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Top 10 consultation mistakes and how to avoid them

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Prepared in 2015 for Bristol City Council / TCI

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Top 10 consultation mistakes and how to avoid them

  1. 1. consultationinstitute.org Top 10 29 October 2014
  2. 2. consultationinstitute.org Housekeeping! @TCInews • Fire exits & facilities… • Documentation etc • Phone etiquette • Twitter?
  3. 3. consultationinstitute.org The Consultation Institute Not-for-profit; Best Practice organisation; founded 2003 Consultation & Public Engagement ‘Think Tank’ UK…& beyond Centre of Excellence CPD 1,020+ members Quality Assurance Advanced Practitioner Certificate (APC) Centre for Communications & Consultation Research Consultation-related events eg #TCI11 Conference 22 October 2014
  4. 4. consultationinstitute.org 10 Missing Mandatory Considerations Equalities Impact Assessment
  5. 5. consultationinstitute.org Missing Impact Assessment Legal requirement • Not complete • Done retrospectively
  6. 6. consultationinstitute.org Secretary of State for Education Versus Luton BC, Nottingham CC, Waltham Forest LB, Newham LB, Kent CC, Sandwell MBC Cancel “Building Schools for the Future” • Ministers are not “above the law” Birmingham City Council versus “R” Changes to social care policy
  7. 7. consultationinstitute.org 9 Survey Error Wrong questions/bad design
  8. 8. consultationinstitute.org Survey Error Can skew entire consultation • No framing questions • No narrative / out of context • Too complex • Broken logic
  9. 9. consultationinstitute.org 8 No scope/scope creep No clarity/focus shift
  10. 10. consultationinstitute.org No scope/scope creep Lack of clarity about what can and can’t be influenced • Creates confusion • Helps focus evaluation • Clouds key issues • Less meaningful
  11. 11. consultationinstitute.org 7 Public meeting shambles Wrong venues/badly managed
  12. 12. consultationinstitute.org Public meeting shambles Mismanagement • Poor facilitation • Venue choice (parking?) • Format • Inequalities
  13. 13. consultationinstitute.org 6 Poor publicity Wrong audience, no visibility
  14. 14. consultationinstitute.org Poor publicity Missing voices, poor participation rates • Can create inequalities • Not reviewed • Not proactive
  15. 15. consultationinstitute.org 5 Disclosure Closed facts
  16. 16. consultationinstitute.org Save our Surgery Ltd Versus The Joint Committee of PCTs Avoid closure of Cardiac Unit at Leeds Infirmary • Did not reveal sub-scores from panel • Refused requests for information on scoring
  17. 17. consultationinstitute.org Disclosure Consultation does not allow for intelligent consideration • Missing information • Two-way disclosure • Transient stages
  18. 18. consultationinstitute.org 4 Managing stakeholders Social media
  19. 19. consultationinstitute.org Managing stakeholders Inform, feedback cycle • Identification of key ones • Social listening & intelligence • Dealing with complaints • Missing voices
  20. 20. consultationinstitute.org 3 Fair interpretation Conscientious consideration
  21. 21. consultationinstitute.org Fair interpretation Balanced & honest findings • Perceived bias (credibility) • Presentation of results • Improper analysis tools
  22. 22. consultationinstitute.org 2 Data handling Collecting & considering evidence
  23. 23. consultationinstitute.org Data handling Balanced & honest findings • Dealing with qualitative data • Activity evidence • Coding
  24. 24. consultationinstitute.org 1 Predetermination Burden of proof & transparency
  25. 25. consultationinstitute.org Predetermination Honest integrity • Stepping back • Preferred options • Pre-consultation • Honey trap
  26. 26. consultationinstitute.org Parting dale Lane Residents Association Versus London Borough of Barnet Order to re-open previously closed road • Elected member speeches and emails said it would happen • Evidentiary value of emails etc. in establishing that decision maker had made up their mind
  27. 27. consultationinstitute.org Top 10 29 October 2014

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