Designing a good engagement process is crucial to the success
of the exercise. More attention to the initial design substantially
reduces the risk of problems occurring later and ensures that
your goals are met.
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
We are always available by telephone to talk through the needs
of a particular project or how a specific dilemma might be resolved.
We can also meet you to help scope out and plan anything from
a day-long meeting to a year-long engagement process.
We have distilled our knowledge to create Dialogue Designer,
an expert system that helps you to plan public and stakeholder
engagement and consultation processes.
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: are you wanting 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
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, on handling sensitive issues, and much else. Its ease
of use masks a highly sophisticated system running to almost 600
pages of information.
For more information about how Dialogue Designer can benefit your
organisation please contact
Pippa Hyam by email or call her on 020 8683 6602.