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About Consultation

'Consultation' is often used as an umbrella term to cover many different types of process. We use a number of words, defined as follows, to convey what we mean and to avoid misunderstandings.

We use

Engagement as an umbrella term to describe any process that involves contact with the public, from providing information to running formal consultation processes.
Consultation to describe a relatively formal and structured process through which citizens and stakeholders can comment on and contribute to the decisions and policies that affect them.
Participation to indicate a process in which stakeholders have some control of the process, the agenda, and the decisions. Participative processes differ from consultation processes in that they involve the participants more deeply, they tend to involve the same people through several stages, and the results are more transparent.

We use

Stakeholder to describe a person or organisation perceiving themselves to have a stake in something.


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