Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Invitation to participate in NCDD’s field-wide inventory

December 1, 2016 Leave a comment

The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) has invited IAP2 USA to participate in their field-wide inventory.

“Now more than ever, it’s vital for us to be able to say, with some authority, how large our field is, how many dialogues are held on an annual basis, involving how many people, and so on. We want to know what approaches you are trained in, which ones you tend to use, and which ones you train others in. We’d like to know which online tools you find most useful, and what factors influence your decisions about which collaborative projects you’ll get involved in. And true to NCDD style, we want to share this information widely.”

Please do take the time to complete this survey by the deadline — Wednesday, December 7th — if you haven’t already.
NCDD would greatly value your participation!

The latest from the Journal of Public Deliberation

February 2, 2016 Leave a comment

The second issue of the Journal of Public Deliberation (Vol. 11, Issue 2) has been published and is available online. This issue features research from a variety of countries around the globe including Australia, Norway, Canada, and Italy.

Edmonton’s Citizens’ Jury on Internet Voting is discussed in one of the articles in JPD.

Edmonton’s Citizens’ Jury on Internet Voting is discussed in one of the articles in JPD.

One essay offers a new model for assessing the legitimacy of deliberative processes. Research studies examine different deliberative designs such as citizen panels, online forums, and governance structures.

The articles highlight topics such as prison systems, responses to terrorism, the implementation of online voting, and engaging youth in political discussion. This issue also includes two practice-based Reflections from the Field: one considering how deliberation helped people collaborate on a community orchard, and another that offers lessons learned from deliberative pedagogy. Finally, there are two book reviews that are likely to be of interest to scholars and practitioners in deliberation and public engagement.

JPD is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal with the principal objective of synthesizing the research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in the multi-disciplinary field of deliberative democracy. We accept submissions for research articles, reflections from the field, book reviews, and proposals for special issues. Learn more…

We hope you enjoy the issue!
Laura Black (Editor), Nancy Thomas and Tim Shaffer (Associate Editors)

Categories: Research Tags: , ,

Why Millennials are MIA from P2: Has social media replaced traditional methods of public consultation?

January 29, 2016 Leave a comment

By Caroline Chaumont, Senior Consultant – Engagement Strategies, Hill + Knowlton Strategies Canada (H+K); Pauline Lambton, Consultant – Engagement Strategies, H+K; Kanan Kothari, Director of Public Consultation and Engagement, Ipsos Public Affairs.


These University of Oregon students are engaged in engagement: How to reach others in their generation?


At the IAP2 2015 North-American conference, Acertys – which has since joined Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada (H+K) – and Ipsos Public Affairs teamed up to present a study aimed to gain insight on the growing millennial generation and their relationship to P2.

Based on a literature review, we defined Millennials as the generation born between 1980 and late 1990s. They are highly-educated, media-savvy, misinterpreted, and represent 1/3 of the total US population, and over 1/4 of the total Canadian population.

When it comes to public consultation, our research shows that Millennials are optimistic about the power of collective action and seek authentic opportunities to participate. They want to be involved in transparent and accessible processes providing an opportunity for a meaningful input on issues or causes they are passionate about.

The results of a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs in August 2015 with representative sample of 1000 Canadians across the country demonstrates that Millennials however are more likely than older age groups to state they are too busy to participate in public consultation processes. They are also more likely to want opportunities for online consultation, and already see social media as an avenue that can replace traditional consultation methods. Overall, Millennials want engagement that is flexible and fits in to their increasingly blended lifestyle.

As P2 practitioners do, we asked participants what they thought.

From mainly public sector planning and communications backgrounds, the participants (40) agreed that there was a major difference between engaging Millennials and other generations and that millennial engagement was a priority. Some key discussion conclusions were:

  1. The obstacle is methodological; traditional consultation tools are not well adapted to the millennial lifestyle. Online options should always be available and updated. For in-person consultation, go where the millennials are and blend with their busy lives!
  2. Make it meaningful. Show them why they should care. Communicate with personalized, compelling and relevant messaging, and use authentic branding.
  3. Empower them! Millennials are creative and intelligent. Empower them to be leaders in the P2 process by making information and expertise available and creating room for authentic, open dialogue.

In summary, this journey into the literature, survey and discussions with P2 practitioners revealed a great deal of interest in digging more into the processes, methods and tools that can leverage Millennials’ interest and get their input in P2 processes.

Too long, didn’t read

July 29, 2015 Leave a comment

Too Long Didn't Read

A monthly précis of a significant piece of research in the field of public participation, presented by the IAP2 Canada Research Committee.

