Resource Guide onPublic Engagement    National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) is an active network and community of practice centered around c...
What is Public Engagement?                                                                                                ...
Best How-to Guides for Public Managers and                             Best Articles on Public EngagementGovernment Agenci...
Core Principles for Public Engagement                                             Created collaboratively by the dialogue ...
Online EngagementMaking sense of a rapidly-changing arena.Online technology is becoming more and more essential in our    ...
Upgrading the Way We Do Politics                                                                                     Alter...
NCDD’s Engagement Streams FrameworkMaking sense of the methods.First developed in 2005, NCDD’s popular Engagement Streams ...
National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation   2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement • 7
Engagement StreamsA Matrix of Proven Practices.                                   Name of  Primary Purpose                ...
Examples of                  Organizer’s          Appropriate D&D                Key Design Questions     Issues          ...
Process Distinctions                                   Focuses significantly on...                                         ...
Descriptions of ProcessesAmericaSpeaks’ 21st Century Town Meetings enable the general public to give those in leadership p...
Process Distinctions (continued)                                   Focuses significantly on...                             ...
Descriptions of ProcessesIntergroup Dialogues are face-to-face meetings of people from at least two different social identi...
Examples of Public EngagementA sampling of successful public engagement efforts.Eugene Decisions: Balancing the Budget     ...
Portsmouth Listens: Study Circles                                         Countywide Community Forumsin Portsmouth, New Ha...
Delibrative Dialogues on the Achievement Gap                            Many More Case Central Texas         ...
Published October 2010 by the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation20 • 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement ...
NCDD2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5

NCDD2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement


Published on

Created for the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation's 2010 regional events, this must-have resource was developed to share stories and resources with the dialogue and deliberation community, public managers, and anyone else with an interest in public engagement.

Published in: Devices & Hardware
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

NCDD2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement

  1. 1. Resource Guide onPublic Engagement National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
  2. 2. The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) is an active network and community of practice centered around conflict resolutionand public engagement practices. Our 1,300+ members help people work together across partisan, ethnic and other divides to addresstoday’s toughest problems, and NCDD provides them with much-needed support, connections, and resources.In fall 2010, NCDD members are hosting regional events in Austin, Boston, Denver, Portland and the San Francisco Bay Area. The events aredesigned to connect practitioners, public managers and community leaders to build local capacity in quality public engagement.We compiled this Guidebook on Public Engagement as a companion to the fall regional events. We hope it is a rich resource for attendeesand others. It features some of the best resources developed collaboratively by the NCDD community, and guides you to many others. National Sponsors for All Our 2010 Regional Events Active Voice Everyday Democracy AmericaSpeaks PMLINK 360 Citizens in Charge Foundation Public Agenda Democrasoft Public Conversations Project National Conference of State Legislatures University of Mass. Boston’s Office of Public Collaboration Regional Sponsors for the Austin Event: Regional Sponsors for the Boston Event: St. Edward’s University, New College University of MA Boston’s Office of Public Collaboration Bluebonnet Hills Christian Church The Democracy Imperative Capital Metro Consensus Building Institute E3 Alliance Clark University’s Difficult Dialogues Initiative American Planning Association, Central Texas Section Meister Consultants Group Civic Engagement Initiative, UT Center for Sustainable Dev. Englewood Area Community Foundation Community Action Network Orton Family Foundation Conflict Resolution Center, University of Texas in Austin New England Center for Civic Life at Franklin Pierce University Greenlights for Nonprofit Success Diapraxis Liveable City Regional Sponsors for the NorCal Event: Omega Point International, Inc. De Anza College’s Institute for Civic & Community Engagement United Way Capital Area California Forward Lower Colorado River Authority BayNVC Juli Fellows, PhD Institute for Local Government Linda Anderson Welsh, PhD Davenport Institute for Public Engagement & Civic Leadership Regional Sponsors for the Portland Event: Public Dialogue Consortium City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement Community At Work City of Cupertino Cohousing California Healthy Democracy Oregon SEEDS Community Resolution Center Co-Intelligence Institute Antioch University Midwest Institute for Conflict Analysis Countywide Community Forums of King County Common Knowledge IAP2 Cascade Chapter Municipal Management Assoc. of Northern California Policy Consensus Initiative Neighborhood Empowerment Network Regional Sponsors for the Denver Event: Deborah Goldblatt Co-Intelligence Institute Conflict Resolution Institute at the University of Denver Guidebook contents... What is Public Engagement? 1 Upgrading the Way We Do Politics 5 Resources To Get You Started 1 NCDD’s Engagement Streams 6 Collaborations that Work 2 Examples of Public Engagement 14 Core Principles for Public Engagement 3 More Resources at 16 Online Engagement 4 Goals of Dialogue & Deliberation 17 Most contents of this guidebook were written by Sandy Heierbacher, Director of NCDD, with considerable support and input from the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation community. Guidebook design by Andy Fluke. Learn more or join at This is the second version of this guidebook, prepared for distribution online October 11, 2010.
