Tips for Preparing a Consultation Strategy
It is a good idea for local governments to prepare an overall consultation strategy, outlining their commitment to supporting and resourcing good consultation practices.
- Remember there are many good local government consultation strategies around, with many examples included on this site. Use them to prepare one in conjunction with your own community.
- Highlight the issues around consultation in your community before you begin preparing a strategy.
- Conduct extensive consultation inside your organisation. All the different elements of the organisation (including the political and administrative parts) need to be engaged. Make sure you identify all the issues over which consultation can occur. Also, remember that staff also have a contribution to make to its development.
- In-principle support from the council and senior management is critical. It is important that the decision-makers genuinely believe or are willing to accept that consultation enhances decision-making and is a legitimate aspiration of communities.
- A consultation strategy might be structured as follows:
A consultation strategy should include a commitment to using consultation in all significant council activities and ensuring that consultation is appropriately resourced.
The draft consultation strategy should itself be the subject of consultation
It should be a dynamic document, always be open to review and improvement.
- Introduction - outlines why the council is developing a strategy and the role consultation plays in the council's corporate plan
- Why council consults - the costs and benefits of consultation
- Principles of good consultation - council's statement of the principles which underpin good consultation
- When council will consult - situations in which the council will consult its community.
- How council will consult - methods the council will use, depending on the issue in question. Information on this website can be used as a starting to point and tailored according to the needs of your particular council and community