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Designing engagement processes

Process design is the single most important - and often most neglected - aspect of public engagement and consultation. Early investment in process design reduces risks and saves time and money.

Dialogue by Design's founders are among the most experienced process designers and facilitators in the country. We have designed everything from formal consultation processes around government White Papers, through one-off public meetings in situations of high conflict to web-based global consultation processes for international agencies.

Dialogue design consultancy

We feel so strongly about the importance of design that we are always happy to offer advice - without any further obligation (and often without cost). Contact us by email or call us on 020 8683 6602 to discuss anything from stakeholders to the use of different engagement methods.

Dialogue Designer

Dialogue Designer is a new online process design tool that we have developed to help you choose the right method in the right situation.

It asks you a series of straightforward questions about why you want to engage with people, who those people are and how much time you have, and then suggests the methods that you should consider using - and those you should definitely avoid.

So, for example, the first question asks you whether you want just to provide information, solicit opinions, gather reactions to a proposal or build relationships with local people. The next questions are about those people: do you want to engage the whole community, or a specific part of it - and does the process have to be representative? The final questions are about how controversial the subject matter is likely to be, and how long you have to complete the exercise.

At each stage Dialogue Designer comments on the implications of your answers, and finally suggests the engagement methods that are most likely to succeed in your specific situation.

Dialogue Designer also contains a wealth of other information: the pros and cons of different techniques, advice on using third parties and handling sensitive issues, and much else. Its ease of use masks a highly sophisticated system running to almost 600 pages of information.

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