  3. 3. What is Public Engagement? A quick introduction.Dozens of effective public engagement techniques have been Almost all dialogue and deliberation techniques involve:developed to enable citizens to have authentic, civil, productive utilizing facilitators and ground rules to create a safediscussions at public meetings—even on highly contentious issues. atmosphere for honest, productive discussionThese techniques have names like National Issues Forums, StudyCircles, 21st Century Town Meetings, Open Space Technology, and framing the issue, questions and discussion material in aWorld Café, to name just a few. balanced and accurate manner having citizens and decision-makers on all sides of the issueWhen done well, these techniques create the space for real talk to each other face-to-face in multiple small groupsdialogue, so everyone who shows up can tell their story and sharetheir perspective on the topic at hand. Dialogue builds trust and using the input and outcomes generated to inform theenables people to be open to listening to perspectives that are very decision-making processdifferent from their own. Deliberation is key to public engagement These engagement techniques strengthen the traditionally distantwork as well, enabling people to discuss the consequences, costs, relationship between citizens and government, mitigate conflictand trade-offs of various policy options, and to work through the between groups, improve the quality of and buy-in for publicemotions that tough public decisions raise. decisions, and tap into community assets and citizen potential. Resources to Get You Started Some of the very best resources out there.Best-of-the-Best Resources Best How-to Guides and ManualsVisit for a more com- Fostering Dialogue Across Divides: A Nuts and Bolts Guideplete list of what we consider the very best resources available to from the Public Conversations Projecthelp people understand and build skills in dialogue, deliberation www.publicconversations.organd public engagement. Organizing Community-Wide Dialogue for Action & Change Everyday DemocracyBest Compendiums Change Handbook Café to Go! A Quick Reference Guide for Putting ConversationsPeggy Holman, Tom Devane and Steve Cady to Work, World CaféDemocratic Dialogue: A Handbook for Practitioners Pruitt and Philip Thomas/UNDP Best Handy Little Tools for D&D FacilitatorsThe Deliberative Democracy HandbookJohn Gastil and Peter Levine Sample Ground Rules for D&D Processes NCDD compilationThe Handbook of Large Group Methods Bunker and Billie Alban YouTube Playlists of Dialogue & Deliberation VideosCreating a Culture of Collaboration: The IAF Handbook Schuman What is Deliberation? and What is Dialogue?Best Books for Facilitators NCDD compilations of quotes &’s Guide to Participatory Decision-MakingSam Kaner Upgrading the Way We Do Politics Article & flier from NCDDThe Skilled Facilitator Schwarz Let’s Talk America Wallet CardIAF Handbook of Group Facilitation Basic dialogue principles & rulesSandy Schuman Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement • 1
  4. 4. Best How-to Guides for Public Managers and Best Articles on Public EngagementGovernment Agencies Deliberative Dialogue to Expand Civic Engagement: What KindPublic Deliberation: A Manager’s Guide to Citizen Engagement of Talk Does Democracy Need?Carolyn Lukensmeyer and Lars Hasselblad Torres Martha McCoy & Pat Public Forums: Questions to Guide Local Officials Citizens at the Center: A New Approach to Civic EngagementInstitute for Local Government Cynthia Practical Guide to Consensus Beginning with the End in Mind: A Call for Goal-DrivenPolicy Consensus Initiative Deliberative Martin Carcasson Dialogue: A Tool for Citizen EngagementA Manual for Federal Departments and Agencies (CPRN) Democracy, Growing Up: The Shifts that Reshaped Politics and Foreshadowed the 2008 Presidential Election Matt LeighningerPeople & Participation: How to Put Citizens at the of Decision-making (Involve) Deterring Fake Public Participation Jim SniderMillions of Voices: A Blueprint for Engaging the Public in National That WorkA few resources we recommend.How can engagement practitioners work effectively with public Sustaining Public Engagement: Embeddedadministrators, and vice versa? How can we embed or institutionalize Deliberation in Local Communitiesparticipatory practices in our communities, so our work is sustained This 2009 Everyday Democracy and Kettering Foundation reportand strengthened over time? by Archon Fung and Elena Fagotto provides insights on how publicGovLoop engagement activities can grow into a diverse, ongoing practice in communities, supplemented with concrete examples of sustainedGovLoop is the leading social network for public servants and community-led dialogue and problem solving efforts.people supporting government. As of October 2010, GovLoop has 35,000 registered Aligning the Work of Government to Strengthen the Work of Citizens: A Study of Public Administrators in Local andILG Public Engagement and Collaborative Regional GovernmentGovernance Program This 2010 Kettering Foundation report by Barnett and Kim PearceThis Institute for Local Government program provides some of the surveys administrative leaders in California about their changingbest information and resources we’ve seen to help local officials in views of “public engagement” in an attempt to answer the questionCalifornia (and other states!) make good decisions about the design “What do public administrators need to know and to do in order toand use of public engagement in their cities and counties. promote and respond constructively to an engaged community?” of NCDD 2008 Conference Participants on Democratic Legislation Supporting Citizen ParticipationGovernance and Two of our Field’s Greatest Challenges NCDD’s homebase for resources overviewing legislation thatThis 2009 Kettering Foundation report by NCDD director Sandy supports citizen engagement in governance and decision-making.Heierbacher reviews developments in the D&D community, particularly on institutionalizing public engagement • 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
  5. 5. Core Principles for Public Engagement Created collaboratively by the dialogue & deliberation community.These seven recommendations reflect the common beliefs and understandings of those working in the fields of public engagement, conflictresolution, and collaboration. In practice, people apply these and additional principles in many different ways. 1 Careful Planning and Preparation Through adequate and inclusive planning, ensure that the design, organization, and convening of the process serve both a clearly defined purpose and the needs of the participants. 2 Inclusion and Demographic Diversity Equitably incorporate diverse people, voices, ideas, and information to lay the groundwork for quality outcomes and democratic legitimacy. 3 Collaboration and Shared Purpose Support and encourage participants, government and community institutions, and others to work together to advance the common good. 4 Openness and Learning Help all involved listen to each other, explore new ideas unconstrained by predetermined outcomes, learn and apply information in ways that generate new options, and rigorously evaluate the process. 5 Transparency and Trust Be clear and open about the process, and provide a public record of the organizers, sponsors, out- comes, and range of views and ideas expressed. 6 Impact and Action Ensure each participatory effort has real potential to make a difference, and that participants are aware of that potential. 7 Sustained Engagement and Participatory Culture Promote a culture of participation with programs and institutions that support ongoing quality public engagement.In spring 2009, the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD), the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2), andthe Co-Intelligence Institute engaged practitioners and scholars in the creation of these 7 Core Principles for Public Engagement, aimed atcreating clarity for practitioners, public managers, and community leaders about the fundamental components of quality public engagement.Visit to download the full 12-page Principles document, which details what each principle looks like in practice and whatpractitioners and leaders should avoid.National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement • 3
