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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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A Community Builder's Tool Kit: 15 Tools for Creating Healthy, Productive Interracial/Multicultural Communities Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Anti-Racism Initiative of the Institute for Democratic Renewal and Project Change, 2001.

This primer for revitalizing democracy from the ground up can be downloaded for free or ordered for $1.50 per copy.

Resource Link: http://www.race-democracy.org

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 Manual for Group Facilitators Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Brian Auvine. Center for Conflict Resolution; reprinted by the Fellowship for Intentional Community, 1981.

The role of group facilitator is often pivotal to good results for groups making the transition to consensus. The Manual is a great introduction to the concept of approaching the role of facilitator as someone who welcomes both rational and emotional input. The staff of the Center for Conflict Resolution put their experience in working with groups into A Manual for Group Facilitators. This is an informal outline detailing useful and effective techniques to help groups work well. More than a simple 'how to,' the manual contains a discussion of the values, dynamics, and common sense behind group process that have been verified by our own experience.

Resource Link: http://store.ic.org

A Model for an Introductory Dialogue on Abortion Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Public Conversations Project.

The model described here was developed for the single session introductory dialogues on abortion that Public Conversations Project conducted in 1990-1992 (eighteen sessions) and 1995-1998 (ten sessions). Most of these dialogues took place on weekday evenings between 6:00 and 9:30 and involved four to eight participants who did not know one another ahead of time. Several participants were activists but few were highly visible leaders. All groups were evenly balanced with people who described themselves as “prochoice” or “prolife.”

A Practical Guide to Consensus Highly Recommended

Chris Carlson and Jim Arthur. Policy Consensus Institute.

This 75-page step-by-step handbook walks readers through the stages of sponsoring, organizing, and participating in a public policy consensus process. Designed primarily for government agencies or departments, the guide also is useful for any other sponsor of - or participant in - a consensus building process.

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

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

Appreciative Inquiry Highly Recommended

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is about the coevolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them. In its broadest focus, it involves systematic discovery of what gives "life" to a living system when it is most alive, most effective, and most constructively capable in economic, ecological, and human terms. AI involves, in a central way, the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system's capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive potential.

Appreciative Inquiry Commons Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

The AI Commons is devoted to the sharing of academic resources and practical tools on Appreciative Inquiry and the rapidly growing discipline of positive change. The site is hosted by Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management. Appreciative Inquiry is the coevolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations and the relevant world around them.

Resource Link: http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu

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

Asset Based Community Development Highly Recommended

Instead of focusing on a community's needs, deficiencies and problems, Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) helps communities become stronger and more self-reliant by discovering, mapping and mobilizing all their local assets.

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

Best Practices for Government Agencies: Guidelines for Using Collaborative Agreement-Seeking Processes Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

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.

Resource Link: http://acrnet.org/acrlibrary/more.php?id=13_0_1_0_M

Beyond Intractability Knowledge Base Highly Recommended

Beyond Intractability is a free and comprehensive system for accessing the peace and conflict resolution field's cumulative body of knowledge on the nature of difficult and intractable conflicts, as well as strategies for reducing the destructiveness of these conflicts.

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

Brisbane Declaration on Community Engagement Highly Recommended

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.

Resource Link: http://www.thataway.org/exchange/files/docs/brisbane_declaration.pdf

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

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.

Change Management Toolbook Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

The Change Management Toolbook includes a broad range of tools, methods and strategies which you can apply during different stages of personal, team and organizational development, in training, facilitation and consulting. It is based on the wealth of tools and principles that have been provided by Kurt Lewin, Edgar Schein, Peter Senge, Arie de Geus, Robert Dilts, Virgina Satir, Bert Hellinger, Harrison Owen, David Cooperrider, Marvin Weisbord, Steve de Shazer - just to name a few - and many other great teachers.

Resource Link: http://www.change-management-toolbook.com

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

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