L. Cooperider, P.F. Sorenson, D. Whitney and T.F. Yaeger (1999). Illinois: Stipes Publishing Co.
This chapter provides a simple guide to using the appreciative inquiry technique. Authors J.D. Ludema, D.L. Cooperrider and F.J. Barrett (2001). In Handbook of Action Research. P. Reason and H. Bradbury (eds). London: Sage Publications.
This event was held at Old Parliament House in Canberra from 6-9 February 2009. One hundred and fifty people from across Australia spent four days discussing and deliberating about the country’s democracy and how it could be improved.
This website has a number of resources that relate to citizens’ dialogues. It gives information regarding what citizen dialogues entail and has a number of reports on various citizens’ dialogues undertaken ranging from children to adults and all areas of social policy. Canada
The concept of a Wisdom council is set out on this website along with key resources including a video link, articles and audio links of some presentations given. Seattle, United States of America: Centre for Wise Democracy
This article defines what a charrette is and how it can be used. It includes the nine principles found in the charrette process and some background information on how the process developed. From Pp. 12-2-8 of the Comprehensive Report and Best Practices Guide, 3rd edition, B Lennertz, Ithaca: New Urban Publications, 2003.
This report provides the results of a pilot series of citizens' juries. Authors A. Coote and J. Lenaghan (1997). England: Ippr.
This chapter evaluates the effectiveness of the citizens' jury as a model of citizen participation. A. Armour (1995). In Fairness and Competence in Citizen Participation: Evaluating Models for Environmental Discourse.Authors O. Renn, T. Webler and P. Wiedemann (eds). Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Citizenscape, a website operated by the Western Australia state government, provides information on citizenship-related organisations, activities, resources and projects. It covers issues relating to citizenship, governance, democracy and human rights advice, and techniques for organising and facilitating meetings, getting funded, working with the media and writing grant applications.
This document looks at the experience of citizen assemblies on electoral reform in British Columbia, and Ontario along with the Electoral System Civic Forum in the Netherlands. It also has some analysis of the arguments for and against greater public participation in the constitutional reform agenda. Maer, L. (2008). United Kingdom: House of Commons Library
This document sets out a programme of citizens’ juries held since July 2007. It also considers the use of citizens’ juries and deliberative forums in the United Kingdom by local and national Government since 1997. Maer, L. (2007) United Kingdom: House of Commons Library
This report documents the Citizens’ Jury run in conjunction with the Innovations in Community Engagement Conference. This Citizens’ Jury was asked to consider expert witness presentations on a range of issues relating to community engagement. It focused in particular on water supply and demand as a case study. This report has been written in a practical way that sets out the entire process. It includes evaluation forms completed by the jurors. Department for Planning and Infrastructure, Government of Western Australia. (2005), Department for Planning and Infrastructure, Government of Western Australia.
This booklet presents a way of shifting thinking about building community. It features a set of tools designed to foster conversations and restore and reconcile community. The shift is to recognise that creating an alternative future rests on the nature of our conversations and our capacity to relocate where cause resides. A Small Group, USA, 2007.
This Best Practice Guideline identifies the process through which communities can be engaged and involved in civil defence emergency management in their area.
This booklet, prepared for PlanningNSW, outlines the steps involved in running a citizens' jury and illustrates how it works in a real life situation. The main case study is a citizens' jury carried out by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, which examined community attitudes to the introduction of Container Deposit Legislation in the state of New South Wales. Two other case studies show how citizens' juries can be modified to work on a smaller, local scale. Useful material such as sample letters, questionnaires and terms of reference documents are included as appendices. Edited by Dr Lyn Carson, Australia, Feb 2003.
Deliberative public engagement is about giving participants time to consider and discuss an issue in depth before they come to a considered view. The nine principles require that the process makes a difference, is transparent, has integrity, is tailored to circumstances, involves the right number and types of people, treats participants with respect, gives priority to participants' discussions, is reviewed and evaluated to improve practice and participants are kept informed. Involve, the National Consumer Council and Diane Warburton at Shared Practice as the lead author, United Kingdom, 2008.
This guide sets out a particular approach to deliberative public engagement that involves giving participants time to consider relevant information, discuss the issues and options and to develop thinking before coming to a view. It sets out nine principles that should be employed to ensure the process is handled in a way that produces the desired result. National Consumer Council, United Kingdom. (2008)
This website has a large number of resources related to e-democracy. It also contains examples of how others have used e-tools along with details of projects that have been developed both nationally and internationally. International Centre for Excellence in Local E-democracy. United Kingdom: International Centre for Excellence in Local E-democracy
Digital stories derive their power to engage by weaving images, music, narrative and voice together, thereby giving more dimension and vivid colour to characters, situations, experiences, and insights.