  6. 6. Online EngagementMaking sense of a rapidly-changing arena.Online technology is becoming more and more essential in our Promising Practices in Online Engagementefforts to engage people around today’s most challenging issues. Public Agenda’s 2009 report examines a selection of onlineThough our field is still learning how best to engage people online engagement practices, from high-level national politics to our mostand grappling with what currently can and cannot be accomplished immediate public realms, our, there are myriad tools for us to experiment with and many to learn from.As with face-to-face engagement efforts, the best tactic is to design The Online Dialogue Brainstorm Guideyour program with your goals, audience, and resources in mind. This publication from the National Academy of Public Admin-For each engagement program you design, ask yourself what can istration outlines a step-by-step list of questions for public managersbe accomplished online, and what can be accomplished face-to- to consider when engaging the public in an online dialogue.face. Often, online technology like email, Facebook, and forums used simply to publicize, build buy-in, and generate ideasthat feed into face-to-face efforts. Increasingly, web-based tools Open Policy Making 101: 10 Questions To Asklike CivicEvolution, Zilino, Collaborize and IdeaScale are beingdesigned to simulate aspects of face-to-face dialogue, deliberation, Before Launching Your Online Publicand decision-making. Consultation This 2009 publication by Joe Goldman and Joseph Peters outlinesEngagement professionals are struggling with questions such as ten key questions for public managers to consider when planning“How can we develop & sustain a meaningful online community?”, an online public dialogue, helping them to develop a deeper“How can we leverage social media sites like Facebook & Twitter?”, understanding of online engagement.“How can we create online spaces for quality discussion, and handle bots, flamers, trolls, and other disruptive onlinecharacters?”, and “Should I design a platform that’s more alignedwith my needs, or go where the people are and adapt?” Making the Most of Social Media: 7 Lessons from Successful CitiesOn the NCDD listserv, forum and Confab calls, we’ve been scratching This 28-page guidebook from the Fels Institute of Government atthe surface of these questions. To join in the conversation going Penn is written for local governments—cities, counties, townshipsforward, visit the “effective online engagement” category on the and their affiliates—that are beginning to experiment with socialNCDD forum at media and would like to get more out of them. Its emphasis is on the use of specific applications, such as Facebook and Twitter, byHere are some great places to help you learn more about tools, government managers and communications directors for thetechniques and strategies for online engagement... purpose of engaging and informing the public. tools at ParticipateDBParticipateDB is a collaborative catalogue for online tools for public Government by Collaborationparticipation and related forms of citizen engagement -- large and The spring 2010 issue of GSA’s Intergovernmental Solutionssmall, commercial and open source, mature and experimental. As of Newsletter explores some of the many ways technology is expandingSeptember 2010, you will find details here about 160 online tools opportunities for governments to collaborate on public-policyand 202 online engagement projects. decision-making--and ways collaboration is increasing the and power of technology to dramatically alter the accepted ways of doing business. Features 22 contributions from key players governments and other organizations around the promotes local online civic engagement and hosts an online town hall model that works.Launched in 1994 with an early election info website in Minnesota, For many more reports and resources, check out the “online D&D” now hosts over 30 local Issues Forums in 15 in NCDD’s Resource Center, at across the U.S. And in the U.K. And New Zealand. (you can use the advanced search in the sidebar to hone in further).www.e-democracy.org4 • 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
  7. 7. Upgrading the Way We Do Politics Alternatives to the typical public meeting.This article was written at the request of Yes! Magazine in August 2009 other concerned citizens in the process. As one NCDD member said,during the contentious town hall meetings on health care that year. “the loudest voices are the ones that get heard.”Created for public officials, this text is based on insights and tips sharedby NCDD members during this controversial time. The issue is in crisis mode. Another NCDD member observed that when people are only invitedTown hall meetings being held on health care legislation across in when there is a final battle between proposals, “this fact alonethe country are exploding with emotion, frustration, and conflict. invites polarization.” When an issue is in crisis mode, it is easier toCitizens are showing up in throngs to speak out about health care manipulate people; there is less time to get information and issuesas well as dozens of other topics, but it seems the louder voices get, clarified; there is less patience on all sides to delve into the actualthe less people are actually heard. complexities; and nonpartisans get the sense they are being sold false alternatives.The meetings have become a vivid demonstration of what’s missingin American democracy. What to do?Why is this happening? So how can officials hold more effective open-to-the-public meetings with their constituents? Dozens of effective publicMembers of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation—a engagement techniques have been developed to enable citizens tonetwork of people who bring together Americans of all stripes to have authentic, civil, productive discussions at public meetings—discuss, decide and act together on today’s toughest issues—have even on highly contentious issues. These techniques have namesoutlined some ideas to help us understand what has evolved. like National Issues Forums, Study Circles, 21st Century TownThere is a lack of trust between government and citizens. Meetings, Open Space Technology, and World Café, to name just a few.While Americans’ distrust of government is playing out in obviousways at town hall meetings across the country, another level of When done well, these techniques create the space for real dialogue,distrust is less frequently acknowledged: government officials’ lack so everyone who shows up can tell their story and share theirof trust in citizens’ ability to grapple with complicated issues and perspective on the topic at hand. Dialogue builds trust and enablestrade-offs. Government officials often don’t see citizens as peers people to be open to listening to perspectives that are very differentwho, when given the opportunity, can talk reasonably together from their own. Deliberation is often key to public engagementacross partisan and other divides