Work with proven deliberative approaches
Communities and stakeholders feel alienated from processes that demand deference to policy decisions made elsewhere. Decision-makers find engaging effectively with stakeholders and communities difficult. Multiple institutional attempts at public participation in policymaking have led communities to feel 'over-consulted and under listened to'.
We work with deliberative methods to increase authentic, inclusive and consequential engagement across the policy cycle from issue formulation to policy implementation. We draw on a wide range of deliberative approaches to re-engage communities and stakeholders in the policy process and tailor our work to the context and issues we work on.
We recognise the need to embed deliberative events into broader processes of engagement between stakeholders themselves and between stakeholders and policymakers. We do not offer panaceas and we don't see ourselves as purveyors of individual deliberative events because we do not see them as reducing democratic deficits or improving decision-making in isolation.
We collaborate with policymakers and stakeholders to identify issues with deliberative potential and an authorising environment that can incorporate independently convened deliberation.
A good deliberative process can have a variety of outcomes, and providing a space for structured disagreement that clarifies conflict is more important than aiming at consensus.
Deliberation need not be public. An environment in which participants can speak freely is crucial to good deliberation. Sometimes the quality of deliberation may be inversely proportional to the degree of public attention.