As planners and community leaders utilize civic volunteerism to accomplish community objectives, they will continue to strive for efficiency. With so many perspectives coming together to make community decisions, it is crucial to have processes in place that foster a collaborative decision-making process. Deliberative Democracy is an organization dedicated to finding and supporting ways to encourage, engage, and equip communities to participate together effectively.
The organization has compiled tools, networks, and assisted federal agencies in the “deliberative” democratic process (About section). Users should first visit the Deliberate Democracy’s project, Participedia (participedia.net). This site outlines the best practices in channeling public participation to accomplish everything from city budgeting to redevelopment plans. Other projects can be found here: http://www.deliberative-democracy.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=68&Itemid=272.
Next, visit the “Articles & Releases” category in order to review the thinking that underpins many initiatives happening nationally. Finally, the user should visit the DDC Blog category, which is continually updated with local cases of democracy at its best.
An additional website resource that uses Deliberative Democracy principles is the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (http://ncdd.org/). The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation holds many local conferences to discuss and exchange best practices for enhancing the democratic process in decision-making.
How to Use
It will be impossible for planners and government leaders to solve the tremendous challenges related to age-ready planning without enlisting and activating its community volunteer base. Those bases can become more effective by using best practices in fostering the democratic decision-making process. Democracy at its best unleashes new solutions. Use this website to integrate the community into your local planning process effectively.
View the website: Deliberative Democracy