and come to agreement on work as well, enabling people to discuss the consequences, costs,elements of highly divisive issues like health care, gay marriage, and and trade-offs of various policy options, and to work through theabortion. emotions and values inherent in tough public decisions.The typical “town hall meeting” format isn’t working. Though it may not seem like it when we watch clips from recentToday’s typical “town hall meetings” don’t live up to the traditional healthcare town halls, people can come together to have a positiveNew England Town Meetings they’re named after. They don’t allow impact on national policy—not only in spite of our differences,citizens to feel they’ve been truly heard, or to discuss issues in any but because working through those differences allows us to makedepth. The current town hall design sets the stage for activist groups better decisions. Citizens have higher expectations than ever for aand special interest groups to try to ‘game’ the system and sideline government that is of, by and for the people, and it’s high time for an upgrade in the way we do politics. Tips for political leaders.Provide balanced & detailed information about the issue at hand, Get different interests to talk to each other through a structuredand put a fairly-framed spectrum of possible policy choices on process. There are many ways to accomplish this. For example,the table for attendees to discuss. Consider co-hosting the public organize participants into smaller groups to ensure each personmeeting with a legislator from another party. gets the chance to speak and to make it unlikely that one person or interest group will dominate the meeting.Use a facilitator. Take yourself out of front and center. Skilledfacilitators are neutral and know how to translate conflict and anger Diligently record what citizens say, and be clear about how youinto specific interests, needs and concerns—so what’s behind the plan to use their input. Throughout the meeting, “reflect back” theemotion can actually be understood and addressed. concerns, values and desires you are hearing.Use “ground rules” or “agreements” to establish a kind of golden The Yes! Magazine article is online at:rule for everyone present. With these agreements, participants are likely to hear each other and communicate civilly.National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement • 5
  8. 8. NCDD’s Engagement Streams FrameworkMaking sense of the methods.First developed in 2005, NCDD’s popular Engagement Streams Sandy Heierbacher, NCDD’s Director, initially developed thisFramework helps people navigate the range of dialogue and resource to help inform workshops she presented on selectingdeliberation approaches available to them. The framework depicted dialogue and deliberation techniques. The framework built onon the following comic and subsequent “Engagement Streams” and a number of previous efforts to categorize or describe the public“Process Distinctions” charts is designed to help people decide engagement and conflict transformation fields. All of the scholarswhich types of approaches are the best fit for their circumstances. and practitioners whose work was utilized to develop this framework (Barnett Pearce, Harold Saunders, Patricia Wilson, Tom Atlee, MattNo method works in all situations, yet too often people become Leighninger, Archon Fung, and others) were contacted for theiroverly attached to the first D&D process they learn about -- and end feedback on the charts. Many of them provided ongoing feedbackup with less-than-satisfying results. Although it was designed for as we developed the charts.beginners, the framework also helps more seasoned practitionersplace their own work on the continuum. The streams framework has since been featured in many articles, books, conference workshops and community presentations.The framework is a series of two charts that categorize engagementtechniques into four “streams” based on your primary intention or The framework is most similar to and borrows most heavily from thepurpose, and show which of the best-known methods have proven four “social technologies for civic engagement” identified by Patriciato be effective in each stream. The second chart goes into detail Wilson in the article “Deep Democracy: The Inner Practice of Civicabout two dozen dialogue and deliberation methods, including Engagement” (Fieldnotes: A Newsletter of the Shambhala Institute,information on group size, meeting type and participant selection. Issue No. 2, February 2004).A few ways people are using the framework...“I’ve used the Framework for several years with the Leadership “I just discovered the framework and am using it in a group facilitationAustin classes, to help them understand where dialogue fits into workshop I’m teaching to AmeriCorps interns. My intent is to getthe continuum. Because so few of them have any experience with them to think about what type of facilitation they are attemptingdialogue, this approachable, easy to understand visual helps them and what outcomes they are looking for and then looking at what‘get it’ and differentiates dialogue from other processes. It also methods make the most sense, given the desired outcomes.”quickly gives them several models of dialogue, so they understand Marty Jacobs, Systems In Syncthat there are many ways to approach it.” Juli Fellows “I’ve used the engagement streams cartoon mostly, since it’s a great tool for introducing people to the ideas of different uses for“We built the Streams of Engagement framework into our online the methods. I’ve used it and prepared it for Carolyn [Lukensmeyer]Issue Guide Exchange. When someone uploads a guide to the tool to use at presentations for United Way leadership, state electedwe give them the option of identifying which streams of practice officials, and college classrooms.”the guide addresses. Then, when someone is searching for guides, Susanna Haas Lyons, AmericaSpeaksthe streams of practice provide them with another way to figure outwhich guides will best meet their needs.” Carrie Boron, Everyday DemocracySome other great tools for understanding the field...Public Participation Spectrum Spectrum of Processes for Collaboration andInternational Association for Public Participation Consensus-Building in Public Suzanne Orenstein, Lucy Moore and Susan Sherry Participation ToolboxInternational Association for Public Participation People and Involve www.peopleandparticipation.netCore Principles for Public EngagementNCDD, IAP2, Co-Intelligence Institute Goals of Dialogue & Deliberation Martin Carcasson and Sandy Heierbacher • 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
  9. 9. National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement • 7