“A Model of Conflict Resolution in Public Participation GIS for Land-Use Planning,” Fung, Tung; Zhang, Yongjun (2013) Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design: Vol. 40 (summarized by Jessica Dyck, IAP2 Canada Research Committee)

In this study, Fung and Zhang consider how geographic information systems (GIS) can be used to resolve conflict among stakeholders in land use planning public participation processes.

Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) uses message boards and Google Maps to enable participants to contribute to the conversation and identify specific land areas that are of concern. GIS technicians and planners use this information to create options that will accommodate a wide variety of concerns. Participants have access to a website that accommodates a message board.

A desktop decision support system connected to the data gathered through the participant website and message board is available to planners.

The authors suggest that the “core processes of conflict resolution” in land use planning include the following steps:

  1. Participants express and share individual preferences;
  2. Planners identify and characterize the preference information; and
  3. Planners help participants build consensus through negotiations in an iterative fashion (page 3/552).

The authors posit that conflict in land use planning occurs at two levels: a values level and a specifics level. Using Lantau Island in Hong Kong as a theoretical case study, the researchers found that PPGIS can be used to support the “core processes of conflict resolution” (page 3 / 552) at both levels.

A key recommendation from Fung and Zhang is that the use of PPGIS includes stakeholders in “the procedures of preference identification and decision making that are currently dominated by planners” (page 17 / 566).


IAP2 USA is pleased to be collaborating with IAP2 Canada on a North American Research Committee.  Are you interested, do you have questions – learn more or join the Committee by contacting the Committee Chair, Maria de Bruijn.

Categories: Research

Too long, didn’t read

June 25, 2015 Leave a comment


IAP2 USA is pleased to be collaborating with IAP2 Canada on a North American Research Committee. Are you interested, do you have questions – learn more or join the Committee by contacting the Committee Chair, Maria de Bruijn.

Designing Public Participation Processes

(from Public Administration Review, Vol. 73, pp. 23-34)

TLDRBryson, J. M., Quick, K. S., Slotterback, C. S. and Crosby, B. C. (2013), Designing Public Participation Processes. Public Administration Review, Vol. 73, pp. 23–34.

The article outlines research and evidence based, cross-disciplinary guidelines for designing public participation to offer guidance to practitioners. The 12 guidelines are grouped into three broad categories for creating, managing, and evaluating public participation activities.

  1. Creating: Assess and design for context and purpose
    • When designing public participation, find out if participation is needed and can contribute to solving the problem at hand. Understanding the problem is crucial in designing participation activities as “different kinds of problems or challenges call for different solution responses” (P.25).
    • Make sure the public participation process is suitable for the context, both general (social, demographic, political, technological, physical) and specific (stakeholders, applicable mandates, resource availability of the organization). Clarify the purpose by involving stakeholders and regularly revisiting as the context may change when the process unfolds. “[A]rticulating purpose is not a one-shot exercise” (P.27).
  2. Managing: Enlist resources and manage the participation
    • It’s important to conduct stakeholder analysis to identify who they are and how best to engage them. Vary approaches throughout the process to make their participation effective.
    • Legitimacy of the participation process is not granted automatically by both inside and outside stakeholders. To ensure legitimacy in the type of engagement and to create interactions that build trust, practitioners need to develop the purpose of engagement along with the public and to clarify the way in which public input will affect decision-making.
    • Successful public participation requires effective leadership. One way to effectively manage a process could be to give responsibility of solving problems to people who are dealing with them.
    • Identify the resources needed to carry out the activity. Public participation can create additional resources, for example in the form of new information collected through public input.
    • In order to guide the process, “create an appropriate set of rules and a project management team structure to guide operational decision making, the overall work to be done, and who gets to be involved in decision making in what ways” (P. 28).
    • To increase diversity of participation, advertise the activity, provide language translation, childcare, transportation, and choose convenient time and place for various participants.
    • Power dynamics can happen in the form of competition between local versus expert knowledge, or a small group of participants dominating the conversation. Managing it requires the effective integration of different types of knowledge and changing the format of the participation to avoid domination of the process by people who feel comfortable in a certain format.
    • Use various forms of technology to provide technical information to participants, collect their feedback, and enhance their interactions. At the same time, consider the limitations to access to technology.
  3. Evaluating: Evaluate and redesign continuously
    • The authors say, “there is no single set of evaluation metrics for participation” (P. 30). Therefore, develop the evaluation process while you clarify the purpose of the public participation activity. Evaluation can examine implementation of the participation process and the impact of participation for decision-making. When there are multiple purposes in the process, focus on the most important outcome to evaluate.
    • Align elements (purpose, type of engagement, methods of engagement, technologies, resources and so on) of the participation process. Failing to do so might affect public trust, among causing other undesirable outcomes.

The article concludes by emphasizing that designing public engagement activities is complex and the detailed 12 design guidelines acknowledge and respond to the complexity.

