Additional Engagement Guides

Code for America Engagement Toolkit

Author(s): Code for America

This categorized resource guide was created for building transparent and engaging community participation by Code for America. Code for America addresses the growing gap between public and private sectors in their use of technology and design and created this toolkit for the City of Boulder. The guide has step-by-step instructions for setting up engagement processes in the categories of: expanding reach, providing relevant and usable information, using spaces and channels for participation, encouraging productive actions, creating useful feedback loops, and additional recommendations and tools. It includes some measurements, but stops short at analysis. While the guide offers a wide variety of civic technology tools, but does not address the challenges of engagement implementation.

Digital Sustainability Conversations: How Local Governments can Engage Residents Online

Author(s): The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) Urban Sustainability Innovation (USI)

This user-friendly guide illustrates the business value of digital engagement as well as its risks and legal challenges. Written by a partnership between academics, a sustainability consultancy, and government leaders, this guide further lays out a 16-step processing to designing, implementing, and evaluating a digital engagement strategy along with case study examples, historical context with practical steps, assessment worksheets, and tools. The intended audience are City Managers, Mayors, Directors of Sustainability, Communications Directors, Project Managers, and other department heads.

Engagement Technology for All: Best Practices for Using Technology in Engaging Underrepresented Communities in Planning

Author(s): Place/Matters, the Ford Foundation

This report evaluates different technology tools for engagement that serve strengthening participation in public decision-making. This guide acknowledges how emerging technologies are changing how information is gathered and communicated, which influences that texture of engagement. A subsect of civic technology, which focuses specifically on improving participation in public decision-making, is analyzed in this guide with a focus on outreach to minority and disadvantaged populations. Case studies are highlighted in each of the sections that explain planning processes, relevant platforms, mobile engagement, social media best practices, games, and concluding recommendations. Deployment of civic technology still needs more evaluation, which the guide acknowledges and suggests tips for tracking indicators to begin this process. The guide is well-rounded in its research-based approach, practical suggestions, and awareness of implementation.

Field Guides to Ensuring Voter Intent

Author(s): The Center for Civic Design

In eight volumes that detail design, writing, testing, and layout instructions for voting ballots, these guides support the process of creating intuitive election materials. This series of field guides is created by the nonprofit The Center for Civic Design and is funded by the MacArthur Foundation as well as 321 backers on Kickstarter. The guides build off of previous work of design recommendations for election assistance by offering simplified and actionable steps.

IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation

Author(s): International Association of Public Participation

This chart helps scaffold the process for increasing meaningful engagement by addressing the goals, public communication, and example participation techniques. IAP2 is an international organization for knowledge sharing and capacity building of best practices for public participation. This straightforward graphic is based off of the Arnstein’s ladder of public participation and includes the categories of: inform, consult, involve, collaborate, empower. While this graphic does not provide any practical guidelines, it presents a clear framework for thinking about the work of public participation and can be a useful reference point.

Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement Guide - City of Seattle

Author(s): The Race and Social Justice Initiative in the City of Seattle

This guide to inclusive public engagement was originally developed in 2009 (revised in 2012, with the expressed goal of being “a practical guide and resource for all city staff.” The Race and Social Justice Initiative aims to ensure racial equity in city programming, work with community-based organizations to end structural racism, and facilitates network-building and partnerships across sectors to address racial disparities. The guide provides a useful checklist for designing and implementing inclusive public engagement processes, and an evaluation guide that helps with identifying evaluative questions for the engagement process. Other resources include strategies for inclusive engagement, a public involvement planning worksheet, and a glossary of terms as well as tools and techniques. This guide is full of helpful graphics, such as the Cultural Competence Continuum and Public Engagement Matrix. The quick guide also provides a summarized overview for this otherwise extensive resource.

National Assembly of Wales Public Engagement Toolkit

Author(s): The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement

The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement is a university collaborative across UK with a mission of engaging the public in research and education activities. Of course, with this broad mission, the organization has really branched into a number of different contexts and modalities. Originally called the Beacons Project at its founding in 2007, it has since changed its name to NCCPE in 2011 and continues the work. The website has a framework, toolkits, evaluation techniques, and importantly, a series of case studies. The site structure is organized by defining, planning, and implementing public engagement processes while facilitating cultural change to adopt best practices. The site includes informations for ways to stay involved via an annual conference, consulting services, newsletter subscription.

National Standards for Community Engagement

Author(s): The Scottish Community Development Centre

This set of national standards is a means of assuring good public process between communities and agencies. The standards are seen as a fundamental part of community planning while acknowledging the importance of increasing inclusion of minorities and disadvantaged populations. The standards were originally developed in 2005 and have been in wide use in Scotland. The standards address how organizations with a public-interest focus can improve: involvement of stakeholders, overcoming barriers in participation, project planning, methods assessment, team collaboration, information sharing practices, implementing feedback mechanisms, and more. There is a focus on measuring indicators and community-led action research through implementation guidelines are lacking.

UCL Public Engagement Toolkit

Author(s): University College of London

This list of toolkits includes checklists for planning and evaluating projects, research methods, design principles, communications resources and more. While the audience is primarily for internal to UCL public engagement, this is a well-rounded resource with research-based models of engagement as well as practical, templated resources to use. The evaluation methods section defines the qualities of evaluation while outlining methods including interviews, creative exercises, and workshops. The research protocol provides practices for optimizing collaboration between citizen groups, academics, and public sector leaders. Users can directly apply checklists and evaluation techniques from this resource while checking the guiding principles and outreach examples for alignment with best practices.