|Principles for effective community consultation|
This Article is By: Kingston Electors On Nov. - 15, 2005
Principles for effective community consultation
These principles for effective consultation have been adapted from
Carson 1999, UK Cabinet Office 2000 and UK Local Government Association
By focussing on the following principles for effective community
consultation, consultation can be involving, meaningful, useful and
effective. These principles for effective community consultation
provide a useful starting point formaking consultation work.
Make it timely
Participation should not be so late in the life of an issue that it is
tokenistic, or merely confirms decisions already made. The timing
should occur when citizens have the best chance of influencing
outcomes. Give people enough time to express their views.
Make it inclusive
Participants should be selected in a way that is not open to
manipulation, and should include a cross-section of the population — as
individuals and as groups. Random selection offers the best chance of
Make it community-focussed
Ask participants not what they want personally or what is in their
self-interest, but what they consider appropriate in their role as
Make it interactive and deliberative
Avoid reducing questions to a simplistic either/or response. Allow
consideration of the big picture, so people can really become engaged.
Make it effective
Although decision-making can strive for consensus, complete agreement
need not be the outcome. Be clear on how the decisions will be made so
that participants know and understand the impact of their involvement.
Make sure all participants have time to become well-informed about and
to understand material they are unlikely to have a prior familiarity
Make it matter
It is important that there is a strong likelihood that any
recommendations which emerge from the consultative process will be
adopted. If they are not, it is important that a public explanation is
provided. Faith in the process is important by both the power holders
and the participants.