Living Room Conversations published the conversation guide, Guns and Responsibility, in October 2017. The guide gives pointers on how to hold living room conversations in order to develop a deeper understanding between participants around gun beliefs, gun safety, and responsible gun ownership. You can read the guide below, find a downloadable PDF here, or the original on Living Room Conversation’s site here.
From the guide…
In Living Room Conversations, a small group of people (e.g. 4-7) people come together to get to know one another in a more meaningful way. Guided by a simple and sociable format, participants practice being open and curious about all perspectives, with a focus on learning from one another, rather than trying to debate the topic at hand.
Story Artist Mary Alice Arthur and graphic facilitator Viola Clark collaborated in 2016 to create the first in their Zine series – a POCKET GUIDE TO HOSTING. One side features the Art of Hosting practices, the other side features the AoH methods. Here is a little snapshot of a couple of pages of the zine. (A zine is a self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier.)
Art of Hosting will be using the Zine in the upcoming trainings in Innsbruck, Austria and Denmark.
Next in the series will be Harvesting.
Mary Alice advises: “It is set up as an A4 (if you are not on the A4 system, shrink to fit the space) — follow the instructions for folding (and unleash your inner creative geek!).”
Resource Link: AoH Hosting Zine
The 42-page article, Affinity Groups, Enclave Deliberation, and Equity (2016), was written by Carolyne Abdullah, Christopher Karpowitz, and Chad Raphael, and published in the Journal of Deliberative Democracy: Vol. 12: Iss. 2. The article provides evidence for the practice of holding enclaves for marginalized groups within dialogue and deliberation processes, as part of a larger conversation. They have found that by creating space within affinity groups for enclaves to dialogue; processes are more inclusive, participatory, and democratic. The authors show several ways in which enclave groups can be used in democratic processes and implemented within government practice.
Read an excerpt of the article below and find the PDF available for download on the Journal of Public Deliberation site here.
From the article…
The article, More Than a Seat at the Table: A Resource for Authentic and Equitable Youth Engagement (2016), was written by Rebecca Reyes and Malana Rogers-Bursen, and published by Everyday Democracy. This article explores several challenges when it comes to youth engagement and offers solutions to more effectively engage young people. It is important to engage young people in meaningful ways and for them to be a part of the key decision-making processes. Use this article as a way to gauge if your processes are inclusive of young people and how to improve those processes to better engage youth.
Below is an excerpt of the article from Everyday Democracy, and can find the full article with all the examples of the specific challenges and solutions here.
From Everyday Democracy…
If you’re working on creating change in your community, it’s important to include all kinds of people in decision-making, including young people. The insight and talents of young people can bring value to any community change effort, yet community groups led by older adults sometimes find it hard to involve younger people, or keep them engaged.
We’ve led workshops on youth engagement to help people explore challenges they may face and think about possible solutions. People of all ages and from many sectors contributed their ideas for successfully engaging young people in their efforts. We’ve compiled a number of challenges that you may have encountered in your work or that may come up in the future, along with ways to address these challenges in your group.
The Not in Our Town Quick Start Guide: Working together for safe, inclusive communities, was created by Not in Our Town (NIOT) and updated March 2013. The guide gives five steps to begin a campaign in your town or school to stop hate, address bullying, and build safer communities together.
Below is an excerpt from the guide, which can be downloaded from NIOT’s site here or at the link at the bottom of the page.
From the guide…
You may be someone who is concerned about divisions in your neighborhood or school, or you may live in a community that has experienced hate-based threats or violence. Even just one individual or a small group can start a movement to stand up to hate.
Not In Our Town is a program for people and communities working together to stop hate, address school bullying and build safe, inclusive environments for all.
The 36-page guide, Developing Materials for Deliberative Forums, was written by Brad Rourke and published 2014 on the Kettering Foundation site. In the guide, Rourke shares all the elements needed to design an issue guide to better inform participants during deliberation. An issue guide lays out multiple sides of a subject/issue to give participants tools to engage in more informed deliberation, the guide then offers examples of the options, as well as, drawbacks to each one. There is no one perfect way to develop an issue guide; so Rourke provides details on ways to design a guide that is effective at giving participants the information they need to deliberate on the issues at-hand.
Below is an excerpt of the article; it can be downloaded in full at the link on the bottom of this page or find it on Kettering Foundation’s site here.
From the guide…
The 24-page guide, Organizing Study Circles with Young People, was developed by Everyday Democracy [who used to be known as Study Circles Resource Center] and published in 2003. Oftentimes younger people are excluded from participating in engagement efforts, even though youth have much to offer on making decisions and building community. Study Circles are a style of dialogue process, where a small, diverse group of participants can discuss different points of view; usually with the goal of moving from dialogue to action. The guide gives detailed steps for designing a Study Circles process for young people to come together and dialogue. This process encourages youth to be engaged with a variety of perspectives, to hear and be heard, and ultimately to become more active citizens.
Below is an excerpt from the guide and it can be found in full to download on Everyday Democracy’s site here or at the bottom of this page.
The 57-page guide, A Guide to Participatory Budgeting in Schools, was a project of the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) and published in 2016. The guide’s curriculum design was created by Valeria Mogilevich, with project support by Melissa Appleton and Maria Hadden of PBP. This thorough guide gives details for implementing a participatory budgeting process within schools.
Participatory budgeting is a process where people decide where to spend a portion of a budget by engaging their community- or in this case- their school, and vote on projects to make final decisions. The guide is rich with process details, helpful hints, plan layouts, and useable worksheets. There are 18 lesson plans and 6 worksheets provided in this guide to get a PB process launched in schools over the course of a semester or school year.
– Idea Collection
– Proposal Development
– Implementation and Beyond
The Guidebooks for Student-Facilitated Discussion in Online Courses, by Shannon Wheatley Hartman, Ph.D. and Jack Byrd Jr., Ph.D. were published January 2016 from Interactivity Foundation (IF). IF offers both a 64-page student guidebook edition and a 60-page instructor guidebook, which describes their discussion process in the 3-parts. Read more about the guidebook and download the PDFs for free on Interactivity Foundation’s website here.
These guidebooks offer a practical guide for students and instructors in online courses. They offer a step-by-step guide to our 3-part online discussion process:
The Community Heart & Soul™ Field Guide (2014) is the Orton Family Foundation’s guide to its tested and proven method of community planning and development. This step-by-step, four-phase method is designed to increase participation in local decision-making and empower residents of small towns and rural communities to shape the future of their communities in a way that upholds the unique character of each place.
Community Heart & Soul is based on wide and broad participation from as many residents as possible. Whether the focus is on comprehensive planning, economic development, downtown planning, or an outside-the-box vision and action plan, Community Heart & Soul aims to reach all residents of a town for the best results: results that pay benefits over the long haul.
The Community Heart & Soul Field Guide outlines a model Heart & Soul process. Each of the four phases is built around specific goals for learning, capacity building, and engagement. Together they lead to the overall project goals and outcomes.
This 62-page step-by-step handbook from the Policy Consensus Institute (now Kitchen Table Democracy) walks readers through the stages of sponsoring, convening, organizing, and participating in a public policy collaborative process. Designed primarily for elected and appointed government officials and civic leaders, the guide also is useful for those who provide leaders with the staff assistance, facilitation services, and support they need to employ these approaches effectively.
The Practical Guide was developed and written by Chris Carlson, founding director of PCI and a leading authority on consensus building in the public sector.
The Practical Guide to Collaborative Governance will help equip more leaders – present and future, in the public, private, and civic sectors – with the information and tools they need to bring about better governance through the use of collaborative practices, with instructions on how to:
Most of the laws that govern public participation in the U.S. are over thirty years old. They do not match the expectations and capacities of citizens today, they pre-date the Internet, and they do not reflect the lessons learned in the last two decades about how citizens and governments can work together. Increasingly, public administrators and public engagement practitioners are hindered by the fact that it’s unclear if many of the best practices in participation are even allowed by the law.
Making Public Participation Legal, a 2013 publication of the National Civic League (with support from the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation), presents a valuable set of tools, including a model ordinance, set of policy options, and resource list, to help communities improve public participation.
The tools and articles in Making Public Participation Legal were developed over a year by the Working Group on Legal Frameworks for Public Participation — an impressive team convened and guided by Matt Leighninger, formerly of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC).
Song Of A Citizen produced several series of dialogue and deliberation-related videos. The first was a series of Video Op-Eds with esteemed political philosophers, academics, and leaders of major deliberative democracy organizations. Those were filmed at various locations around the country between 2008 to 2010.
The second series features Q&A interviews with key practitioners and other experts in the dialogue and deliberation community, filmed at the NCDD Conference in October 2012. All can be found on the SoaC YouTube Channel.
Song of a Citizen YouTube channel:
Tina Nabatchi’s report (2012), published by the IBM Center for The Business of Government, provides a practical assessment guide for government program managers so they can assess whether their efforts are making a difference. The report lays out evaluation steps for both the implementation and management of citizen participation initiatives as well as how to assess the impact of a particular citizen participation initiative. An appendix provides helpful worksheets, as well.
Agencies in coming years will face greater fiscal pressures and they will also face increased citizen demands for greater participation in designing and overseeing their policies and programs. Understanding how to most effectively engage citizens in their government will likely increase in importance. Nabatchi hopes this evaluation guide will be a useful framework for government managers at all levels in helping them determine the value of their citizen participation initiatives.
While there is a growing body of literature and experience about how to engage the public, there are few practical tools to gauge the success of these approaches. Recognizing that local officials and staff have limited time and resources, the Institute for Local Government has created online Rapid Review Worksheets to help local governments assess how well their public engagement processes worked. Learn more and download the worksheets at www.ca-ilg.org/rapidreview.
The Need for Assessing Public Engagement
Local officials are increasingly using a wide range of public engagement strategies to help them inform, consult with and deliberatively engage residents on topics such as land use, budgeting, housing, sustainability, health and environment, public safety and much more.