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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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Dialogue, Conflict Resolution, and Change: Arab-Jewish Encounters in Israel Highly Recommended

Mohammed Abu-Nimer. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1999.

Through a critical examination of Arab and Jewish encounter programs in Israel, the book reviews conflict resolution and intergroup theories and processes which are utilized in dealing with ethnic conflicts and offers a detailed presentation of intervention models applied by various encounter programs to promote dialogue, education for peace, and democracy between Arabs and Jews in Israel.

Dialogue: A Proposal Highly Recommended

David Bohm, Donald Factor and Peter Garrett.

This paper discusses the process of Bohm dialogue and what it offers those who choose to engage in it as a way of gaining an understanding of the human thought process. The authors outline their conception of dialogue, why they believe dialogue is valuable, and provide some practical advice on initiating this type of dialogue.

Resource Link: http://www.dialogos.com/publications/proposal.html

Dialogue: Rediscover the Transforming Power of Conversation Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Linda Ellinor and Glenna Gerard. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998.

Ellinor and Gerard draw upon their combined 50 years of experience in organizations to show how dialogue can change the way we work by widening information arteries so that employees at every level begin to think along 'leadership' lines and take responsibility for how their actions affect the whole organization. Leading companies including Levi Strauss, Shell, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola and AT&T are unleashing the wellspring of power that flows naturally from the trust, mutual respect and spirit of inquiry that are at dialogue's core.

Digital Dialogues Interim Report Highly Recommended

This important report outlines the Hansard Society's independent investigation into the use of online technologies to promote dialogue between central government in the U.K. and the public. Digital Dialogues presents overviews, data and guidance built around case studies. It has been written principally for government but it is also worthwhile reading for academics, journalists, practitioners and, of course, citizens. This is the interim report from the Digital Dialogues initiative. In March 2007 we will begin our end of initiative report and will make our recommendations the following May.

Resource Link: http://www.digitaldialogues.org.uk

Do Tank and the Democracy Design Workshop Highly Recommended

The Do Tank strives to strengthen the ability of groups to solve problems, make decisions, resolve conflict and govern themselves by designing software and legal code to promote collaboration. Tools alone cannot create a culture of strong groups. Hence Do Tank projects address the role of legal and political institutions, social and business practices and the visual and graphical technologies -- what we term the "social code" -- that may allow groups, not only to foster community, but to take action.

Resource Link: http://dotank.nyls.edu/

Do-Consult (Democracies Online - Online Consultations and Civic Events) Listserv Highly Recommended

The Democracies Online family of peer forums.

DO-Consult is a peer-to-peer forum for those involved with government, parliamentary and civic online consultations and events. This forum is facilitated by Alexandra W. Samuel, a Vancouver-based researcher specializing in online citizen engagement. It is part of the Democracies Online family of peer forums organized by Steven Clift.

Resource Link: http://dowire.org

Doing Democracy: 10 Practical Arts Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Frances Moore Lappé. Originally appeared in Frances Moore Lappe's book "The Quickening of America." Jossey-Bass, 1994.

To be effective in creating societies that reflect our values and work for all of us, it helps to approach democracy-making as a learned art. As in learning any art - from ballet to basketball - it helps to break the process down to its core elements. So we've chosen ten arts of democracy, a nice round number - not with any pretense of creating an exhaustive guide. Rather, these practices seem a great place to start. They contribute to enhanced decision-making, mutual regard, and to group learning and staying-power. This 40-page guide is a companion to Frances Moore Lappé's 2006 book "Democracy's Edge: Choosing to Save Our Country by Bringing Democracy to Life." It is designed for educators, group leaders, and any citizen who wants to become more powerful.

Resource Link: http://www.democracysedge.org/handbook.pdf

Drupal Highly Recommended

Drupal is an open source content management platform. Equipped with a powerful blend of features, Drupal can support a variety of websites ranging from personal weblogs to large community-driven websites. Drupal is a free software package that allows an individual or a community of users to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a website. Tens of thousands of people and organizations have used Drupal to power scores of different web sites, including community web portals, discussion sites, corporate websites, intranet applications, personal websites or blogs, aficionado sites, e-commerce applications, resource directories and social networking sites. Drupal is ready to go from the moment you download it, and has an easy-to-use web installer.

Resource Link: http://drupal.org

Dynamic Facilitation Highly Recommended

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.

