At Voxcitio, we work with lots of people undertaking various different forms of public consultation. We see them when they struggle and we talk to them about their victories. Here are a few tips we have picked up from our recent clients:
Planning is key
You to arrange how you are going to explain the project ti te people involved. You will need to rectify any doubts about the project. If your planning is accurate, you will be able to explain all the impacts that may occur, both positive and negative, including social impacts.
Controversial issues can hijack a consultation
Most public consultation processes are designed to be able to meet objectives head on but somethings you can't stop from derailing projects. The most common concerns that hijack consultations are environmental wildlife concerns such as rare types of amphibians being found in the area and also public health concerns where
Time frame & resources
Some public consultation processes need to be completed within a certain timeframe. 45 days is the norm but longer periods of up to 90 days are not unheard of. You will also need a large and dedicated team to organize the large volume of paperwork and date you will be receiving.
There is a culture around public consultation and that is largely negative. We need more advocates to come out and "champion the process" to increase cooperation and active involvement. Public consultation projects can be government hosted or third-party managed. Sometimes government bodies can be intimidating to the public and third parties yield greater responses.
Navigation & Language
It should be accessible to all and no barriers should be in place to prevent someone from learning more about the public consultation process.
People should be able to use whatever colloquial terms they feel comfortable using, there is no need to conform to standards when partaking in public consultation.
Specialist sense-making tools and processes required - for both government and public
Voxcitio is a public consultation and stakeholder management tool, which streamlines the process for those involved in the project. It is also useful to use tools which show the citizens what is going on.
Public consultation is suited well to online
While controversial issues sometimes present challenges to open environments, day to day consultation and engagement within communities is well suited to online. It speeds up the process when the data is managed correctly.
I hope these pointers, that we have seen work on consultation projects will help you to deliver your project successfully. If you would like to learn more about Voxcitio and how we can help you put this plan into action, get in touch below!