Involve Director Simon Burall has recently been at the centre of a very interesting conversation about the deliberative system and its utility in making sense of the work done by Involve and others in the democratic sector. You can find his initial report here and responses from some leading practitioners and academic luminaries at the Democratic Audit blog. He was kind enough to stop in for a brief chat and quick reflection on this conversation, and on the next steps for researchers and practitioners in participatory and deliberative democracy. Click this link to hear his thoughts.
Conference: People making difference in communities
2nd October 2015, 9.30am – 4pm
Grassmarket Community Project
What Works Scotland is delighted to invite you to this one-day conference featuring leading scholars from Denmark, Netherlands, England and Scotland. They will be sharing and discussing their research, which focuses on ‘people who make a difference in communities’. The conference will be an opportunity to explore this international research with a range of practitioners from the public and third sectors, local communities and academia.
Dr Annika Agger, Roskilde University, Denmark
Dr Catherine Durose, University of Birmingham
Dr Laurens de Graaf, Tilburg University, Netherlands
Dr Merlijn van Hulst, Tilburg University, Netherlands
Dr Oliver Escobar, University of Edinburgh and What Works Scotland
A detailed programme will follow soon, but the conference will have two parts:
• In the morning, there will be four presentations and group discussions based on research and experiences in each of the four countries.
• In the afternoon, there will be the launch and discussion of the findings from a study conducted by the research team across the four countries, which maps out five ways in which ‘people make a difference in communities’. You can see more information about the study here: http://peoplemakingadifference.net
The focus for the day is on the ‘people’ (rather than the ‘structures’) who are driving a range of topical policy areas on the ground, including community engagement, partnerships, collaborative governance, neighbourhood management and community action. The speakers are leading researchers in this field, with years of experience learning and working with community and neighbourhood practitioners. The purpose of the conference is to explore how this research on ‘exemplary practitioners’ may contribute to generate debate and ideas to inform practice in communities and shape future research.
If you require any further information please contact:
Simon.Kershaw@ed.ac.uk (Events Manager)
Lynda.Frazer@glasgow.ac.uk (What Works Scotland Manager)
email@example.com (Conference Chair)
Interest in deliberative forms of public engagement is growing in Scotland. There have been many studies of deliberative participation across the globe, and in particular mini-publics such as citizens’ juries. But this new report is unique as it provides an unusually detailed account for practitioners, policy workers, decision makers and researchers interested in developing deliberative public forums.The three citizens’ juries were part of ClimateXChange’s research programme, and dealt with the issue of onshore wind farm development in Scotland.
Here is what people have said about the project and the report:
Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment Marco Biagi MSP said: “Involving people and communities in decision-making leads to better results, more responsive services and gives communities the chance to have a say on how ideas are delivered.”
“This exciting project offers valuable lessons which will help our efforts to boost participation in local democracy and improve community engagement.”
Project Manager for ClimateXChange Ragne Low said: “This report provides robust evidence of how we can create processes that will be trusted by communities and balance different views. It also gives very practical advice about organising and facilitating good quality public engagement to support decision making.”
“Participatory forums like citizens’ juries are not an easy option. They need very careful planning and experienced facilitators who make sure that the process is balanced, inclusive and that all voices are heard. What we saw in the juries was real appreciation of getting balanced expert opinion and working through difficult questions together.”
Research Director Dr Oliver Escobar, said: “The research findings are very timely given the appetite for more participation at all levels of society in post-referendum Scotland.”
“To solve the many pressing problems of our time we need new political spaces that bring forth the voices of those seldom heard. Mini-publics like citizens’ juries may provide some of those spaces.”
‘Deliberation and Development: Rethinking the Role of Voice and Collective Action in Unequal Societies’, edited by Patrick Heller and Vijayendra Rao
“Deliberation and Development is a true landmark that establishes, surveys, and celebrates a rich field of study with crucial practical relevance. The striking and sometimes counterintuitive insights formulated by its contributors concerning the broad reach of deliberation should prompt rethinking of crucial questions in development, as well as reformulation of key aspects of the theory of deliberative democracy.”
Prof. John Dryzek, Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, University of Canberra.
The book is published under a Creative Commons license and can, therefore, be downloaded for free HERE.
This book marries two fields that rarely converse with one another: deliberative democracy and development studies. The study of deliberation has emerged as a critical area of study over the past two decades. Concurrently, the field of development has seen a spurt of interest in community-led development and participation premised on the ability of groups to arrive at decisions and manage resources via a process of discussion and debate. Despite the growing interest in both fields, they have rarely engaged with one another.
This book, which brings together new essays by some of the leading scholars in the field, deepens our understanding of participatory decision making in developing countries while initiating a new field of study for scholars of deliberation. In the process, it sheds light on how to best design and implement policies to strengthen the role of participation in development. Contributors: Arjun Appadurai, Gianpaolo Biaocchi, Peter Evans, Archon Fung, Varun Gauri, Gerry Mackie, Jane Mansbridge, Paromita Sanyal, JP Singh, Ann Swidler, and Susan Watkins.
‘Creating the world we want to live in’, Podcast with keynote speakers at the launch of Participation Week
Participation Week begins on the 8th of June with a fast moving Launch Event chaired by Sarah Davidson, Director General Communities at Scottish Government: “Participation and Citizen Ownership – The Challenge for Government” will explore the challenges and the benefits of putting people at the centre of the SG’s work.
You will hear from experts and participate in table discussions about how the SG can transform public services in Scotland by involving people in the decisions that affect their lives. Evidence sessions will be led by Andy Williamson, of Democratise, Oliver Escobar of What Works Scotland and Chris Yui of SCVO.
The programme includes 19 events:
- Participation in Action: Experiences from Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA) and Bridging the Gap
- Engaging Scotland: Stories from the 2014 Independence Referendum
- Collaborative sense making
- Extending the Reach of Your Event Online
- Young People – Scotland Listens and Acts
- The Future Public Servant – what might we look like?
- Enabling Collaborative Leadership
- Participation and Commonwealth Games – Lessons Learned
- Digital Stakeholder Engagement
- Digital Surgery
- Unleash Your Positive Deviant: Learning to See the World as Others See It
- What Does the Scottish Approach Mean for You?
- Participation: What Works?
- Think Social Media’s a Waste of Time?
- Making Space for Democracy
- Participation – Telling the Story A Conversation Cafe Event
- Modernising Participation: Two Practice Examples
- Dialogue Taster Session
- Community Participation in Planning
Please note that some of the events take place twice, so check the website to see alternative dates.
Thanks to Prof. John Parkinson for two interesting days of conversations about deliberative democracy in Scotland. Here I’m re-blogging John’s initial thoughts posted originally in his blog.
Originally posted on John Parkinson:
The last two days I’ve been in Edinburgh talking with academic colleagues, civil servants, activists and think tankers, journalists and interested others about deliberative systems. I’ve been interested in applying deliberative systems thinking to get a handle on the quality and extent of public debate in the run-up to, and beyond, last year’s Scottish independence referendum.
I stress the “talking with” part. It’s been a remarkable two days because I’ve been listening and learning as much as talking and debating. This is because Scotland is a hot-bed of development for deliberative and participatory democracy following the “indyref”.
The events — a public lecture followed by small group discussions and questions, and a smaller workshop on the ideals for large-scale deliberation — were organised and hosted by the Academy of Government at Edinburgh University, especially the inextinguishable Oliver Escobar. My sincere thanks to him and all the team, and to all…
View original 595 more words
Originally posted on pdd: