Engaging citizens in meaningful deliberation on critical issues
Citizens are increasingly demanding opportunities to have a voice in decisions that affect their lives. More than any time in the past 50 years, leaders in government, business, and nonprofits are being called upon to provide forums for their constituencies to provide input and seek influence.
We at CBI view citizen engagement as a critical component of the democratic process. Our participatory forums are structured in a manner that is interactive and constructive, and fosters meaningful dialogue aimed at surfacing ideas and solving problems.
Among the projects where CBI’s leadership and expertise in citizen engagement have yielded strong results are:
We work closely with the convenor/client to clarify issues, define goals and strategy, and custom-design processes. Among the tools and approaches that we employ are: focus groups, surveys, online platforms to share ideas and comments, public workshops, real-time polling, and numerous online tools (see E-Tools).
Our team handles all logistics, including online event registration, room reservations, room set-up, refreshments, sign-in, etc.
We work closely with the convenor/client to identify and reach out to key audiences via list serves, websites, media, and other tools.
We handle key aspects of citizen communication, including advance notices, agendas, handouts, presentations, and websites to support ongoing, two-way communication and dialogue. Communications are branded to support the project’s overall goals and tailored to target audiences.
We employ a range of e-tools to support communication and data collection: videoconferencing, online surveys, listservs, project websites, and live keypad polling.
Design engagements, using interactive tools, data, expert opinions, and ground rules, in a manner that results in productive and engaging meetings
Be inclusive and culturally sensitive, ensuring that people with a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds can express their views
Integrate technical, local, and policy expertise into dynamic workshops in a manner that taps into knowledge and wisdom across sectors and disciplines
Address controversy, through their calm, respectful, and approachable manner