This publication is an introduction to the various traditional and innovative techniques that can be employed when planning citizen engagement. It has been designed as a guide for decision makers at all levels who want to choose the most appropriate community engagement process. State of Queensland - Department of Communities (2005). State of Queensland (Department of Communities) Australia.
Graphic facilitation involves use of big pictures, graphics and text to quickly and clearly depict ideas emerging during group discussions. The International Forum for Visual Practitioners website explains how this process helps groups reach consensus, resolve disputes and create effective strategies.
This is a comprehensive website in the area of e-consultation. It covers the benefits and costs, and includes a list of steps to be taken by various groups such as policy makers, organisers and facilitators when considering e-consultation. It also offers comprehensive discussion of the criteria required to ensure it is a democratic and deliberative process as well as how best to engage participants. Queens University. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Queens University.
This website has information on Deliberative Polling. This technique is modelled on ancient Athenian democracy. It seeks to examine what the public would think if given an opportunity to be informed of competing arguments and to deliberate with their peers on topics of social and public policy.
This article is in two parts. The first part outlines the steps necessary for a nation-wide discussion on a topic of substantial interest to a large number of citizens such as inadequate housing or climate change. It covers the three critical stages of framing the issue, convening the national discussion and presenting the findings to the decision-makers.The second part of the article describes the deliberation strategies in detail including resources needed for each time and a time-line for preparation. Goldman, J (2004). United States of America: America Speaks
The NIF has been involved in helping residents to play an active part in the regeneration of their neighbourhoods and the development of their communities. They have developed a technique called "Planning for Real®", which is a nationally recognised process of community consultation. It has step-by-step directions on how this works and ideas for moving beyond the “Planning for Real®” technique. Neighbourhood Initiatives Foundation. Neighbourhood Initiatives Foundation (NIF).
This book describes Open Space Technology and its use as a means of helping groups of people to work together to reach decisions. Author H. Owen (1997). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
This book describes search conferences and their use as a means of developing participatory decision-making. Available from the Centre for Continuing Education, ANU, GPO Box 4, Canberra ACT 2601. Editor M. Emery (ed) (1993). Canberra: Australian National University, Centre for Continuing Education.
This updated Toolkit builds on the 2003 manual and is a practical guide for people wanting to organise participation on every level. It indicates the context and the purpose of different participatory methods, but does not overburden the reader with theory. Edited by King Baudouin Foundation and the Flemish Institute for Science and Technology Assessment (viWTA)
The focus in this guide is on building community participation amongst communities that experience social exclusion and are often starting from a limited base of social and economic capital. It sets out guidelines for dealing with these issues and includes case studies where increased community participation has been successful. Hoffman-Ekstein, J. (2007). Perth, Australia: Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth.
This publication discusses the use of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) in the policymaking process. Institute of Development Studies (1996). IDS Policy Briefing. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.
This book outlines a process for public deliberation, involving identification of the problem, development of ‘issues guides’ and structured discussions at public forums. Available from David Robinson, 113 Creswick Terrace, Wellington. Email: email@example.com. Social & Civic Policy Institute (2001).
This chapter discusses research, studies and evaluations that support intergroup dialogue. It documents evidence that suggests involvement in intergroup dialogue results in participants being better equipped to work through differences with other groups and to analyze social problems in a different way. Hurtado, S. (2001) Deliverative Democracy in School. College, Community, and Workplace (Chapter 2) Schoem, D and Hurtado, S (eds.). Michigan, United States of America: University of Michigan Press
The report describes and analyzes an informal consultative format trialled by the London Borough of Lambeth. It was used to encourage involvement of children and young people in the consultative process. It uses case studies to illustrate the various techniques used and analyzes their effectiveness. Creasy, S, A Casey and L Waller (2008). London, United Kingdom: Involve
This study analyses the use of a deliberative consultative meeting as a way of involving the public in health-care decision making in an effective way. The study involved five regional health authorities across Canada. Consultation issues ranged from prioritising options for the configuration of primary health care services to determining a model for organising community services for autism and pervasive development disorder. The study reviews the experiences of both participants and the regional health authorities and gives guidelines for undertaking deliberative consultation that could be adapted to areas of concern other than health. Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, Canada, 2004.
The role of the researcher in action research is that of a facilitator who works collaboratively to involve the stakeholders in every aspect of the research process. This article is based on a playground consultation conducted by Dunedin City Council. J Aimers,1999.
This document defines Participatory Budgeting and discusses its development and the benefits of this type of technique and when it could be used. Involve.Org.UK. Participatory Budgeting.