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International Journal of Public Participation Highly Recommended

International Association for Public Participation (IAP2).

The IJP2 is an online, multi-disciplinary forum for the exchange of information among researchers, practitioners, decision-makers, and citizens about public participation and its impact around the world. It has been created with the specific intention of bridging the arenas of research and practice within the field of public participation.

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Internews Interactive (InterAct) Highly Recommended

The widespread use of digital communication devices has created a nation not only clamoring for 15 minutes of fame on national television, but capable of connecting to it. InterAct's mission is to help Americans gain a place among the pundits and politicians who create public policy, using the most powerful medium on earth, broadcast television. The Public Conversations Project partnered with InterAct on RedBlue - an Internet project that gives Americans, whether ?“red,?” ?“blue?” or ?“purple,?” a way to connect, explore differences, and find out what we have in common.

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Involving Citizens in Community Decision Making: A Guidebook (2nd Edition) Highly Recommended

James L. Creighton. National Civic League.

This public participation manual focuses specifically on the community level of public decision making. The author based this comprehensive 'how-to' guide on many years of professional experience designing and implementing public participation programs. Creighton takes the reader from the basics through practical issues such as designing, staffing, and evaluating public participation programs, preparing a public participation plan, and utilizing specific implementation techniques.

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Issue Framing Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

A "frame" is a way of understanding or interpreting what is going on and how we should relate to it. How we frame an issue or conflict (or how it is framed for us) has a tremendous impact on what we do about it...

Issue Framing: Issue Books and Implications for Community Action Highly Recommended

Chris Kelley. Kettering Foundation, 2002.

The Kettering Foundation long ago identified a disconnect between the public and politics. People in communities all over the country felt estranged from their elected representatives, from their public institutions, and most importantly, from each other. A significant portion of this disconnect focused on how issues in communities got named and framed. Kettering surmised, correctly, that if a public issue was named in such a way that the public could not identify with it, then the public would have a difficult time supporting it. However, if the public could identify a public problem together (naming) and then discuss choices on how to solve the particular problem (framing), then the likelihood of greater community action increased ten-fold.

Jefferson Center Highly Recommended

Since 1974, the Jefferson Center has conducted Citizen Juries at the local, state and national levels. In a Citizens Jury, a randomly selected, demographically representative panel of citizens, which serve as a microcosm of the public, meet to carefully examine an issue of public significance. At the end of their moderated hearings, the members present their recommendations to the public. The Citizens Jury process is a comprehensive tool that allows decision makers to hear thoughtful citizen input. Juries have addressed topics including national health care reform, budget priorities, environmental issues and local school district facility needs.

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Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue E-Newsletter Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

The Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group.

Len and Libby Traubman keep hundreds of people inspired and updated on Jewish-Palestinian dialogue efforts around the world through their e-newsletter and website.

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Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group of San Mateo, CA Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Len and Libby Traubman have been organizing Jewish-Palestinian dialogue in the San Francisco Bay area for over a decade. Their website features a 'how to' page on initiating Jewish-Palestinian dialogue groups, as well as many great articles and links. The Traubmans have spawned many similar, yet diverse groups in the Bay area, and their ideas have spread into new cities and campuses.

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Journal of Public Deliberation Highly Recommended

The principal objective of JPD is to synthesize the research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the emerging multi-disciplinary field and political movement called by some "deliberative democracy." By doing this, we hope to help improve future research endeavors in this field and aid in the transformation of modern representative democracy into a more citizen friendly form. The JPD actually has two websites - one for its "academic side" and one for its "practitioner side."

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Just Waiting to Be Asked? A Fresh Look at Attitudes on Public Engagement Highly Recommended

Steve Farkas, Patrick Foley and Ann Duffett. Public Agenda, 2001.

This research study finds that school district leaders say they are eager for public engagement in educational decision making, but the venue they rely on most - the school board meeting - is primarily seen as a vehicle for the most vocal and disgruntled citizens. This 48-page publication is available for $10 through Public Agenda.

