Engaging the public for public good.


Increasingly, the public expects to have a meaningful voice in decisions that affect their lives.

Consensus is fortunate to build on the work of national leaders in the field, and recommend articles and books that tell the story of public engagement. 

Recommended Reading



  • Consensus Civility Focus Groups: A Summary. We held focus groups across the political spectrum to find out how people want to be engaged in difficult public issues. What they told us might surprise you. Download Civility_Focus_Group_Summary 10 pages – Kansas City
  • Dealing with Deeply Held Concerns and Other Challenges to Public Engagement Processes,” by the Institute for Local Government. Download  deeply_held_concerns_final_draft for advice when there are strong perspectives and deep feelings about an issue.
  • International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Toolbox. Download the IAP2 toolbox to see the range of public engagement options available, and advice on when to use them.
  • Naming and Framing Difficult Issues to Make Sound Decisions,” by David Mathews. The director of the Kettering Foundation offers an accessible explanation of how to work with citizens to make tough choices involved in local and national issues.
  • “National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD) Resource Guide.” Download the guide NCDD2010_Resource_Guide to learn about ways to engage the public, with links to additional resources.
  • Planning Public Forums: Questions to Guide Local Officials,” by the Institute for Local Government. Why to involvement the public and how to determine the design of effective public meetings.