Skip to main content

Community consultation and engagement is an important part of the good and democratic governance of local government

Paper cutouts of people on grass(web_small).jpg

Resource Library

Download the following resources:

Deliberative techniques – overview

The UK’s Involve organisation has developed a participation compass which lists 57 different deliberative and participatory methods. For every method there is an outline of the method, strengths and weaknesses, the estimated cost & time involved and any restrictions. A comprehensive website that is well worth a look.  See:

Engage2020 is project funded by the European Commission which has looked at the ways in which participative approaches can enable people’s involvement in research and innovation projects. One outcome of the project is an ‘Action Catalogue’, an online decision support tool that is intended to help decision-makers find the best public deliberation methods that suits their needs. See:

The US-based National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation has lots of resources relating to deliberative techniques and community engagement more broadly. The NCCD’s Engagement Streams Framework is a good place to start. See:

Citizen Juries

The newDemocracy Foundation website provides useful and informative examples of design considerations behind many of the juries in which newDemocracy has been involved. See

The Jefferson Center, is a not-for-profit organisation in the US that has been central to the promotion of citizen juries. The website contains information about components of the method, together with history and evaluation. See          


The City of Melbourne has conducted formal, independent evaluations of its jury processes. The evaluation for the People’s Panel , including video can be accessed here: Feedback on the Future Melbourne Citizens’ Jury can be accessed here:

From South Australia, More verdicts of the Jury: stories, insights and improvements for the Citizens’ Jury model. An independent review of the second citizen’s jury commissioned by the Department of Premier and Cabinet:

Yarra Ranges Shire Council prepared a formal evaluation of its People’s Panel – find this and other examples in the VLGA case study handouts.

In the UK, various evaluations of the Sciencewise Programme and the deliberative dialogue projects that it supports, provide evidence of the way in which deliberative processes have had a significant impact on final policy decisions:

For examples of evaluation frameworks relevant to deliberative and participatory methods, see:


The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) is an international network of members which seeks to promote and improve the practice of public participation. IAP2’s Australasian website contains advice about membership, events, training and resources. See

The Kettering Foundation is a US not-for-profit research foundation in the tradition of cooperative research. Kettering’s primary research question is, what does it take to make democracy work as it should? A great resource for background reading.  See

Everyday Democracy is an organisation (US) with the stated mission to help communities talk and work together to create communities that work for everyone. Their website features online resources and case studies on a range of issues, together with recommended reading lists. See

 The US-based National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (see above):

PB network – what’s happening in participatory budgeting across Scotland. Lots of case studies:


ABC Radio National pulled together a special panel to discuss on participatory approaches as part of its Big Ideas program.  Citizen juries – leadership for a new democracy gives a useful overview of this field. Well worth a listen:

Also an ABC Radio National Future Tense episode on Citizens juries and deliberative democracy:

As part of the City of Melbourne’s Melbourne Conversations series, a moderated panel discussion  (including jurors) following the City’s People’s Panel in 2015: Democracy Fractures: Can citizens' juries rebuild trust & solve hard problems ? See

Selected reading

The Journal of Public Deliberation is a peer reviewed, open access journal full of useful papers about research, opinion, projects, experiments and experiences of academics and practitioners in deliberative democracy:

Burall, S., 2015, Room for a View: Democracy as a Deliberative System – recent commentary on prospects for democratic reform in the UK. See

Carson, L. and Hartz-Karp, 2005, Adapting and combining deliberative designs: juries, polls, and forums, in Gastil, J. and Levine, P. (eds), The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement in the Twenty-First Century, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 120 – 138.

Dryzek, J. and Niemeyer, S., 2012, What is deliberative democracy ?  Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, University of Canberra:

Estlub, S., Ercan, S. and Mendonça, R.F. 2016, The fourth generation of deliberative democracy, Critical Policy Studies  10 (2) Article 1, Part of a special symposium on deliberative systems. DOI:10.1080/19460171.2016.1175956

Hartz-Karp, J.,2012, Laying the groundwork for participatory budgeting – developing a deliberative community and collaborative governance: Greater Geraldton, Western Australia, Journal of Public Deliberation  8 (2) Article 6 [online]

Hartz-Karp, J. and Sullivan, B. (2014) The unfulfilled promise of online deliberation, Journal of Public Deliberation  10(1) Article 16 [online]

Victorian Auditor-General’s Office, 2015, Public Participation in Government Decision-making: Better Practice Guide:

Winstanley, A. and Cronin, K. 2012, Changing the way we do democracy around here: embedding deliberative democracy practices in organisations. Report of a project for the Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy, University of Western Sydney.

The VLGA is committed to connecting communities and strengthening democracy

Join the conversation

j r