I take my hat off yet again to the Consultation Institute for giving space to a couple of good documents on the topic of public engagement. One is the 2010 Community Engagement Handbook (1.6 Mb PDF) from South Australia, whilst the other is a report, Sustaining Public Engagement (2.7 Mb PDF), by Elena Fagotto and Archon Fung published by Everyday Democracy and the Kettering Foundation in 2009.
I’ve blogged before about the work of Archon Fung on e-democracy and the democracy cube. In this paper Fagotto & Fung take several examples of what they see as good practice. They then look for where the gaps occur between where participation is embedded and where it is more fragile before finally establishing some tentative measures.
The Community Engagement Handbook, from the City of Salisbury in Australia, is just that, it’s a highly practical and well laid out guide to gaining public participation in decisions. It is based on the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) model, which identifies and defines levels of community engagement, and is built upon other work in South Australia.
There are now no excuses for getting it wrong!