  10. 10. Engagement StreamsA Matrix of Proven Practices. Name of Primary Purpose Key Features Important When… Engagement Stream To encourage Suspending A group or community people and groups assumptions, creating a seems stuck or muddled to learn more about space that encourages and needs to reflect on their themselves, their a different kind of circumstance in depth and community, or an Exploration conversation, using gain collective insight. issue, and possibly ritual and symbolism to discover innovative encourage openness, solutions emphasis on listening To resolve conflicts, Creating a safe space, Relationships among to foster personal hearing from everyone, participants are poor or healing and growth, building trust, sharing not yet established yet and to improve personal stories and need to be. Issue can only relations among Conflict views be resolved when people groups Transformation change their behavior or attitude, expand their perspective, or take time to reflect and heal. To influence public Naming and framing the The issue is within decisions and public issue fairly, weighing government’s (or any single policy and improve all options, considering entity’s) sphere of influence. public knowledge different positions Decision (i.e. deliberation), Making revealing public values, brainstorming solutions To empower people Using dialogue and The issue/dispute requires and groups to deliberation to generate intervention across multiple solve complicated ideas for community public and private entities, Collaborative problems and take action, developing and and anytime community responsibility for the Action implementing action action is important. solution plans collaborativelyThe Engagement Streams Framework (2005) was developed by Sandy Heierbacher and members of the National Coalition forDialogue & Deliberation (NCDD). Visit for various downloadable formats of this resource, and see NCDD’swebsite, at, for many more resources and tips.8 • 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
  11. 11. Examples of Organizer’s Appropriate D&D Key Design Questions Issues Strategy Processes for Organizers Strengthening To encourage Conversation Café, How can we ensure that people democracy, new insights and Intergroup Dialogue in feel safe expressing what inspires understanding connections to emerge the classroom, Wisdom and touches them? What kind of a community by creating a space for Council, Wisdom techniques or rituals will stimulate of practice people to share their Circles, Socrates Café, listening and sharing, without thoughts, feelings and World Café, Open making people uncomfortable? perspectives. Space, Appreciative Inquiry, Bohm Dialogue Political To create a safe space Sustained Dialogue, How can the issue be framed so polarization, for people with Intergroup Dialogue in that all sides are brought to -- and Jewish-Muslim different views to talk communities, Victim- feel welcomed at -- the table? What relations, race about their personal Offender Mediation, are people’s needs relating to this relations, experiences and feel PCP dialogue, issue, and how can divergent needs value-based heard. Often, to set Compassionate (healing, action, respect) be met conflicts, the groundwork for Listening effectively? If a conflict exists, how healing after deliberation and overt and volatile is it? How, if at all, crises or action. will you transition people to “what’s trauma next”? Budgeting, To involve a National Issues How can we best represent land use, representative group Forums, Citizens Jury, the public (random selection, health care, of citizens in thorough Deliberative Polling, stakeholder representation, social security discussions about 21st Century Town recruiting a critical mass)? Should/ complicated policy Meeting, Charrettes, can public officials participate in the issues. Ideally, the Citizen Choicework, process side-by-side with citizens? process is linked to Consensus Conference What kinds of materials need to be policy making. developed or obtained? How can we ensure that this process influences policy? Regional To encourage Study Circles, Future Who needs to be at the table? sprawl, integrated efforts Search, Appreciative What kind of power dynamics institutional among diverse Inquiry exist already? What group/leader/ racism, youth stakeholders, sectors, institution is most resistant to violence, organizations, etc. change? What group tends not to responding to involved in the issue. be at the table, although they’re crises affected?National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement • 9
  12. 12. Process Distinctions Focuses significantly on... Decision Making Transformation Type of Collaborative Exploration Participant Conflict Session Action Processes Size of Group (excluding prep Selection sessions) Hundreds to All-day meeting Open; recruit for 21st Century Town Meeting X thousands in 1 room representativeness at small tables Appreciative Inquiry From 20 to 2,000 4 to 6-day summit Internal and external X X stakeholders Summit Small group No set length Open or invitation Bohm Dialogue X x or number of meetings A small team of Intense work Participants represent professionals and a sessions last 1-3 a range of organized much larger group days typically; groups, but others Charrettes X x of stakeholders some last 1-2 with a stake in the weeks issue are encouraged to attend Multiple small 1 session, ranging Open; recruit for Citizen Choicework X groups from 2 hours to representativeness all day Small group 5-day meeting Random selection Citizens Jury X 2 to 200 people; Varies between 30 Open to whoever usually fewer than min and 3 days, is drawn; often 30 depending on listeners are brought Compassionate Listening x X how many people in to hear the stories are involved of oppressed or oppressors Large group 2 weekends for Random selection participants to Consensus Conference X prepare, 2-4 day conference Single or multiple 1 90-minute Open; publicize Conversation Café X x small groups session to encourage representativeness Up to several Weekend-long Random selection hundred people in meeting Deliberative Polling X small groups in 1 room 60 to 80 people 3 days All inclusive Future Search x x X (attempts to bring in all involved)The Engagement Streams Framework (in Excel, PDF, and comic!) can always be downloaded from • 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
  13. 13. Descriptions of ProcessesAmericaSpeaks’ 21st Century Town Meetings enable the general public to give those in leadership positions direct, substantive feedbackon key issues. Each meeting engages hundreds or thousands of general interest citizens at a time, utilizing innovative technology toeffectively and quickly summarize citizen input.www.americaspeaks.orgAppreciative Inquiry is a change method that encourages stakeholders to explore the best of the past and present in their organizationsand communities. AI involves, in a central way, the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to apprehend,anticipate, and heighten positive potential.www.appreciativeinquiry.cwru.eduCreated by late physicist David Bohm, Bohm (or Bohmian) Dialogue is focused on attending to and discussing individual internal dynamics—assumptions, beliefs, motivations, etc. The idea is not to eliminate them from happening, but to surface them in the conversation in a waythat furthers the Charrette is a collaborative and consensus-building design methodology that incorporates input from all stakeholders (the developer,relevant government agencies, and the community). A “charrette team” of experts uses stakeholder input in an continual “feedback loop” toprepare and refine a plan for development with the goal of reaching consensus among stakeholders. Charrettes, which combine moderndesign studio and town meeting, help overcome inertia and create meaningful master plans.www.charretteinstitute.orgPublic Agenda’s Citizen Choicework helps citizens confront tough choices in productive ways. Participants work through values conflictsand practical tradeoffs, and develop a sense of priorities and direction. Key principles include nonpartisan local leadership, inclusiveparticipation, and unbiased discussion materials that ”start where the public starts.”www.publicagenda.orgThe Citizens Jury process is a method for gathering a microcosm of the public, having them attend five days of hearings, deliberate amongthemselves and then issue findings and recommendations on the issue they have discussed.www.jefferson-center.orgIn Compassionate Listening, listeners use reflection and skilled inquiry to help speakers deepen their own understanding and awareness. CLengenders generative