(Feel free to send us articles that you would like to see in the future edition of this column. Send your suggestions to and include “TLDR” in the subject line.)

By Mahtot Gebresselassie

Categories: News, Research

Scholarly Work to Help Your Profession

June 4, 2015 Leave a comment

IAP2 is proud to be a partner with the Journal of Public Deliberation. The latest issue is now online, with articles on online deliberation, institutional design, inclusion, recruitment, voting, culture, divided societies, and more, by authors like John Gastil, Alan Tomkins, Carolina Johnson, and Jennifer Stromer-Galley.  Several of the articles are written by international scholars and highlight cases from Estonia, Switzerland, and Canada (Quebec).  The issue also includes reviews of books by Josh Lerner, Chris Karpowitz and Tali Mendelberg, Paula Cossart, and Jose Marichal.

Categories: Research

Calling all Researchers or anyone with an interest in P2 Research!

May 27, 2015 Leave a comment

IAP2 USA is pleased to be collaborating with IAP2 Canada on a North American Research Committee.  Are you interested, do you have questions – learn more or join the Committee by contacting the Committee Chair, Maria de Bruijn.

Take a look at one of the initiatives this Committee is working on.


Too Long Didn't Read

Stakeholder and Citizen Roles in Public Deliberation

Kahane, David; Loptson, Kristjana; Herriman, Jade; and Hardy, Max (2013) “Stakeholder and Citizen Roles in Public Deliberation,”

Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 9: Iss. 2, Article 2.

Available at Journal of Public Deliberation

Through their research Kahane et al. provide a map that demonstrates the relationship between ‘stakeholder’ and ‘citizen’ engagement spaces and public deliberation.  With a particular focus on “deliberative public involvement exercises convened by governments as part of policy development” (p. 1), the authors describe “stakeholders” as representatives “of a formally constituted group or organization that has or is thought to have a collective interest” (p. 5), and “citizens” as “functional members of a democratic society by virtue of living within it and being affected by it” (p. 8).

The authors suggest reasons for and against involving stakeholders and citizens, both as separate groups and as a hybrid, and caution practitioners to consider the aforementioned configurations.  One of the observations offered by Kahane et al. to support this caution is that stakeholders are often less likely to adjust their perspectives, given that they feel a responsibility to the group they represent and are more aware of history and policies, as compared to a citizen. Citizens, on the other hand, as individuals are more prone to adjusting their perspective. The authors explore various configurations of stakeholder and citizen participation and suggest that “[w]hen citizens and stakeholder representatives deliberate separately, this also forgoes potentially powerful forms of learning and transformation” (p. 24).  By using several Canadian examples, the authors’ analysis reveals the complexities of public engagement arguing for practitioners to recognize the possible challenges of bringing citizen and stakeholders into the same deliberative space.

As a conclusion to the article, the authors offer questions to assist practitioners in mapping deliberative processes involving stakeholders and citizens. Here is a sample (p. 27-28):

  1. If citizens are to deliberate, with stakeholders contributing as experts and witnesses, how could stakeholders also be engaged in ‘endorsing’ the balance of the overall process or even just of its informational elements?
  2. If stakeholders are to engage in extended duration advisory and decision-making roles how are issues around diversity of representation being addressed?
  3. If there are to be separate, phased deliberative activities for citizens and stakeholders will commitment be given by conveners about how each input relates to others or has influence relative to others? 

Submitted by: J. Dyck, IAP2 North America Research Committee

Categories: Research

Calling all Researchers or anyone with an interest in P2 Research!

April 20, 2015 1 comment

IAP2 USA is pleased to be collaborating with IAP2 Canada on a North American Research Committee.  Are you interested, do you have questions – learn more or join the Committee by contacting Maria de Bruijn.

Take a look at one of the initiatives this Committee is working on.


Too Long Didn't Read

Welcome to the IAP2 Research Committee’s solution for TLDR (“Too Long, Didn’t Read”). We are working to serve IAP2’s membership with relevant and accessible content that bridges research and practice.

In this piece we present you with a brief summary of The Unfulfilled Promise of Online Deliberation. Feel free to send us articles that you would like to see in future editions of this column – send your ideas to

Janette Hartz-Karp, and Brian Sullivan. “The Unfulfilled Promise of Online Deliberation,” Journal of Public Deliberation 10 (2014) iss. 1. Accessed April 13, 2015

In this article, Hartz-Karp and Sullivan (2014) suggest that the success of adopting new technologies relies on recognizing their limitations and capitalizing on their strengths. Many online platforms fail to effectively foster deliberative democracy; meaning online engagement often falls short of researcher and practitioner expectations related to:

  • scaling out (get more responses);
  • scaling up (effect change in big and small ways);
  • being inclusive; and
  • being deliberative.

