Pierre-Benoit Joly, INRA/TSV
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21 techniques of community participation for the 21st century
I only went to be nosy. I just went to see what was going on and before I knew what had happened I was in the thick of it. I went Friday, Saturday, went back Sunday for an hour or two and then Monday night as well. I thought it was brilliant.
Donna Fallows, local resident, West Silvertown
There’s a lot of loose talk about community participation, consultative processes and so on, but it’s far from clear that people understand what this means. This guide is invaluable, defining the scene, providing contacts, and shedding light on what is an increasingly important aspect of delivering sustainable development at the local level.
For me, the future search conference was a personal milestone ... We would have been a lot poorer without the conference. The young people will never forget it.
Jane Yeadon, local resident, Forres, Moray, Scotland
We will also consider how to encourage public participation in decision making ... involving local communities in identifying problems and opportunities ... and in taking action for change.
From ‘Opportunities for change’, the government consultation paper on sustainable development
But what about its impact?
1. From « single decision » to policy process
- Public action
- Collective learning
- Collective intelligence
Possible political roles of public participation
- Indirect political role
- Promoting communication between science and the public
- Stimulating public debate
- Awareness building
- Raising sensitivity for method
- Agenda setter
(EuropTA, Butschi and Nentwich)
Table: Roles of participation in TA
|Raising Knowledge||Forming Attitudes||Initialising Action|
|Tech/ Science Aspects||Scientific Assessment (options,consequences)||Agenda setting (influence and stimulate public debate, Introduce visions etc.)||Reframing of debate (propose new initiatives – find new orientation)|
|Social Aspects||Social Mapping (stake holders, conflicts)||Mediation (help actors reflect and communicate – bridge building)||Propose new decision making processes (new ways of governance – new debate)|
|Policy aspects||Policy analysis (explore objectives, assess policies)||Restructure policy debate||Decisions about: |
Costs and benefits for:
- Policy makers
3. Participation and governance style
Typology of modes of governance (STAGE Report)
4. Learning from experience and use of best practices in the design of Citizen Participation
- How to impact public policy?
- Keys to an increase legitimacy of Citizen Participation (equity, fairness, competence, independent evaluation, publicity, traceability)
- How can public authorities be engaged in a participatory exercise?
Introduce a legal provision?
Obligation to « take into account » / detailed answer of the commissioner explaining agreement-disagreement and the link with decision making process.
- Public participation and inclusive /distributed innovation processes
- How to maximise dissemination? Which Role of the media?
Don’t hesitate to invest a lot for high quality!
Stick to the basic principle of participation!