listening which is non-judgmental, questions that are non-adversarial, and an ability to remain open when witnessingstrong feelings and divergent viewpoints. The process can helps create the safety necessary for honest, respectful dialogue and sustainablesolutions.www.compassionatelistening.orgDeveloped in Denmark, Consensus Conferences typically involve a group of citizens with varied backgrounds who meet to discuss issuesof a scientific or technical nature. The conference has two stages: the first involves small group meetings with experts to discuss the issuesand work towards consensus. The second stage assembles experts, media and the public where the conference’s main observations andconclusions are Cafés are hosted conversations which are usually held in a public setting like a coffee shop or bookstore, where anyone iswelcome to join. A simple format helps people feel at ease and gives everyone who wants to a chance to speak.www.conversationcafe.orgDeliberative Polling combines deliberation in small group discussions with scientific random sampling to provide public consultation forpublic policy and for electoral issues. Members of a random sample are polled, and then some members are invited to gather at a singleplace to discuss the issues after they have examined balanced briefing materials. Participants engage in dialogue with competing expertsand political leaders based on questions they develop in small group discussions with trained moderators.http://cdd.stanford.eduUsed by communities and organizations, Future Search is a unique planning method which enables large, diverse groups to validate acommon mission, take responsibility for action, and develop commitment to implementation. The method, which allows the entire group tobe in dialogue when necessary, is especially useful in uncertain, fast-changing situations when it is important that everyone have the samelarge picture in order to act responsibly.www.futuresearch.netNational Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement • 11
  14. 14. Process Distinctions (continued) Focuses significantly on... Decision Making Transformation Type of Collaborative Exploration Participant Conflict Session Action Processes Size of Group (excluding Selection prep sessions) Single or multiple Regular weekly Open; recruit for Intergroup Dialogue X X x small groups meetings of 2-3 representativeness hours Up to hundreds in 1 1 two-hour Open; recruit for National Issues Forums X room at small tables meeting representativeness Up to hundreds in 3 days Varies 1 room, then break Open Space Technology X x up in interest groups multiple times Public Conversations Small group Multiple 2-hour Involves all sides of an X sessions existing conflict Project dialogue 3 to 30 people 1-2 hours Whoever is in the class or at the meeting, or Socrates Café X whoever responds to the flyers or articles Up to hundreds 4 to 6 2-hour Open; recruit for meeting in separate sessions representativeness Study Circles x x X small groups; all come together later for Action Forum Small group Numerous 2- to Open; recruit for 3-hour sessions representativeness Sustained Dialogue X x x among conflicting groups Small group Multiple 2- to 3- All inclusive (attempts Victim Offender Mediation X hour sessions to bring in all involved) Small group (3-12 One or more Usually used with an people) sessions lasting 1- existing group Wisdom Circle X 3 hours; ongoing sessions are ideal 10-12 people initially Several-day Initial 10-12 are (and sometimes session with randomly selected periodically), then group of 12, from community; Wisdom Council X x x entire community followed by broader segment is informal large- open to everyone scale dialogue Up to hundreds in Single event Often held at 1 room at tables of ranging from 90 events, involving all World Café X four minutes to 3 days attendees; otherwise, invitations boost representativenessThe Engagement Streams Framework (in Excel, PDF, and comic!) can always be downloaded from • 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
  15. 15. Descriptions of ProcessesIntergroup Dialogues are face-to-face meetings of people from at least two different social identity groups. They are designed to offeran open and inclusive space where participants can foster a deeper understanding of diversity and justice issues through participation inexperiential activities, individual and small group reflections, and and Issues Forums offer citizens the opportunity to join together to deliberate, to make choices with others about ways to approachdifficult issues and to work toward creating reasoned public judgment. NIF is known for its careful issue framing and quality issue guideswhich outline 3 or 4 different viewpoints.www.nifi.orgOpen Space Technology is a self-organizing practice that invites people to take responsibility for what they care about. In Open Space,a marketplace of inquiry is created where people offer topics they are passionate about and reflect and learn from one another. It is aninnovative approach to creating whole systems change and inspiring creativity and leadership among participants.www.openspaceworld.orgThe Public Conversations Project helps people with fundamental disagreements over divisive issues develop the mutual understandingand trust essential for strong communities and positive action. Their dialogue model is characterized by a careful preparatory phase in whichall stakeholders/sides are interviewed and prepared for the dialogue process.www.publicconversations.orgSocrates Cafés and other forms of Socratic Dialogue encourage groups inside and outside the classroom to engage in robust philosophicalinquiry. The Cafés consist of spontaneous yet rigorous dialogue that inspires people to articulate and discover their unique philosophicalperspectives and worldview. They don’t force consensus or closure, but are open-ended and can be considered a success if there are morequestions at the end than there were at the outset.www.philosopher.orgStudy Circles enable communities to strengthen their own ability to solve problems by bringing large numbers of people together indialogue across divides of race, income, age, and political viewpoints. Study Circles combine dialogue, deliberation, and communityorganizing techniques, enabling public talk to build understanding, explore a range of solutions, and serve as a catalyst for social, political,and policy change.www.everyday-democracy.orgSustained Dialogue is a process for transforming and building the relationships that are essential to democratic political and economicpractice. SD is not a problem-solving workshop; it is a sustained interaction to transform and build relationships among members of deeplyconflicted groups so that they may effectively deal with practical problems. As a process that develops over time through a sequence ofmeetings, SD seems to move through a series of recognizable phases including a deliberative “scenario-building” stage and an “actingtogether” stage.www.sustaineddialogue.orgVictim Offender Mediation is a restorative justice process that allows the victim of a crime and the person who committed that crime to talkto each other about what happened, the effects of the crime on their lives, and their feelings about it. They may choose to create a mutuallyagreeable plan to repair any damages that occurred as a result of the crime. In some practices, the victim and the offender are joined byfamily and community members or others.www.voma.orgA Wisdom Circle is a small group dialogue designed to encourage people to listen and speak from the heart in a spirit of inquiry. By openingand closing the circle with a simple ritual of the group’s choosing, using a talking