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Participation Compass


The field of public engagement practice has developed into a rich domain of knowledge and techniques that draw on the “wisdom of crowds” and seek to make shared decisions in effective and just ways. The new website entitled Participation Compass (based in the U.K.) provides a good window into the available processes and resource guides currently available. It extends earlier work done at a site called PeopleandParticipation.net which was created with funding from the UK Department for Justice, the UK Department for Communities & Local Government and the UK Sustainable Development Commission.

The key feature of the site is a search tool that helps you narrow down your tool choices based on the goals you have for your public engagement initiative. Here’s the categories of interest:

Build skills and capacity of participants
Gather individual pre-existing opinions
Gather informed and considered opinions (deliberation)
Generate new ideas (innovation)
Create a shared vision amongst participants
Co-producing services
Reach consensus and overcome conflict
Make a direct decision