E-Democracy.Org / Minnesota E-Democracy Highly Recommended

Minnesota E-Democracy is a non-partisan citizen-based organization whose mission is to improve participation in democracy in Minnesota through the use of information networks and communication technologies. Minnesota E-Democracy was established in 1994 and created the world's first election-oriented website. They sponsor election-year online partnerships to promote citizen access to election information and interaction. Their year-round focus is on the use of the Internet to improve citizen participation and real world governance through online discussions and information and knowledge exchange.

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

Embedded Deliberation: Entrepreneurs, Organizations, and Public Action Highly Recommended

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.

Resource Link: http://www.thataway.org/exchange/files/docs/FagottoFung-EmbedDelib.pdf

Everyday Democracy's Dialogue-to-Change Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

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.

Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making (2nd Edition) Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Sam Kaner with Lenny Lind, Catherine Toldi, Sara Fisk and Duane Berger. Jossey-Bass, 2007.

The Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making is the best available training manual and sourcebook for facilitators, managers and leaders who want to encourage full participation, promote mutual understanding, and help groups build inclusive, sustainable agreements. It presents more than 200 valuable tools and skills and places them in the context of a lucid, realistic model of the dynamics of group decision making. The Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making will help all facilitators improve their diagnostic judgment and increase their repertoire of methods and skills for supporting groups to make sounder, saner decisions.

Fielding Graduate Institute - Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement Certificate Program Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

In 2004, Fielding Graduate Institute, in collaboration with The International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (IISD) and the Kettering Foundation, launched this unique 16-week graduate level Certificate Program. The program strives for the development of "virtuosity" in our practice of dialogue and deliberation. "Virtuosity is what results when people follow their passions to know something well and to perform skillfully. It combines at least three things: (a) a 'passion' for what you are doing; (b) an ability to make [clear] distinctions and (c) the ability to engage in skilled performance.” We have designed the course to enhance participants’ abilities to engage in skilled performance.

Resource Link: http://www.fielding.edu/hod/ce/dialog/index.html

Fielding Graduate Institute - School of Human and Organization Development Highly Recommended

Fielding's School of Human and Organization Development is a global community of lifelong learning professionals who place a premium on student and faculty interaction through mentoring and dialogue, both face-to-face and online. The program offers distance learning doctoral degrees and online masters degrees. The School of Human & Organization Development currently offers three Continuing Education Certificate programs: the new 16-week Dialogue, Deliberation, and Public Engagement Certificate, the Online Facilitation Certificate, and the Evaluation and Organization Development Certificate.

Resource Link: http://www.fielding.edu/schoolhod/index.htm

Finding Better Ways to Solve Public Problems: The Emerging Role of Universities as Neutral Forums for Collaborative Policymaking Highly Recommended

Policy Consensus Initiative, 2005.

This report describes how universities are establishing centers that serve as forums for using collaborative approaches to address public issues. The report, which is based on a survey of 42 conflict resolution and consensus building programs housed at universities in 35 states, describes one way of filling a key need identified in their research on how collaborative governance can best work. That need: a neutral forum where all sectors can come together to work on solutions to public problems. The survey was conducted in late 2004 by David Kovick.

Resource Link: http://www.policyconsensus.org/publications/reports/docs/UniversityReport.pdf

Five Stages of the Public Peace Process Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Harold Saunders. Conflict Resolution Center International Newsletter, January 1998, pp 20, 23., 1998.

A two-page essay outlining Harold Saunders' five stages of a public peace process which leads to reconciliation and collaboration. The stages are: deciding to engage, mapping the relationship together, probing the dynamics of the relationship together, experiencing the relationship by thinking together, and acting together.

For Communities to Work Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

David Mathews. Kettering Foundation.

For Communities to Work presents a broad framework intended as background for civic organizations that want to look at the state of the public in their communities. It explains how private individuals become public citizens and how publics form. The process of reinvigorating citizens in communities requires generating the political will for "public work," or the work of citizens with each other. 53 pages.

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

Forums Institute Policy Forums Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

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.

Fostering Dialogue Across Divides: A Nuts and Bolts Guide from the Public Conversations Project Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Maggie Herzig and Laura Chasin, Public Conversations Project.

For years, the Public Conversations Project has set the standard for facilitation materials and training in the dialogue and deliberation field. This Guide--chock-full of PCP's road-tested techniques for effectively engaging people across differences--is an invaluable resource for both established dialogue facilitators and newcomers to this work.

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

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