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A Practical Guide to Consensus Highly Recommended

Bibliographic Details:

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.

The Practical Guide was developed and co-authored by Chris Carlson, co-director of PCI and a leading authority on consensus building in the public sector, and by Jim Arthur, a long-time facilitator and consultant in the use of dispute resolution to address policy conflicts.

The Practical Guide to Consensus will help officials and agencies design the most appropriate, and effective, uses of consensus processes, with "Before, During, and After" instructions on how to:

  • Assess whether a situation is appropriate for a consensus process
  • Select a facilitator or mediator to manage the process
  • Plan and organize the process
  • Write ground rules
  • Negotiate issues and reach agreements
  • Formalize and implement agreements
Ordering information for this resource:

Order the 75-page guide for $15 at

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