The inherent features of online engagement – self-selection and self-management – make it difficult for inclusiveness of participation as well as implementing rules of engagement that support a deliberative process. However, the authors suggest cost effectiveness and the tool’s (online platform) speed and capacity to scale out are strengths that should not be overlooked in engagement planning. The authors advise that practitioner focus needs to be on the strengths and the opportunities of each online platform. There should be a healthy recognition of each tool’s limitations and consideration given to lessen these impacts.

Hartz-Karp and Sullivan (2014) demystify the dream of creating an online space that functions as well as in-person engagement. Accordingly, they suggest that in order for online platforms to significantly contribute to a truly deliberative engagement initiative, “face-to-face engagement…seems [to be] key” (P.3).

Finally, by working from a place of understanding the more traditional P2 scene, the authors suggest that online platforms can address the challenge of self-management in online engagement. In face-to-face scenarios, they encourage lobby groups to diversify viewpoints in the deliberation process. They suggest replicating this aspect online by encouraging “curators”, those who initiate conversations on an issue, to take on a similar role in the virtual environment. The authors indirectly suggest that this takes advantage of, and lessens the unwanted impact of, the self-management ability of online platforms.

Summary by: IAP2 Research Committee Members Jessica Dyck and Mahtot Gebresselassie

Categories: Research Online Event: Inclusive Social Media Evaluation Report

For anyone interested in online civic engagement or the opportunities and challenges of engaging underrepresented communities in rich “civic life” conversations online:

Please join tomorrow, Wednesday, May 16 for a thoughtful international conversation about a recently released evaluation of’s intentional engagement efforts in two neighborhoods in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA with high percentages of people who are new immigrants, of color, and low income.

For details about the report and teleconference, see this post by E-Democracy executive director Steven Clift: Groundbreaking Analysis – Inclusive Social Media Project – 60 Page Participatory Evaluation

Space is limited

Join this call led by for a in-depth two-way exchange on the lessons from E-Democracy’s Inclusive Social Media effort to support online neighborhood participation in lower income, highly diverse, high immigrant neighborhoods:

Wednesday, May 16
at 9:30 am US Central time (15:30 UK)
Details and RSVP:

  • This online event is free. Donations to support further outreach are appreciated.
  • “Tune in” details will be e-mailed to participants.
  • A brief overview of the evaluation report (PDF) by lead author Anne Carroll will be followed by an extended opportunity for questions and discussion.

The 2010-2011 Inclusive Social Media effort received funding from the Ford Foundation. The participatory evaluation is extremely in-depth and filled with new lessons and knowledge useful to any online engagement initiative seeking to raise all voices not just those who already show up.

For 2012-2014, E-Democracy announced Knight Foundation funding for a major expansion in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA with the Inclusive Community Engagement Online initiative that seeks 10,000 participants reflecting the great diversity of the city.

Categories: Events, Research

IAP2 USA Sponsors Conference on Participatory Budgeting

March 30, 2012 Leave a comment

A very interesting conference is kicking off this morning in New York City, NY. From their about page:

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. The process was first developed in Brazil in 1989, and there are now over 1,000 participatory budgets around the world. It is now common in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa – and in some cases even required by law.

Yet it has only recently appeared on the radar in the US and Canada, with a few Canadian processes starting in 2001 and some initial US experiments starting in 2009. This conference will provide a space for participants and organizers of these initial processes to share and reflect on their experiences so far, alongside interested activists, practitioners, and scholars.

The Conference has seven main goals:

  • Encourage critical reflection on the PB processes and campaigns in the US and Canada
  • Exchange best practices from these processes and campaigns, and from experiences elsewhere
  • Connect PB practitioners, activists, scholars, and funders from different regions
  • Create new networks and collaboration, such as resource and information exchanges, mentoring relationships, joint promotional efforts, and research projects
  • Generate greater media coverage of PB in New York and elsewhere
  • Build broader interest in PB amongst community members, elected officials, funders, and other stakeholders.
  • Inspire new PB processes

As the home of the newest and largest PB process in the US, New York City is an ideal location for this conference. The conference will coincide with the final vote of the first PB cycle in New York, allowing attendees to observe PB in action.

A couple of weeks ago, IAP2 USA signed on as a conference co-sponsor. We’re very excited to connect with the PB community and look forward to mutual learning.

If you are among the conference attendees and would like to learn more about IAP2 USA and what we have to offer, please check out our website and contact us, visit out our sponsor table or find our Board member Tim Bonnemann at the conference, who is co-presenter at one of the sessions Friday afternoon and will be attending both days in full.

Categories: Press Release, Research Tags: