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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.

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Art, Dialogue, Action, Activism: Case Studies from Animating Democracy Highly Recommended

Americans for the Arts' Animating Democracy Initiative, 2005.

This 114-page book opens with an essay by Detroit-based activist, cultural worker, and nonagenarian, Grace Lee Boggs. The book’s case studies feature projects by the Council for the Arts of Greater Lima and Sojourn Theatre on longstanding issues of race and trust among city and county leaders, Los Angeles Poverty Department on the advent of crack in the United States and drug policy reform, The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center on engaging disenfranchised people in dialogue and action on current issues of cultural equity and democracy, and Out North Contemporary Art House on the role of same-sex couples in society.

Resource Link: http://americans4thearts.stores.yahoo.net/noname.html

Ascentum Highly Recommended

Ascentum is a Canada-based professional services firm that combines a unique technology expertise with specialized management consulting services. Dialogue Circles is Ascentum's intermodal approach to consultation that aims to maximize the synergies between the traditional and online worlds of consultation and dialogue. Dialogue Circles provides clients with the flexibility to hold online or traditional consultation and dialogue. According to Ascentum, many of the most successful consultation and dialogue endeavors now involve a mix of online tools and traditional face-to-face approaches that complement one another.

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

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.

Association for Conflict Resolution Highly Recommended

ACR is a professional organization dedicated to enhancing the practice and public understanding of conflict resolution. ACR represents and serves over 7000 mediators, arbitrators, facilitators, educators, and others involved in the field of conflict resolution and collaborative decision-making. ACR was launched in 2001, when the Academy of Family Mediators (AFM), the Conflict Resolution Education Network (CREnet), and the Society for Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR) merged into one organization.

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

Association of American Colleges & Universities Highly Recommended

AAC&U; is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantage of a liberal education to all students, regardless of their academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915 by college presidents, AAC&U; now represents the entire spectrum of American colleges and universities - large and small, public and private, two-year and four-year. AAC&U; comprises more than 1,000 accredited colleges and universities that collectively educate more than five million students every year.

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

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

Better Together Highly Recommended

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.

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

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

Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the Crisis in Conflict Resolution Highly Recommended

Bernard Mayer. Jossey-Bass, 2004.

In this thought-provoking, passionately written book, Mayer - an internationally acclaimed leader in the field - dares practitioners to ask the hard questions about alternative dispute resolution (ADR). What’s wrong with conflict resolution? Why aren’t more individuals and organizations using conflict resolution when they have a problem? Why doesn’t the public know more about it? What are the limits of conflict resolution? When does conflict resolution work and when does it not? Offering a committed practitioner’s critique of the profession of mediation, arbitration, and ADR, Beyond Neutrality focuses on the current crisis in the field of conflict resolution and offers a pragmatic response.

Resource Link: http://www.josseybass.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0787968064.html

Boston Prochoice and Prolife Leaders Dialogue Highly Recommended

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.

Resource Link: http://www.publicconversations.org/pcp/resource_details.php?ref_id=97

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Robert D. Putnam. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.

Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors and our democratic structures - and how we may reconnect. Putnam warns that our stock of social capital - the very fabric of our connections with each other, has plummeted, impoverishing our lives and communities. But America has civicly reinvented itself before, and can do it again.

Resource Link: http://www.bowlingalone.com

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 Collaborative Capacity in Community Coalitions: A Review and Integrative Framework Highly Recommended

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.

Resource Link: http://springerlink.metapress.com

Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

John P Kretzmann and John L. McKnight, Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD). Evanston, IL: The Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research, 1993.

This book includes a step-by-step description of asset-based community development, a strengths-based approach for identifying and building upon the human resources that are already present in any community.

Resource Link: http://www.northwestern.edu/ipr/abcd.html

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 Online Communities: Transforming Assumptions into Success Highly Recommended

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.

Resource Link: http://www.benton.org/publibrary/practice/community/assumptions.html

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