Engagement with the community can take many forms, and an engagement process needs the right tools for the right audience.

A number of deliberative processes are introduced below to help with deciding, designing and delivering democratic community engagement.

Deliberation is about long and careful consideration or discussion. When selecting deliberative techniques and tools it is important to consider what it is we are trying to achieve. In reforming democracy we need to allow for exploration of ideas and information if we want people to learn about issues, themselves, and others. We also need to provide structure to support people in decision making; and opportunities for people to come together in collaborative problem solving.

Exploration

People learn about themselves, their communities & topics under discussion to help their thinking. Some of the deliberative techniques recommended and more suited for use in exploration are:

Decision Making

People contribute their knowledge and ideas to improve the value of public decision making. Some of the deliberative techniques recommended and more suited for use in decision making are:

Collaborative Problem Solving

People work through complex problems together and own the recommendations they make to decision makers. Some of the deliberative techniques recommended and more suited for use in collaborative problem solving are:

Other engagement tools and methods

There is a range of existing engagement toolkits and methods that you might find useful when deciding on which tools to use and/or how to implement them successfully. The following links will help get you started.

Community Engagement Toolkit - Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure SA (accessible via intranet site for SA State Govt staff only)

Effective Engagement Toolkit - Department of Sustainability and Environment Victoria

Sunshine Coast Community Engagement Toolkit

Queensland Government - Active Participation Techniques

NCDD Engagement Streams Framework