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Beyond Public Meetings: Connecting Community Engagement with Decision-Making

Bibliographic Details:

Vivien Twyford, Max Hardy, John Dengate, Stuart Waters and Dr. Vicki Vaartjes. Published by Twyford Consulting, 2007.


Beyond Public Meetings challenges myths and assumptions associated with community engagement and provides organisations, including all layers of government, with a comprehensive guide to why and how communities can be engaged to make better decisions. Written by five internationally recognised experts in the field of community engagement, the book provides a best practice guide to community engagement, building upon the successful framework developed by the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2).

Beyond Public Meetings draws on the unique experiences of the five authors' work designing, delivering and advising on community engagement processes across the world.

Co-author Max Hardy said the book used a combination of theory and real-life case studies to take the reader through the fundamentals of community engagement planning. "Today we can do so much better than simply planning a public meeting," Max said. "The community is a resource to be valued rather than a group to be appeased."

The book provides an essential guide to the fundamentals of community engagement drawing on the first hand experience and case studies of some of the world's leading experts in community engagement. It shows how to create genuine value through the efforts of technical experts, communities and decision-makers.

"Government representatives, service providers, environmental specialists, urban planners and developers are increasingly aware of the benefits of establishing effective relationships with the community and making better project decisions as a result.

"These benefits include saving significant time and money by identifying unforeseen issues, recognising community values and aspirations, and making decisions more durable," he said.

Beyond Public Meetings is an invaluable aid to decision-makers in local, state and federal government as well as to planners and service providers in the private sector.

This book is for you if you are...

  • A decision-maker in government, the public service, the private or community sector. You will learn how to engage the
    community, not to make your decisions for you, but to help you make better decisions that stick.
  • A practitioner in the community engagement field. You will learn how to redefine communities and their role in supporting
    better decisions, and how to do so in a way that honours the values we share as individuals and communities.
  • A project manager who has to engage the community around a specific project. You will learn how to work with the
    community in a way that helps you deliver a more sustainable project sooner, with less opposition and more support.
  • A community member or anyone else interested in how to get engaged. You will learn what community engagement means and how it feels when done well. You will better understand the role you can play in making decisions, and how to make sure your input is most useful to those who have to make the call.

To order your copy or for more info on the book, contact Twyford Consulting on 02 4226 4040 or [email protected]. You can also click the link below to download an info sheet that includes an order form for you to fax in.  The book is $29.95 per copy plus postage ($8 in Australia, $12 in New Zealand/Asia Pacific, or $17 in the rest of the world).

Suggest additions/changes to this listing or discuss this and other resources in the Thataway Forum.

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