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Deliberation & Deliberative Democracy

Here are all of the resources in this category that NCDD recommends most highly. Too many choices? Narrow your results

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A Manager's Guide to Resolving Conflicts in Collaborative Networks Highly Recommended

Lisa B. Bingham and Rosemary O'Leary. IBM Center for the Business of Government. Networks, Collaboration, and Partnerships Series, 2008.

This 50-page report expands on previous Center reports by adding an important practical tool for managers in networks: how to manage and negotiate the conflicts that may occur among a network's members. The approach they describe - interest-based negotiation - has worked in other settings, such as bargaining with unions. Such negotiation techniques are becoming crucial in sustaining the effectiveness of networks, where successful performance is defined by how well people collaborate and not by hierarchical commands.

Resource Link: http://www.businessofgovernment.org/pdfs/OlearyBinghamReport.pdf

A Spectrum of Politics and Governance Grounded in Empowered Citizen Dialogue and Deliberation Highly Recommended

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.

Addressing Language-Related Challenges in the Practice of Dialogue and Deliberation Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

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 Unpublished manuscript, 2006.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.

Resource Link: http://www.thataway.org/exchange/files/docs/Heierbacher_language_paper.doc

AmericaSpeaks Highly Recommended

Promoting the founding belief that every citizen has a right to impact the decisions of government, AmericaSpeaks serves as a neutral convener of large-scale public participation forums. Through close consultation with leaders, citizens, the media and others, AmericaSpeaks designs and facilitates deliberative meetings for 500 to 5,000 participants. Its partners have included regional planning groups, local, state, and national government bodies, and national organizations. Issues have ranged from Social Security reform to redevelopment of ground zero in New York.

Resource Link: http://www.americaspeaks.org

Assessing Deliberation: Setting the Agenda, Implementing Policy, and Outcomes Highly Recommended

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.

Resource Link: http://www.thataway.org/exchange/files/docs/Bingham-AssessingDelibPaper.doc

At The Table Highly Recommended

Connect with others, share information, and help build the worldwide movement for youth participation at this online clearinghouse featuring everything you need to know about effectively involving youth in your organization and community. Hosted by the Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development.

Resource Link: http://www.AtTheTable.org

Beginning With the End in Mind Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Julie Pratt. West Virginia Center for Civic Life, with support from the Kettering Foundation.

Issue framing is rooted in the belief that democracy depends upon people making choices together about how to deal with problems in their communities. Framing an issue for public deliberation requires us to examine a problem from many angles. It encourages us to be curious about - and even compassionate toward - ideas that differ from our own, so that our deliberations may help us discover common ground for action. A well-framed issue will be inclusive of differing perspectives and will be framed in public terms that citizens can relate to. This great 22-page workbook takes you through the various components or steps of framing an issue for public deliberation.

Resource Link: http://www.thataway.org/exchange/files/docs/Pratt-IssueFramingWorkbook.doc

Building Deliberative Communities Highly Recommended

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.

Building Democratic Governance: Tools and Structures for Engaging Citizens Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

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.

Resource Link: http://www.nlc.org/ASSETS/6B83BE044C544D4AA963D48B884434FF/demgov.pdf

Building Strong Neighborhoods: A Study Circle Guide for Public Dialogue and Community Problem Solving Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Study Circles Resource Center (SCRC), 1998.

A four-session discussion guide on many important neighborhood issues including: race and other kinds of differences; young people and families; safety and community-police relations; homes, housing and beautification; jobs and neighborhood economy; and schools.

Resource Link: http://www.studycircles.org/en/DiscussionGuides.aspx

By Popular Demand: Revitalizing Representative Democracy Through Deliberative Elections Highly Recommended

John Gastil. University of California Press, 2000.

Building on the success of citizen juries and deliberative polling, Gastil proposes improving our current process by convening randomly selected panels of citizens to deliberate for several days on ballot measures and candidates. Voters would learn about the judgments of these citizen panels through voting guides and possibly information printed on official ballots. The result would be a more representative government and a less cynical public.

Resource Link: http://faculty.washington.edu/jgastil/

By the People Highly Recommended

By the People: America in the World, an initiative of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, aims to energize and enhance the national conversation on America's role in the world through a series of national and local broadcasts and events that demonstrate the relevance of foreign policy issues to local concerns. The project includes three national PBS specials, two cycles of local programming to be produced by PBS stations in cooperation with community organizations, national and local forums for civic dialogue, and an interactive web site.

Resource Link: http://www.macneil-lehrer.com/btp/

Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation Highly Recommended

The NCDD-inspired 2005 Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation has been transformed into the Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation. Mirroring the growth of this exciting field of practice, C2D2's website will also grow and reflect the different emergent streams of the Canadian dialogue and deliberation community from coast to coast.

Resource Link: http://www.c2d2.ca

Canadian Policy Research Networks Highly Recommended

CPRN creates knowledge and leads public debate on social and economic issues important to the well-being of Canadians. The birth of CPRN's Public Involvement Network (PIN) in 2002 reflects the growing conviction in policy circles that effective public policy requires effective public engagement.

Resource Link: http://www.cprn.ca

Categorizing the Dialogue & Deliberation Community Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

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.

Center for Collaborative Policy Highly Recommended

The Center is a joint program of California State University, Sacramento and the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific. The mission of the Center is to build the capacity of public agencies, stakeholder groups, and the public to use collaborative strategies to improve policy outcomes. The Center produces a quarterly newsletter called The Collaborative Edge.

Resource Link: http://www.csus.edu/ccp/

Changing the Way We Govern: Building Democratic Governance in your Community Highly Recommended

National League of Cities, 2006.

Drawing on case studies of successful projects, this guide: explains how to educate, involve, and mobilize citizens in a variety of events and initiatives; describes how communities have used democratic governance approaches to address key issues; builds on city strategies for accomplishing key tasks using shorter-term mechanisms; and describes some of the more permanent, structural forms of democratic governance that have emerged recently. Changing the Way We Govern is an essential tool for anyone who is tired of the conflict and apathy created by old-fashioned citizen involvement methods – and who wants to tap into the full potential of citizens and public life.

Resource Link: http://www.thataway.org/exchange/files/docs/NLC-ChangingTheWay.pdf

Charrettes Highly Recommended

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.

Resource Link: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/pittd/charrett.htm

Choices for the 21st Century Program Highly Recommended

The Choices Program at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies offers deliberation-focused supplemental curriculum units for U.S. History, World History and Global Studies. Choices units feature historical background, a role play centered on alternative policies, primary source materials, detailed lesson plans and study guides. Units are affordable.

Resource Link: http://www.choices.edu

CitizenPost Highly Recommended

In the summer of 2006, the Case Foundation published Cynthia Gibson's groundbreaking paper "Citizens at the Center: A New Approach to Civic Engagement." The publication generated much discussion and debate, and this blog was created to allow the conversation to continue. Focused on all things "citizen-centered" (a term which includes not only citizens, but also those who aspire to be citizens, including immigrants), the blog attempts to dig down into how we can make civic engagement, civic discourse, political involvement, volunteering, and other good practices part and parcel of everyday life rather than something people do in their spare time or occasionally.

Resource Link: http://www.citizenpost.blogspot.com

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