The Various Elements Of A Public Consultation Process
The Public Consultation process has one main purpose, to generate wide public interest in a certain subject and to engage the community in full discussion concerning the appropriate approach to tackle it. This process is all with a view to reaching a broad consensus on the way forward. The outcome of the consultation exercise provides a useful basis to guide the formulation of the next steps in taking forward the subject.
Acutely expressing views and providing useful commands through various channels during the consultation period is what is considered best practice, but how do we even get to this point?
To get the public onside, you need to appeal to their needs.
This means the right for access to timely, relevant and readable information throughout the course of the process in order to keep participants and the public as up to date as possible. The need for greater clarity about the process itself, including mandates, participants, and decision-making powers. Raw public opinion is routinely voiced by all the established institutions of mass democracy - initiatives, referenda, public opinion polls, focus groups. Public participation can be considered by the involved stakeholders as an end in itself or as a means to an end and the lack of definition and transparency of chosen processes and objectives often leads to more politics. But, ultimately it is the glue that holds many community-based projects together.
The initial stage of drafting a public consultation plan involves identifying who the various stakeholders are. Some will be perfectly obvious and may already have engaged with you, others might be harder to uncover and may require a careful approach from the outset. For example, on something like a large engineering project that is going to impact on an area of a city, you might have a stakeholder list like this:
The construction/engineering company undertaking the work
Residents that may be affected
The wider general public who may be affected by transport disruption
Local government bodies
The Chamber of Commerce
Service providers like water and electricity that may have their services impacted
Tools you will need
Voxcitio is a cloud-based solution for managing stakeholder engagement and public consultation. It is entirely mobile and facilitates better data collection, communication & database management
Voxcitio aims to unlock the full potential of your community. It provides flexible and powerful tools that leverage the latest Cloud and mobile technology to change how your organization manages mission-critical stakeholder engagement processes. Any organization which needs to forge an authentic and lasting dialogue with people that matter to it can benefit from community engagement and this is where we come in, take a demo here.
Communities range from the residents living near your proposed infrastructural project to high-level stakeholders involved in your corporate governance. Research has demonstrated that making clear efforts to engage communities in an organization's decision-making process leads to stronger two-way engagement and gives them a powerful sense of 'ownership' over the consultation outcome.
Voxcitio can help with community engagement through email blast functions, issue tracking, tags, filters to segment your contact database, helping to organize your team members, map features and much more.
Planning, canvassing, analyzing results and follow-up are the four components that make Voxcitio stand out amongst many community engagement tools.
If you want to learn more about how Voxcitio can help you with this process, why not arrange a demo with us.