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Location, location, location ……… – Where you undertake consultation is as important as how you do it

February 6, 2007 By

If you’re among the titans of British business – or even merely a Government Minister – your acolytes gather around and solemnly advise that you should hold sensitive meetings on…

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Unfocused Groups – Focus Groups as Consultation? What’s different?

January 23, 2007 By

Focus Groups – among those responsible for organising public participation or consultation, their popularity is beyond question. Along with surveys and questionnaires, they are the most often quoted technique used…

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Gatekeepers! – Worth their weight in gold? ……. Or a barrier to progress?

January 15, 2007 By

Those who work with community involvement or consultation are familiar with Gatekeepers. They are often worthy, salt-of-the earth types whose hearts are always in the right place, and who are…

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Aspirational consultation – Asking people what they want is clearly a legitimate form of consultation; but is this overdone at the expense of more practical choices?

December 20, 2006 By

Consultation comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are tightly targeted; often highly technical, using a specialist vocabulary and part of a continuing dialogue with known stakeholders. Others…

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Seasonal complaint – Correspondence from The Three Kings to a Council near you and recently released under the Freedom of Information Act

December 12, 2006 By

Dear Sirs, We write in greatest indignation upon hearing that your Authority has decided this year, to cease the practice of referring to us as The Wise Men. For generations,…

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From Discretion to Duty – Implementing the Disability Equality Duty raises even wider questions ……

December 6, 2006 By

On Monday 4th December, the Disability Equality Duty came into force. It means that public bodies have to ensure the involvement of disabled people in many aspects of their work,…

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The Waiting Game – There’s no need to wait until some good ideas become law!

November 28, 2006 By

One of the abiding characteristics of our public service is obedience to the law – and a reluctance to take risks by over-reaching ourselves. There’s an old rule of thumb…

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The One-Year-After Test – Is this the ultimate method of evaluation?

November 1, 2006 By

Those with long memories may remember something called The Pepsi Challenge. Effectively this was a blind test to see whether consumers preferred the taste of traditional Coca-Cola or the fiercely…

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The Monkey and the Organ-Grinder – How important is it for consultees to have direct contact with decision-makers?

October 18, 2006 By

In the perfect world, a consultation is organised by people who genuinely want to hear your views so that they can take decisions or review their policies. They will be…

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