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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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.
Charrettes are typically a potent combination of modern design studio and town meeting, with a dash of the teamwork from an old-fashioned barnraising mixed in. Most start with a hands-on session for citizens and continue in an around-the-clock, energetic push until a plan is finished about a week later. A charrette can be a breakthrough event that helps overcome inertia and creates a meaningful master plan. Properly executed, this technique can produce a master plan that is more useful, better understood, and more quickly produced than one formed by other methods.
The Citizens Jury process is a method for gathering a microcosm of the public, having them attend five days of hearings, deliberate among themselves and then issue findings and recommendations on the issue they have discussed. No deliberative method has been more carefully designed or thoroughly tested than this method.
Civic reflection is the practice of bringing together a group of people who are engaged in common civic work to read and talk about fundamental questions of civic life. This form of dialogue draws upon the rich resources of the humanities--using readings of literature, philosophy, and history, and the age-old practice of text-based discussion--to help civic leaders think more carefully and talk more comfortably about their values and choices.
National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation, 2003.
Back in 2003, there was a great conversation on the main NCDD Discussion list sparked by the question "What should we do when our most visible collaborator is perceived as liberal, yet our goals are to involve people with all ideologies?" That conversation evolved to address the all-important question "Are conservatives less interested in citizen engagement than liberals?" Here is a summary of that meaty conversation...
Cooperative inquiry is a research method that provides a framework for participants to use their own experience to generate insights around an issue that is of mutual concern. Participants form a group, usually of about 7-8 people, define a pressing question and agree to meet on several occasions over a period of time. During meetings, members reflect together on their work as it relates to the question. Between meetings, members inquire into their own practice, observe their experiences and implement new actions that might help them learn something new about the question.
Creating Meaningful Dialogue at Arts Events: Getting beyond Q & A, testimonial, art critique, or soapbox oratory!
Excerpted from Civic Dialogue, Arts & Culture: Findings from Animating Democracy by Pam Korza, Barbara Schaffer Bacon, and Andrea Assaf. Washington, D.C.: Americans for the Arts, 2005.
This great 2-page handout was created for a workshop at NCDD's 2006 conference called "Inquiring Minds Want to Know: What Do the Arts Have to Do With Dialogue?" Presenters Leah Lamb, Ellen Schneider, and Pam Korza list challenges, offer strategies for effectively engaging audiences in civic dialogue at arts events, provide examples of how dialogue professionals can learn to incorporate art to support their dialogue goals, and more.
Compiled by the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD), 2005.
Below are dozens of links to dialogue and deliberation success stories and case studies that are available online. Approaches covered include Deliberative Polling, Citizens Juries, Future Search, National Issues Forums, Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue, AmericaSpeaks, Study Circles, the Public Conversations Project, and Wisdom Councils. NCDD has been compiling these resources for the D&D community for several years, but we could really use your help keeping this page updated. Email us at [email protected] with your additions and changes.
Dynamic Facilitation is an energy-based way of facilitating where people address difficult issues creatively and collaboratively, achieving breakthrough results. It creates a process of talking and thinking that builds mutual respect, trust and the sense of community.
Elena Fagotto and Archon Fung. Final Report for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, submitted by the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. April 14, 2006.
This very meaty 151-page final report to the Hewlett Foundation includes detailed case studies on West Virginia?s National Issues Forums, Public Deliberation in South Dakota, Public Deliberation in Hawai?i, and Connecticut?s Community Conversations about Education. Elena Fagotto presented a workshop on her research at NCDD's 2006 conference called "Embedded Deliberation: Moving from Deliberation to Action." She decided to share the report with the NCDD community since many of her workshop participants requested it.
Part of a larger community program, an Everyday Democracy dialogue (formerly known as a "Study Circle") is a group of 8 to 12 people from different backgrounds and viewpoints who meet several times to talk about a critical public issue. In a dialogue, everyone has an equal voice, and people try to understand one another's views. They do not have to agree with one another. The idea is to share concerns and look for ways to make things better. A neutral facilitator helps the group look at different views and makes sure the discussion goes well.
Over the past 10 years, the Forums Institute for Public Policy has developed Informed Contemplative Dialogue, a successful method of engaging stakeholders in not only talking about an issue, but also learning new perspectives and sharing information with others beyond the forum itself. Unlike most group gatherings whose goal is to support cohesive group effort, the goal of a Policy Forum using Informed Contemplative Dialogue is to provide participants what they need to think about an issue and to take action within their own sphere of influence.
Janette Hartz-Karp, Ph.D..
This phenomenal 36-page handout was distributed at Janette Hartz-Karp's workshop ("Breakthrough Initiatives in Governing with the People: The Australian Experience") at the 2004 NCDD Conference in Denver, Colorado. It provides detailed information about a variety of community engagement techniques, including citizens jury, consensus conference, future search, charrette, consensus forum, multi criteria analysis conference, local area forum, people's panel, deliberative poll/survey, televote/telesurvey, and e-democracy. Under each method are details about why, when and how they are used, as well as a useful how-to flowchart.
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...
NCDD formed in 2002 after 60 leaders and 50 organizations collaborated to produce the first National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation. The conference brought together practitioners and scholars from across the spectrum of D&D practice for the first time, and NCDD's members are committed to continuing to foster collaboration and build understanding and cohesion in the D&D community.
The term "National Issues Forums" is used to refer to both a network of programs and a deliberative process. National Issues Forums (NIF) is an independent network of civic and educational groups which use "issue books" as a basis for deliberative choice work in forums based on the town meeting tradition. NIF issue books use research on the public's concerns to identify three or four options or approaches to an issue. Presenting issues in this way invites citizens to confront the conflicts among different options and avoids the usual debates in which people lash out with simplistic arguments.
Jan Elliott, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement Certificate Program at Fielding Graduate Institute. NCDD, 2004.
Jan Elliott submitted this commentary about Fielding's new certificate program for the NCDD website on May 13, 2004. Fielding Graduate Institute, in collaboration with The International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (IISD) and the Kettering Foundation, is launching a unique new 16-week graduate level Certificate Program on Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement...
Tom Atlee and Rosa Zubizarreta. NCDD, 2003.
This commentary was submitted for the NCDD website by Tom Atlee and Rosa Zubizarreta in March 2003. The piece is adapted from Tom's book "The Tao of Democracy" (2002). It begins "To 'facilitate' means to 'help make easier.' If our goal is to have meaningful and powerful dialogue, the role of a facilitator is to help make it easier for the group to do so. Dynamic Facilitation, created by consultant Jim Rough, is a leading-edge process designed to help groups have meaningful conversations, access their creativity, and discover practical breakthroughs to challenging situations, even in the midst of divergent opinions, strong emotions, and conflicting beliefs.
NCDD's main listserv is a popular resource for practitioners, scholars, activists and students of dialogue and deliberation. As of January 2007, over 600 subscribers use this listserv for networking, information-sharing, and discussing key issues facing our community of practice. This discussion list is NCDD members' primary means of communicating directly with one another, and with others in the D&D community. Non-members are welcome to subscribe to this list.
National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation.
NCDD's website (you're here right now!) is an online resource center for organizers, facilitators, scholars, and others who want to learn more about dialogue and deliberation, improve their work, or stay informed about what's happening throughout the field. NCDD sends out a monthly email message to over 10,000 people in the D&D community to give them a heads-up about what's new on this ever-changing site--and in the field in general.
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