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Kettering Foundation Highly Recommended

The central question behind the foundation's research is currently this: What does it take to make democracy work as it should? The Kettering Foundation produces low-cost publications of interest to dialogue leaders. A few examples are: Making Choices Together: The Power of Public Deliberation; Community Leadership: Community Change through Public Action; and How the Community Works: Officeholder Perspectives on Democratic Self-Government and the Community. The Kettering Foundation spawned the National Issues Forums.

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Let's Talk America Hosting Manual Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

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.

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Making It Real: How to Make Civic Engagement a Public Sensibility Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, 2003.

Making it Real offers seven ways for public leaders and organizations to infuse civic engagement practices throughout their public work. The workbook presents stories of success and provides concrete tools and actions to help leaders to tap the talent and energy within a community to bring new life into a community organization; discover common ground among organizations in order to work more effectively together; set ground rules that encourage people to listen as well as engage; ask new questions that create new possibilities, and more.

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Mapping Dialogue: A research project profiling dialogue tools and processes for social change Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

German Technical Co-Operation (GTZ) and Pioneers of Change. Johannesburg, South Africa, 2006.

This research project was commissioned by GTZ as part of their supporting the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) to explore ways in which dialogue can be used to address social challenges in South Africa. During and since South Africa?’s transition to democracy, Nelson Mandela has exhibited a formidable ability to forgive and suspend judgment, along with an awareness of the importance of listening to all sides. Pioneers of Change was asked in this context to map out a variety of approaches, and to provide an overview, case examples and commentary on each.

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Mapping Dialogue: A research project profiling dialogue tools and processes for social change Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Marianne "Mille" Bojer, Marianne Knuth, Colleen Magner. Pioneers of Change Associates. Johannesburg, South Africa, 2006.

A number of methods for facilitating face-to-face dialogue have been emerging globally, in particular over the past 20 years. This collection profiles 10 such methods in depth and a number of others more briefly. This research project was commissioned by the German Technical Co-operation (GTZ). It is part of their supporting the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) to explore ways in which dialogue can be used to address social challenges in South Africa.

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Meaningful Public Involvement: Charrettes for Community Change Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

National Charrette Institute for the National Association of REALTORS.

Achieving true citizen participation in community planning is always a challenge. To address the need for a better participation process, communities and developers are turning to the "charrette," a multi-day intensive planning workshop that includes all stakeholders in a community and results in a plan that can be implemented and built. This PowerPoint presentation, which includes both slides and a script, describes what a charrette is and how it can be used to improve the planning process in your community.

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Media and Public Relations Guide Highly Recommended

Let's Talk America, 2004.

Originally created for Let's Talk America conversation hosts, this 6-page document suggests a variety of methods for getting the word out through the media about your dialogue or deliberation program. The methods range from simple letters to the editor to a major media campaign.

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Meetings as a Strategy for Change Highly Recommended

The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and BTW Consultants, 2004.

Meetings are a ubiquitous, time-consuming, and often expensive feature of organizational life. They range from ad hoc meetings of two or three people to multi-day events with hundreds of speakers and thousands participants. To maximize the value of meetings, grantmakers who fund them and organizations that sponsor them must be clear about their objectives and must think strategically about both the benefits and costs of the events. This packet includes three tools that provide a series of questions to be asked of meeting planners or foundation staff in considering whether a meeting is the best strategy for accomplishing the desired results.

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Millions of Voices: A Blueprint for Engaging the American Public in National Policy-Making Highly Recommended

AmericaSpeaks, 2004.

In 2002, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon introduced legislation that called for a national conversation on health care reform. The following spring and summer, AmericaSpeaks convened more than a dozen leaders in the field of citizen engagement to develop a strategy for making it happen: to figure out how to involve more than a million Americans in deliberations that would identify shared priorities for reforming the nation's troubled health care system - or any other matter of pressing national importance.

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Mini-Manual for Conversation Cafe Hosts Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Conversation Cafe.

This 4-page host manual provides you with everything you need to know to start and host a Café. Conversation Cafés are lively, hosted, drop-in conversations among diverse people about our feelings, thoughts and actions in this complex, changing world. The simple structure of Conversation Cafés ?– and their spirit of respect, curiosity and warm welcome ?– help people shift from small talk to BIG talk.

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? 2003-2007 National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation.
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