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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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Framing Questions and Starting Conversations Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Let's Talk America, 2004.

Let's Talk America (LTA), a project that encouraged conversations that bridge across political difference, provided a resource to help conversation hosts frame questions in a way that is not polarizing. LTA recommended starting with a question that invites a personal story from people, in order to create a context in which they feel invited to speak. They suggested the question "What about the invitation to this conversation moved and inspired you? What led you to come?" Here are some other ideas...

From Diatribe to Dialogue on Divisive Public Issues: Approaches Drawn from Family Therapy Highly Recommended

Richard Chasin, Margaret Herzig, Sallyann Roth, Laura Chasin, and Robert R. Stains Jr.. Mediation Quarterly, Volume 13, 4, 323-344, 1996.

A comprehensive overview of the Public Conversation Project's general approach, this article draws case examples from four different subprojects and it makes explicit the connections between PCP's principles and practices and ideas and methods drawn from family therapy.

Resource Link: http://www.publicconversations.org/pcp/resources/resource_detail.asp?ref_id=61

From Stuck Debate to New Conversation on Controversial Issues: A Report from the Public Conversations Project Highly Recommended

Carol Becker, Laura Chasin, Richard Chasin, Margaret Herzig and Sallyann Roth. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 7 (1-2), 143-163, 1995.

This article presents the four guiding objectives of PCP's work and describes practices that support each of those objectives, drawing case examples from their introductory dialogues on abortion.

Resource Link: http://www.publicconversations.org/pcp/resources/resource_detail.asp?ref_id=69

Full Circle Associates Highly Recommended

The consulting practice of Nancy White and a network of independent professionals, Full Circle Associates provides strategic communication, online community development, facilitation, marketing, and project management services for the community, non-profit and business sectors. Full Circle focuses on online and offline strategies with a passionate interest in online community and collaboration, and provides training in online facilitation and distance collaboration.

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

Future Search Network (and trainings) Highly Recommended

The Future Search Network initiates future search conferences, innovative planning conferences used world-wide by hundreds of communities and organizations. The conferences meet two goals at the same time: helping large diverse groups discover values, purposes and projects they hold in common; and enabling people to create a desired future together and start implementing right away.

Resource Link: http://www.futuresearch.net

Future Search: An Action Guide to Finding Common Ground in Organizations and Communities Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff, Future Search Network. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1995.

This book describes a step-by-step process for planning and leading a Future Search conference, where diverse community members come together to envision and plan their shared future.

Resource Link: http://www.futuresearch.net

George Mason University - The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution Highly Recommended

George Mason University's ICAR program offers Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Both degree programs are among the first in this field and are part of the mission of the Institute: to advance the understanding and resolution of significant and persistent human conflicts among individuals, small groups, communities, ethnic groups, and nations. Enhancing the Institute's degree programs are three additional components: research and publication, a clinical and consultancy program, and public education.

Resource Link: http://www.gmu.edu/departments/ICAR

Global Directory of Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution Programs (Seventh Edition) Highly Recommended

A joint project of the Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) and the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) Foundation, this is the most current comprehensive annotated guide to peace studies and conflict resolution programs at colleges and universities worldwide. This edition profiles over 450 undergraduate, Master's and Doctoral programs and concentrations in over 40 countries and 38 U.S. states.

Resource Link: http://www.peacejusticestudies.org/publications.php

Governing Tools for the 21st Century: How State Leaders Are Using Collaborative Problem Solving and Dispute Resolution Highly Recommended

Policy Consensus Initiative, 2002.

The Policy Consensus Institute's 12-page overview of how state leaders are using collaborative problem solving and dispute resolution. Describes the range of ways state agencies across the country are employing these tools in their day-to-day operations.

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

Group Facilitation Listserv Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

The International Association of Facilitators and The Center for Policy Research at the University at Albany, SUNY.

Subscribers to this popular email discussion list share ideas, questions, and advice on group problem solving and decision making, group development, running meetings, and related topics. We highly recommend this listserv to all facilitators.

Resource Link: http://www.albany.edu/cpr/gf/

Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal Highly Recommended

Group Facilitation is a multi-disciplinary publication focused on the art and science of group facilitation. It aims to advance our knowledge of group facilitation and its implications for individuals, groups, organizations, and communities. It is published semi-annually. Group Facilitation is intended for facilitators, mediators, organizational development and training specialists, managers, researchers, and others who seek to use facilitation skills in their practice.

