Most Highly Recommended Resources
These resources are recommended highly by NCDD for many reasons. Some are highly regarded by practitioners or scholars. Some have caused a buzz in the field. Some have proven themselves to be highly effective when put into practice. And some are just the best resources of their kind. As these distinctions are highly subjective, we are open to your feedback and ideas for other resources we should recommend.
Here are all of the resources in this category that NCDD recommends most highly. Too many choices? Narrow your results
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Tom Atlee. The Co-Intelligence Institute, 2005.
This article addresses the question of how to connect different forms of citizen dialogue and deliberation - from mass participatory contexts to more complex forms of deliberation with limited participation - to generate collective wisdom that is truly democratic.
A Summary of Citizen Participation Methods for the Waterfront Development Project in Oconto, Wisconsin
Kevin Silveira, Ron Shaffer and Chris Behr, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension.
The City of Oconto and the National Coastal Resources Institute sought to evaluate and integrate information on the economic and environmental impacts of waterfront development. A significant dimension of that effort was to go beyond the technical dimension of those decisions, and address the equally important local perceptions and concerns regarding the waterfront. This review of various techniques for gathering citizen input and encouraging involvement was originally prepared as background to the project team to help them involve Oconto residents in the decisions regarding the waterfront. The authors recommend that you use the document as a starting, not ending, point for building a citizen involvement strategy.
Sandy Heierbacher (Director of NCDD). Unpublished manuscript, 2006.
The true power of dialogue and deliberation lies in their ability to surface new insights and innovative solutions when all voices are brought to the table. But while diversity is an asset to these programs, it brings with it a unique set of challenges. This paper addresses four broad challenges related to language and culture that dialogue and deliberation practitioners regularly face. These are: (1) the challenge of getting culturally diverse participants in the door; (2) the logistics involved in having multiple languages spoken in the room; (3) creating a safe space for those with other language/speech needs or differences; and (4) dealing with participants? existing preconceptions, assumptions and stereotypes related to language/cultural differences.
Barbara Schaffer Bacon, Cheryl Yuen and Pam Korza, Animating Democracy Initiative of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts, 1999.
This report reveals pivotal and innovating roles that the arts can play in the renewal of civic dialogue as well as challenges faced by arts and cultural organizations as they engage in this work.
Lisa-Marie Napoli, Ph.D., Becky Nesbit and Lisa Blomgren Bingham. Submitted to the 2006 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation, 2006.
This 33-page research report presented at NCDD's 2006 conference examines AmericaSpeaks' 21st Century Town Meeting - one important model for facilitating citizen participation through large scale (100-5,000) dialogue in which citizens come together, listen to each other in a public arena, and make decisions as a collective community. Many researchers ask why there is a gap between scholarship and practice in the field of deliberation; this study responds to the call for empirical testing by examining the AmericaSpeaks model of a 21st Town Meeting. Specifically, this study examines agenda setting, implementation, and outcomes in the context of three different cities where the Town Hall Meetings occurred.
Best Practices for Government Agencies: Guidelines for Using Collaborative Agreement-Seeking Processes
The Society for Professionals in Dispute Resolution (now the Association for Conflict Resolution), 1997.
The recommendations in this report were developed through a joint effort of the SPIDR Environmental/Public Disputes Sector and the Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in Atlanta, Georgia, supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. This report focuses on best practices for government agencies and other users in the U.S. and Canada, reflecting the membership of the SPIDR Environmental/Public Disputes Sector. While potentially applicable to other countries, the recommendations will likely need to be tailored to the political frameworks, institutions and cultural norms in those societies.
Better Together is the final report of the Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America, an initiative of Professor Robert D. Putnam at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The project focuses on expanding what we know about our levels of trust and community engagement and on developing strategies and efforts to increase this engagement. A signature effort has been a multi-year dialogue held on how we can increasingly build bonds of civic trust among Americans and their communities.
The Public Conversations Project.
Read about PCP's groundbreaking 7-year abortion dialogue involving pro-choice and pro-life leaders in the Boston area. PCP has been doing dialogue work with Prochoice and Prolife activists and others since 1989.
The Brisbane Declaration drew on numerous definitions and aspirations for community engagement, including IAP2's core values and the Queensland Government's community engagement resources. A draft of the Declaration was reviewed and revised to reflect the feedback from the community of practitioners, academics, policy advisers, government and citizens who responded to a questionnaire. Importantly, there were also a number of deliberative sessions on the Declaration held during the 2005 International Conference on Engaging Communities. Feedback from these sessions was incorporated into the final version of the Declaration.
Pennie G. Foster-Fishman, Shelby L. Berkowitz, David W. Lounsbury, and Nicole A. Allen. American Journal of Community Psychology, 29(2), 241-261., 2001.
