General Guides (not issue-specific)
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A Dynamic Facilitation Manual and Reader: Evoking practical group creativity through generative dialogue
Rosa Zubizarreta and Jim Rough. Center for Wise Democracy, 2002.
This spiral-bound manual describes a transformational approach for facilitating dialogue in situations where people are highly invested, emotionally charged or polarized, and helping groups arrive at practical and creative breakthroughs.
Harold H. Saunders, International Institute for Sustained Dialogue. St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Harold Saunders, former Assistant Secretary of State and negotiator of the Camp David Accords and now Director of International Programs at the Kettering Foundation, distills over 35 years of experience working with conflicts across the globe. This book describes how sustained dialogue can help conflicting groups of citizens move toward resolution.
The World Café is an easy-to-use method for creating a living network of collaborative dialogue around questions that matter to the real-life situations of your organizations or community. In this beautifully illustrated booklet, Juanita Brown collaborates with Nancy Margulies and the World Café Community to articulate seven guiding principles for people to use to host their own Café. Learn about the thousands of people on five continents who have experienced the World Café, a model for setting up the ideal Café for your group, the roles of the hosts, crafting powerful questions, Café assumptions and etiquette, and more.
Michael Briand. Pew Partnership for Civic Change, 1995.
A 36-page booklet introduces the reader to the role deliberation can play in creating new opportunities for communities to work together in more productive ways. The report draws on statistical and educational research to support the thesis that deliberative discussions can help a community learn its own strengths and weaknesses and can help bolster its confidence in its ability to change itself for the better. Using a Community Convention (a contemporary version of the New England town meeting) as a vehicle, the report explores the possibility of achieving a representative voice from all community segments.
The World Cafe Community Foundation, 2002.
This concise 7-page guide to the World Café covers the basics of the process. It includes brief outlines of each principle, a description of Café Etiquette, an outline of key elements of the World Café conversations, and tips for creating Café ambiance.
B. Wesorick and L. Shiparksi. Michigan: Practice Field Publishing, 1997.
An excellent resource for those working with groups which are new to dialogue. It includes strategies and stories that show ways to introduce and go deeper into the use of dialogue in the workplace.
League of Women Voters Education Fund, Pub #2070, 2005.
This League of Women Voters booklet is designed to share some of the basic principles involved in public dialogue processes and to acquaint the reader with what is needed to organize various types of gatherings, from small- and large-group interactions to online formats. Included are some basic planning questions as well as resources to help the reader conduct citizen engagement through dialogue at the community level. Citizens Building Communities is designed to help users understand some of the basics and guide them to resources so that they can foster dialogues at the community level.
Deliberation and Your Community: How to Convene and Moderate Local Public Forums Using Deliberative Decision-Making (training manual)
Sandra S. Hodge, Ph.D.. University Outreach and Extension, University of Missouri.
This 86-page NIF training manual is designed for use in Missouri, but it is a compliation of materials used by a number of people throughout the National Issues Forums network to train others in deliberative decision-making and NIF moderation. It addresses deliberation as another way to decide and is based on how to use local public forums, especially National Issues Forums, as a venue for deliberation. The author encourages you to adapt the manual to meet your own group's training needs.
Bettye Pruitt and Philip Thomas. The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2007.
This 242-page handbook is a joint effort of CIDA, International IDEA, OAS and UNDP, receiving valuable input from a wider network of organizations (including NCDD). This handbook is the result of a joint initiative to provide decision-makers and practitioners with a practical guide on how to design, facilitate and implement dialogue processes. It combines conceptual and practical knowledge, while providing an overview of relevant tools and experiences. NCDD highly recommends this handbook.
Sandra Hodge at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri directs this program, which promotes deliberation in Missouri primarily through National Issues Forums. Downloadable from Discovering Common Ground's website are three PowerPoint presentations about moderating, convening and recording deliberative public forums, and an 83-page manual titled Deliberation and Your Community: How to Convene and Moderate Local Public Forums Using Deliberative Decision-Making.
In 2004, Queen's University Belfast, the University of Maynooth and Limerick IT was awarded a large research grant on e-consultation. E-consultation is the use of electronic computing and communication technologies in consultation and is complementary to existing consultation mechanisms. It is software used to support mediation, negotiation and decision-making processes. The project sought to turn e-consultation in Northern Ireland and the border counties from an experimental idea to a practical option for community, voluntary and public sector bodies. A final report and an Online e-Consultation guide are available on the project's website.
For Convenors and Moderators: Organizing for Public Deliberation and Moderating a Forum/Study Circle
National Issues Forums, 2001.
This 24-page guide for moderators and convenors of National Issues Forums-style deliberation includes sections on how to get started, organizing a forum, moderating, reporting, posters, materials and more.
Maggie Herzig and Laura Chasin, Public Conversations Project.
For years, the Public Conversations Project has set the standard for facilitation materials and training in the dialogue and deliberation field. This Guide--chock-full of PCP's road-tested techniques for effectively engaging people across differences--is an invaluable resource for both established dialogue facilitators and newcomers to this work.
A leader is anyone who wants to help, anyone who is willing to step forward to help create change in their world. Change begins with conversation. From the Four Directions, an initiative of the Berkana Institute, offers a simple, yet powerful way for people to be in meaningful conversations.
Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff, Future Search Network. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1995.
This book describes a step-by-step process for planning and leading a Future Search conference, where diverse community members come together to envision and plan their shared future.
The Interactivity Foundation is a nonprofit operating foundation that supports the creation of sound public policies in selected areas of concern. Created by Jay Stern, a West Virginia businessman, the Foundation funds and manages projects that allow it to test its public policy exploration concepts. The Foundation's website offers a freely downloadable 132-page Facilitation Guidebook for helping citizens explore and develop public policy possibilities in a sanctuary-like discussion environment.
This manual teaches the Conversation Café method in detail. This is the simplest process we know and one that has a proven track record to be easily and reliably adopted by hosts who may have no previous experience - as well as by skilled facilitators. This manual provides a process that will honor LTA principles and enable you to take the conversation from small talk to big talk in a way that allows everyone to feel respected, safe and heard. With a little study and preparation, your conversation can create a positive and empowering experience for all.
Simply put, a Local Issues Forum is an online public commons (or town hall meeting), where any citizen, journalist, or elected official can post an idea, ask a question, make a public announcement, connect with one another, monitor public opinion, and ask for public input, and where journalists can look for story ideas or identify sources for articles. Created by e-democracy.org, Local Issues Forums utilize listserv technology. The goal of a Local Issues Forum is to give everyone a greater voice in local decisions and encourage more citizen participation in local public policy making. It also provides a forum for decision-makers to receive immediate feedback from the community on issues that must be decided or voted on.
United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS Habitat), 2004.
This publication describes locally designed strategies through which grassroots women's groups initiate and engage in ongoing dialogue with local authorities, with a view to influence policies, plans and programmes in ways that address women's priorities. The activities of these groups illustrate the creative ways in which women use their skills and knowledge to mobilise communities, raise resources, build alliances with local authorities and indeed, transform the institutions around them, to advance the interests of women and their communities. This 81-page toolkit is part of the Urban Governance Toolkit Series.
David Mathews and Noelle McAfee. The Kettering Foundation, 2002.
This 40-page booklet provides an introduction to the practice of public deliberation; basic tips for developing deliberative democracy programs in communities using National Issues Forums materials; and guidance to further resources.
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