Resource Link: http://www.iaf-world.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3498

Guide for Training Study Circle Facilitators Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Sarah Campbell, Writer/Managing Editor. Study Circles Resource Center.

This guide is designed to help you train study circle facilitators. Study circles--small-group, democratic, highly participatory discussions--provide settings for deliberation, for working through social and political issues, for coming up with action strategies, for connecting to policy making, and for building community.

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

Guidelines for Deliberation Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

This resource from the Choices Program at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies provides a great introduction to deliberation. The resource, which is designed for use in high school classrooms but is useful for any group that is unfamiliar with deliberation, provides a jargon-free definition of deliberation, describes how deliberation is different from debate, explains why it is important to know how to deliberate, and lists guidelines and tips for deliberation.

Resource Link: http://www.choices.edu/resources/guidelines.php

Harwood Institute for Public Innovation Highly Recommended

The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation invigorates people, organizations and communities to improve public life and politics so that we all can do the unfinished work of the nation and reach for our common ideals. The Harwood Institute conducts research, designs and leads on-the-ground initiatives, develops public leaders and "center for strength organizations," crafts innovative tools, materials and processes, and convenes people who want to take responsibility for public life.

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

Hosting Web Communities: Building Relationships, Increasing Customer Loyalty, and Maintaining a Competitive Edge Highly Recommended

Cliff Figallo.

A great 'how to' book on the subject. Topics include a taxonomy of online communities and their differing needs, choosing software, facilitating discussions, building relationships, and revenue models. The author knows the territory extremely well, having played a key role in developing communities at The WELL, America Online, and Salon Magazine.

IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation: Best Practices from the Leading Organization in Facilitation Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Sandy Schuman, Editor. Jossey-Bass, 2005.

Sponsored by the International Association of Facilitators, The IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation offers the need-to-know basics in the field brought together by fifty leading practitioners and scholars. This indispensable resource includes successful strategies and methods, foundations, and resources for anyone who works with groups. The IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation provides an overview of the field for new and aspiring practitioners and a reliable reference for experienced group facilitators.

Resource Link: http://www.josseybass.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-078797160X.html

IAP2 Public Participation Spectrum Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

The International Association for Public Participation.

This one-page chart shows how various forms of public participation have different levels of public involvement.  It categorizes public participation by the level of public impact on the decision-making process, beginning with informing the public, moving on to consulting with the public (taking feedback and ideas into consideration), then involving the public throughout the decision-making process, followed by collaborating with the public in the development of alternatives and the identification of a perferred solution, and culminating with empowering the public with decision-making power.  The chart lists a few techniques that fall under each category.

Resource Link: http://www.iap2.org/associations/4748/files/spectrum.pdf

IAP2 Public Participation Toolbox Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

International Association for Public Participation.

This 9-page chart introduces nearly 50 "techniques to share information."  The techniques range from websites and newspaper inserts to future search conferences and citizen juries. Includes brief descriptions, as well as bullet points summarizing things to think through, things that can go right, and things that can go wrong.

Resource Link: http://www.iap2.org/associations/4748/files/toolbox.pdf

Innovative Techniques to Engage the Community Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Janette Hartz-Karp, Ph.D..

This phenomenal 36-page handout was distributed at Janette Hartz-Karp's workshop ("Breakthrough Initiatives in Governing with the People: The Australian Experience") at the 2004 NCDD Conference in Denver, Colorado. It provides detailed information about a variety of community engagement techniques, including citizens jury, consensus conference, future search, charrette, consensus forum, multi criteria analysis conference, local area forum, people's panel, deliberative poll/survey, televote/telesurvey, and e-democracy. Under each method are details about why, when and how they are used, as well as a useful how-to flowchart.

Resource Link: http://www.thataway.org/exchange/files/docs/Hartz-Karp-TechniquesManual.doc

Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy Highly Recommended

IMTD was founded in 1992 by Ambassador John W. McDonald and Dr. Louise Diamond. The mission of IMTD is to promote a systems-based approach to peacebuilding and to facilitate the transformation of deep-rooted social conflict through education, conflict resolution training and communication. The Institute is based in Arlington, VA, and has more than 1300 members in 31 countries. IMTD is supported by a wide range of key personnel, associates and interns.

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

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