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.
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Established by the US Congress in 2003, the Citizens Health Care Working Group is mandated to create a nationwide public debate about improving the health care system to provide every American with the ability to obtain quality, affordable health care coverage. Congress is expected to vote on the recommendations that result from the debate. The group is holding a series of small and large-scale public meetings throughout 2006 aimed at engaging the American public in establishing the values and priorities that must drive health care reform in 2008 and beyond.
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.
The unique Citizens? Assembly process was pioneered in British Columbia (Canada) in 2004. The process gathered a randomly-selected group of voters together over the course of a year to learn about electoral systems, conduct public hearings, and spend an extended amount of time deliberating about what new electoral system (if any) should replace the existing one. Ontario is following the BC process pretty closely. The Ontario Assembly will meet in three phases: a learning phase, a public hearing phase, and a deliberation phase. The Assembly is empowered to craft a recommendation for a new electoral system that will be put directly to a public referendum....
Americans for the Arts, 2005.
This 312-page book from Animating Democracy explores the power of the arts and humanities to foster civic engagement while advancing possibilities for arts and humanities organizations to be vital civic as well as cultural institutions. From 2000 to 2004, Americans for the Arts, with support from the Ford Foundation, implemented Animating Democracy, an initiative to foster artistic activities encouraging civic dialogue on important contemporary issues. This book examines the experiences of 37 arts and humanities projects, realized by a wide range of cultural organizations. These projects explored such issues as race relations, economic inequity, gentrification, school violence, the role of same-sex couples in society, and the influx of immigrants and refugees in communities, among others.
National Civic League. The National Civic League, 1999.
This revised edition of the Civic Index is a 12-point community self-evaluation tool. The Civic Index assesses what the National Civic League calls civic infrastructure (the characteristics that communities possess to effectively solve problems). Whether the challenges being faced are economic development, low-income housing, transportation planning or any other, the healthy functioning of the 12 components of the Civic Index is vital for success.
Civic Innovation in America: Community Empowerment, Public Policy and the Movement for Civic Renewal
Carmen Sirianni and Lewis Friedland, Civic Practices Network. University of California Press, 2001.
This book is a scholarly examination of the civic renewal movement that has emerged in the United States in recent decades. In contrast to some recent studies that stress broad indicators of civic decline, this study analyzes innovation as a long process of social learning within specific institutional and policy domains with complex challenges and cross-currents. The study is based upon interviews with more than 400 innovative practitioners, as well as extensive field observation, case study, action research and historical analysis.
Catch up on the latest in online politics and democracy with the Corante blogging network's Civic Minded group blog. Civic Minded is a guide to the political impact of the Internet, looking at issues ranging from online organizing and campaigning to the big picture of how new technology is changing democratic communities.
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.
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.
Tom Atlee, Founder of the Co-Intelligence Institute (CII), regularly sends out inspiring and informative messages about collective intelligence to his mailing list of over 1000 people. CII promotes awareness of co-intelligence (a shared, integrated form of intelligence) and of many tools and ideas that can be used to increase it. CII's website is loaded with excellent, useful resources.
Founded by Tom Atlee, CII promotes awareness of co-intelligence (a shared, integrated form of intelligence) and of many tools and ideas that can be used to increase it. CII's website is loaded with excellent, useful resources.
A network of over 100 interdisciplinary and international scholars has been established to focus on the need to enhance the role of deliberative and collaborative methods in democratic governance. The goal of the network is to collaborate on research and theory building to strengthen the capacity of democratic governance institutions to produce better public policy. The Collaborative Democracy Network is being coordinated by the Center for Collaborative Policy at California State University Sacramento.
Center for Collaborative Policy at Ca. State University Sacramento.
As collaborative strategies and methods grow more important in dealing with complex and 'wicked' public policy issues, information about cutting edge developments in collaboration methods becomes more essential. The Collaborative Edge, an internet-based newsletter, provides timely information on collaborative strategies and methods to public agencies, civic organizations, and the public. Each quarterly edition includes articles on success stories, tool kits, challenging issues, and news and resources.
The Collaborative Governance Initiative, a program of the Institute for Local Government, supports informed and effective civic engagement in public decision-making and helps local officials in California successfully navigate among the many community involvement options that bring the public's voice to the table on important issues. Contact them for information or assistance with civic engagement planning. The Institute for Local Government is the nonprofit research and education affiliate of the League of California Cities.
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.
Daniel Yankelovich, Public Agenda. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1991.
Yankelovich, co-founder of Public Agenda, focuses on the public's waning ability to influence its future and offers a prescription for strengthening the public's hand in the 'silent power struggle' with the experts.
The mission of Common Sense California is to serve as a civic bridge between the citizens of California and our elected officials. We hope to improve and reform the broken system of governance in California so that, together, we can face and resolve the significant, long term challenges facing our state. We span a broad spectrum of professional disciplines and perspectives. We are Republicans, Democrats and Independents.
CBCRC is a network of researchers, mediators and facilitators, government agencies, community groups and environmental groups which seek to understand and assess local collaborative efforts involving natural resources and community development. CBCRC provides a venue for the sharing of research, evaluation and case studies; emerging stewardship issues and practice; and policy outcomes concerning community based collaborative processes.
Olivia Gude, Editor. Chicago Public Art Group.
The Chicago Public Art Group claims that their web-based Public Art Guide is the most comprehensive manual for making public artworks through collaboration with community that has ever been produced. The website represents the collective experience of dozens of dedicated community public artists, working on hundreds of projects, with thousands of participants.
CRS, an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, is a specialized Federal conciliation service available to State and local officials to help resolve and prevent racial and ethnic conflict, violence, and civil disorders. CRS helps local officials and residents tailor locally defined resolutions when conflict and violence threaten community stability and well-being.
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