object, and welcoming silence, a safe space is created whereparticipants can be trusting, authentic, caring, and open to change. Also referred to as Council process and Listening Circles.www.wisdomcircle.orgWisdom Councils are microcosms of larger systems like cities and organizations that engage in a creative, thoughtful exploration of theissues affecting the system. A specialized facilitation process is used called “Dynamic Facilitation” - a nonlinear approach for addressingcomplex issues that allows shared insights and aligned action to emerge. The outcomes of the Wisdom Council, which are reported back tothe community, can catalyze further dialogue, self-organizing action and change throughout the larger system.www.wisedemocracy.orgWorld Cafés enable groups of people to participate together in evolving rounds of dialogue with three or four others while at the same timeremaining part of a single, larger, connected conversation. Small, intimate conversations link and build on each other as people move betweengroups, cross-pollinate ideas, and discover new insights into questions or issues that really matter in their life, work, or community.www.theworldcafe.comNational Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement • 13
  16. 16. Examples of Public EngagementA sampling of successful public engagement efforts.Eugene Decisions: Balancing the Budget For six years, Boston leaders on both sides of the abortion debate met in secret in an attempt to better understand each other throughin Eugene, Oregon dialogue facilitated by the Public Conversations Project. The group,To address a budget shortfall, the Eugene City Council began which met together privately for over 150 hours, publicly disclosedworking with the Deliberative Democracy Project at the University their meetings and the impact those meetings had on them in aof Oregon to involve citizens in deciding how to balance the budget. jointly-authored Boston Globe article on January 28, 2001.The resulting project, Eugene Decisions, utilized a series of surveysand large forums with facilitated breakout sessions. Groups used Outcomes: These conversations revealed a deep divide, reflectinga booklet and worksheet to structure their discussion, and made two very different world views. Yet participants began to understanddecisions by majority vote. and respect those “on the other side.” The leaders began to speak differently about each other to the media, toning down their rhetoricThe city summarized the conclusions and used them to prepare a and, consequentially, reaching new audiences. At one point, pro-lifeplan for the budget. A second round of surveys and workshops was advocates dissuaded a pro-life activist from Virginia from bringingheld to measure citizens’ support for the plan. The process gathered his message of violence to Massachusetts.a great deal of input on the city budget and allowed citizens andofficials to work through what could have been a highly contentious More: Our Budget, Our Economy: An AmericaSpeaksSample outcomes: City council adopted the main recommendationsmade by the participants, which included efficiency measures, user- National Town Meetingfee increases, service reductions, and service expansions. 3,500 Americans from all walks of life came together across 57 sites around the country to discuss the nation’s long-term fiscalMore: Edward Weeks, “The Practice of Deliberative Democracy: Results challenges on June 26, 2010. Participants worked in small groupsfrom Four Large-Scale Trials,” Public Administration Review 60. with skilled facilitators to learn about the issues, weigh trade offs, and express their preferences. Face-to-face meetings at each of theA Decade of Public Engagement sites took place simultaneously and were linked together by satellitein Bridgeport, Connecticut and webcast to create a true National Town Meeting. At 19 of the sites, participants used electronic voting keypads and groupwareOver the past decade, a culture of problem solving has evolved computers to identify their shared priorities over the course of thein Bridgeport in which citizens are viewed as vital resources who day-long meeting. They were joined by participants at 38 volunteer-must be consulted and involved if challenges are to be addressed organized Community Conversations across the country.effectively. Initially aimed at engaging the public around issuesof school reform and education, Bridgeport’s public engagement Participants identified preferred options for reducing spending andprograms have expanded over time to include many local issues. increasing revenue that could reduce the deficit in 2025 by $1.2Public discussions have explored a wide range of topics, including trillion. Preferred spending options included reductions in defenseachievement gaps, family violence, corruption in city government, spending, non-defense spending, and health care spending, but athousing, economic development and more. different levels for each. Preferred revenue options included raising the cap on payroll taxes, raising income taxes on the most wealthy,Sample outcomes: New student-mentor volunteers, anti-bullying establishing a carbon tax and the establishment of a securities-policy, involvement of business leaders in education reform, and an transaction tax.overall culture of embedded and self-sustaining citizen engagementand community problem-solving. Outcomes: The National Town Meeting demonstrated that participants from different socio-economic and ideologicalMore: backgrounds could come together and deal with a complex and controversial issue and identify a workable solution. PreliminaryPro-Choice / Pro-Life Leaders Dialogue results from before-and-after surveys and interviews indicatein Boston, Massachusetts that participants from across the ideological spectrum tended to moderate their views on this issue as a result of the deliberation.On a December morning in 1994, John Salvi walked into the The results from the National Town Meeting are being presentedPlanned Parenthood clinic in Brookline, Massachusetts and opened to dozens of Congressional offices, the President’s Nationalfire with a rifle. He seriously wounded three people and killed the Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and the Bi-Partisanreceptionist, Shannon Lowney, as she spoke on the phone. He then Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force.ran to his car and drove two miles down Beacon Street to Pretermhealth Services, where he began shooting again, injuring two and More: www.usabudgetdiscussion.orgkilling receptionist Lee Ann Nichols.14 • 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