This article presents the results of a qualitative analysis of 80 articles, chapters, and practitioners' guides focused on collaboration and coalition functioning. The purpose of this review was to develop an integrative framework that captures the core competencies and processes needed within collaborative bodies to facilitate their success. The resulting framework for building collaborative capacity is presented. Four critical levels of collaborative capacity - member capacity, relational capacity, organizational capacity, and programmatic capacity - are described and strategies for building each type are provided. The implications of this model for practitioners and scholars are discussed.
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.
National League of Cities, 2005.
As the role of local officials in reforming public involvement increases, the National League of Cities (NLC) believes there is a need to assist them as they choose how to get citizens involved and at what level of engagement. This 84-page report from NLC's CityFutures Program provides principles, suggestions, and ideas for local elected leadership on citizen involvement.
Victoria Bernal, Benton Foundation.
"Online community" is the concept of convening people in virtual space and describes a range of online activities including electronic collaboration, virtual networks, Web-based discussions or electronic mailing lists. Creating a successful online community is one of the most sought after and elusive goals in a Web strategy, and an online community can be a powerful tool to bring constituents together to share their concern for an issue. Before you start planning your own virtual community, read this article by community builder Victoria Bernal to learn about what an online community can and can't do for your organization.
National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation, 2002.
The following is a working document developed in 2002 to ensure that members of the planning team for the first National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation were aware of the various streams of dialogic and deliberative practice. The 2002 conference was the first major event to bring people together from the entire spectrum of D&D practice, and it was important to us that all of these streams felt welcomed to the conference, and were represented in all aspects of the conference - from the handbook to the break-out sessions.
Cynthia M. Gibson, PhD. The Case Foundation, 2006.
The central claims of this noteworthy 31-page white paper are that "public service" is a more powerful frame around which to rally Americans for democratic renewal than "civic engagement" and the encouragement of public deliberation should be at the center of renewal efforts. Scholar Peter Levine of the University of Maryland has written that he considers the paper a breakthrough. Cynthia Gibson makes deliberation-linked-to-action the heart of civic engagement, instead of voting and/or service.
Elodie Fazi and Jeremy Smith. Study commissioned by the Civil Society Contact Group, 2006.
NGOs play a growing role in shaping the EU project through their participation in a "civil dialogue" with the EU institutions. After several decades of involvement in the European project, the time came for a common reflection on how to make this dialogue between EU and its citizens work better. This study is based on an overview of dialogue with EU institutions and on case studies with a particular focus on national NGOs? involvement, and looks at the practice of dialogue between NGOs and EU institutions, reviewing what works and what doesn?t, and making recommendations for change.
Doug Henton and John Melville (Collaborative Economics), with Terry Amsler and Malka Kopell (Hewlett Foundation). The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 2006.
This 47-page guide focuses on collaborative governance, an emerging set of concepts and practices that offer prescriptions for inclusive, deliberative, and often consensus-oriented approaches to planning, problem solving, and policymaking. Collaborative governance typically describes those processes in which government actors are participants and/or objects of the processes.
Myriam Laberge, Miriam Wyman and Jan Elliott. Summary from the Saturday morning plenary at the C2D2 Ottawa Conference, 2005.
What are the keys to enhancing the effectiveness, outcomes and impact of our Dialogue and Deliberation practice, no matter what the methodology, scale and approach adopted? This question was the focus of a plenary session at the first Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation in October 2005. Outlined in this 6-page document is a summary of the wealth of information and experience that C2D2 participant provided during this plenary. The authors feel that some principles emerged that are inviolate ? things that must characterize any dialogue or deliberation process; these underpin our work and guide us in design, implementation and follow-up. These include things like transparency about purpose, accountability, inclusivity, commitment to feedback - what Dr. Peter A. Singer has called ?procedural values.?
Michael Briand. National Civic Review, Winter 2005, 2005.
Though the case for deliberation is compelling, in both theory and practice it faces substantial impediments. The success of the campaign to afford deliberation a larger role in public discussion of policy issues is by no means guaranteed. In this 7-page essay, Briand argues that the fate of deliberative democracy is hanging in the balance.
Martha McCoy and Pat Scully, Study Circles Resource Center. National Civic Review, vol. 91, no. 2, pp. 117-135, 2002.
Martha McCoy and Pat Scully of the Study Circles Resource Center wrote this excellent article that distinguishes deliberation from dialogue and discusses the merits of ?the marriage of deliberation and dialogue.? Although the article focuses on the Study Circles process, it is a great introduction to public engagement processes and their principles. This is a very readable 19-page article that we highly recommend you take the time to read.
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