Archive for June 2009

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Deliberating to Change Public Policy

Deliberating to Change Public Policy

With so much attention focused on the Obama Administration’s Open Government Initiative , it’s worth taking a look at recent nationwide and state efforts to bring the public closer to government through the use of deliberative democracy techniques. Two impressive examples among many are the Citizens Parliament in Australia, convened to consider ways of improving […]

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John Dryzek on the Citizens Parliament

In an earlier post on the Open Government Initiative of the Obama Administration, I mentioned an Australian experiment called the Citizens Parliament. Here is the background piece on a video showing a clip from John Dryzek’s presentation to the Australian Senate on the results of the 2009 gathering. Since this is a clip from a […]

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A Note on Humor and Consensus Building

A Note on Humor and Consensus Building

Every conference I’ve ever attended in the field of conflict resolution has featured some sort of organized discussion about the role of humor in mediation. These sessions are often quite analytical and serious, but occasionally a workshop is held that’s entertaining because the facilitators are demonstrating rather than describing their approach. It always seems, though, […]

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Open Government Initiative - Phase 2: Enhancing Citizen Engagement

Open Government Initiative – Phase 2: Enhancing Citizen Engagement

The Obama Administration’s Open Government Initiative has been holding its second phase at the blog of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The initial brainstorming phase has generated hundreds of ideas and comments relating to five major categories: Transparency, Participation, Collaboration, Capacity Building and Legal and Policy Challenges. While there have been problems with […]

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Implementing Consensus Agreements - 2

Implementing Consensus Agreements – 2

As I summarized briefly in the last post, Bill Leach has identified 20 design principles for implementing consensus agreements. Of course, some are difficult to apply in practice, in part because of the great variety of local issues, conditions and competing interests. While many of the principles are established practice in consensus building, some represent […]

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Implementing Consensus Agreements - 1

Implementing Consensus Agreements – 1

Reaching agreement is the emotional high point of a consensus-seeking process. It often follows a period of difficult and intense negotiations and may represent a major breakthrough in relationships among long-warring groups. However, implementation is the real test of the effectiveness and durability of any agreement, and there are many potential obstacles that can frustrate […]

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