  17. 17. Portsmouth Listens: Study Circles Countywide Community Forumsin Portsmouth, New Hampshire of King County, WashingtonPortsmouth Listens – an all-volunteer group of citizens committed The people of King County recognized that many have difficultyto facilitating dialogue in Portsmouth on contentious public issues participating meaningfully in government processes that rely– has become a trusted, neutral venue for public decision-making primarily on traditional public hearings. In order to enhance citizenin the city. The process allows people of differing interests and participation, civic engagement, and citizenship education, Kingbackgrounds to identify what is important and what they share in County enacted Initiative 24 – a donation-funded program withincommon. Consistently, the benefits have been the development of the auditor’s office, designed to bring democracy to people aroundquality information on important issues for decision makers, and kitchen tables, living rooms, and cafés.widespread community support for the resulting decisions. Any interested person who lives or works in the county canPortsmouth Listens began as an effort to use dialogue, deliberation, participate as “citizen councilors,” discussing timely public issuesand community organizing techniques to mobilize hundreds with fellow residents at convenient times and places and providingof parents and students around issues of bullying and violence valuable feedback to elected officials, community leaders, and theprevention in the city’s middle school. The process was subsequently public. The objective is to improve the paradigm of the traditionalused in the Portsmouth Schools to develop a plan for redistricting public hearing and to scale the process to engage large numbersthe elementary schools. Having witnessed the success of those of people over time and geographic distance, on a tight budget,efforts, local leaders decided to use study circles to involve residents through online and face-to-face small group the strategic Master Plan review process. Portsmouth Listens hasalso held roundtable candidate forums for local elections and an Outcomes: The most important outcome of long-term projects likeinformational forum on the city budget. this one tends to be increased civic capacity in the region, which can be challenging to measure. Building civic capacity – or the ability forSample outcomes on school redistricting: Attempts to redistrict a community to solve its problems more and more effectively overPortsmouth’s elementary schools in the early 1990’s were so time – is a big-picture goal of all public engagement work.contentious that the school board avoided it for the next 10 yearsor so. After 115 residents participated in 4-week small-group, More: www.communityforums.orgfacilitated discussions, they reported their findings to the schoolboard. The resulting plan developed by the school board received Restorative Listening Projectbroad support for increased funding of school renovations, and of Portland, Oregonresulted in only 65 students switching schools. The Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s RestorativeMore: Listening Project uses dialogue, storytelling and restorative justice to engage residents in the complex racial and economic issuesTight Times, Tough Choices: Budget Deliberations surrounding gentrification. Participants address questions like “How can we know that what we think is in our best interest is alsoin Philadelphia, Pennsylvania good for our neighbors?”At the request of city officials, Penn’s Project for Civic Engagementhosted a series of four community forums in various neighborhoods Restorative justice aims to mend harm by inviting those mostacross the city in 2009. The Tight Times, Tough Choices forums were impacted to describe the harm. “The one who strikes the blowdesigned to be work sessions where Philadelphians met in small doesn’t know the force of the blow,” director Judith Mowry says.groups to work through some of the actual budget choices facing “Only the one who has received the blow knows its force.” The goalthe city. The deliberative forums were open to all taxpayers in the of the project is to have white people better understand the effectcity, and participants grappled with startling numbers: a projected gentrification can have on the city’s longtime black and other-city deficit of $108 million in the next six months, and a 5-year minority neighborhoods by having minority residents tell what it isshortfall of more than $1 billion. like to be on the receiving end.The forums were designed to both inform residents about the city Outcomes: By encouraging black and white residents to talkbudget and the issues involved in developing a balanced budget, honestly about gentrification, Portland has been repairingand to inform elected officials about what they would and would relationships, building community, and creating space for residentsnot support (and why). to move forward together.Sample outcomes: Participants identified a set of specific budget More: as well as underlying values to support those prioritiesso that leaders could respond at both levels. Mayor Nutter andcity officials used input from the forums in developing the city’sproposed budget for 2010, adopting or adapting seven of the eightprinciples identified by citizens.More: Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement • 15
  18. 18. Delibrative Dialogues on the Achievement Gap Many More Case Central Texas These and many more case studies on notable efforts to engage theThe Texas state demographer determined that there can be a $300B public in contentious issues can be found at:annual benefit by 2040 to the state economy if Texas can close Participedia.netthe gaps to college while continuing to raise expectations for all In 2007 and 2008, in partnership with Austin Voices forEducation and Youth, Texas Forums, and the Kettering Foundation, The Democracy HelplineE3 Alliance convened community-wide deliberative forums about achievement gaps in education in communities across theCentral Texas region. The NCDD Resource Center dialogues were held in six communities across theregion, enabled hundreds of residents – both the usual and A Special Thank You to Boston event planning team member Markunusual suspects – to deliberate on critical issues about education Shoul, Director of Hands Across North Quabbin, for initiating andachievement gaps in their communities and develop action plans helping compile this section!and recommendations based on their deliberations. Delegates wereselected from each community to attend a broader regional eventto identify key themes common across the region.Outcomes: Creation of continued conversations of the communitiesbeyond the discussions. The creation of the Blueprint for EducationalChange, which encompasses 35 school districts, 15 charters andseven higher education institutions, totaling over 360,000 studentsfrom Kindergarten through post-secondary education.More: Resources at NCDD.orgA quick guide to what’s available on the site.NCDD Resource Center NCDD Member ApplicationOver 2,500 resources... dialogue guides, D&D methods, videos, case Consider becoming a member of NCDD if you haven’t already!studies, evaluation tools, articles, books, and more. Membership is currently $100/year for organizations or $50/year dues for individuals. Members NetworkLearn about our extraordinary members (and connect with them) Listservs and Email Updatesvia the NCDD Network directory. Use the advanced search to find Our monthly e-updates go out to 20,000 people who do publicskilled professionals near you. engagement and conflict resolution work. Our active Discussion list connects over 1,000 practitioners and scholars across the globe, and showcases the know-how and intellectualResources for Beginners generosity of our members. About a dozen other listservs connect people regionally or around interest areas like climate change andYour gateway to our Glossary of Terms, info about what “D&D” are, higher to organize a dialogue and deliberation program, where to find, NCDD ForumNews & Perspectives Blog An interactive space where you can introduce yourself, post questions, and discuss key issues in our field with other NCDDers.Our frequently-updated main blog is designed to keep you in-the- about happenings and opportunities in dialogue, deliberationand public (soon to be at Please note: As of October 2010, NCDD is in the midst of a website switchover from to The main page at overviews what resources can currently be found on each site.16 • 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
  19. 19. Published October 2010 by the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation20 • 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation