Delivering Genuine Community Involvement in Decision Making

The Value of Deliberative Engagement

  • We offer the full suite of stakeholder and community engagement techniques
  • We are at the forefront in Australia in developing and using Deliberative Engagement practices
  • We offer a range of techniques with increasing levels of public and stakeholder participation
  • Experienced in community engagement for energy and water industries (regulatory re-sets; IPART, AER requirements)

Deliberative Engagement is a distinctive approach that gives participants the time and information to consider issues in-depth, make the required trade-offs and then arrive at considered outcomes.

It combines the benefits of market research with community consultation:

True representation – participants can be randomly recruited to ensure that they reflect the actual demographics of the population rather than through self-selection.

Deliberation – participants are given time, information and access to experts in order to grapple with complex trade-offs and think about future scenarios.

Objectivity – independent facilitation and true representation means that the outcomes stand up to outside scrutiny.

Techniques – we use sophisticated and interactive facilitation techniques such as voting, quizzes, role playing, card sorts, dragon’s den and planet projectives. Optional keypad voting with real time results provides a quantitative component.

Solutions focused – shared priorities are identified during the sessions rather than through analysis afterwards.

PR and media coverage – where appropriate, media can be invited to observe events providing a potential for positive PR.

The Main Types
of Deliberative

Juries – usually 12-16 people meeting for a number of days; expert witnesses are called to provide detailed information and can be cross-examined.

Forums – 50-200 people, convened for ½ -2 days; information input, breakout groups and plenary sessions; voting on key issues.

Summits – large scale events of up to 1000 participants; one venue or several venues linked by video conferencing.

Deliberative engagement can involve the public, service users, customers, community groups, staff, opinion leaders and other stakeholders.