resources

Icebreaker Game / Team Building Activity: "My Skills Club"

I created the following icebreaker game with an aim to get people talking to each other, and to also get people to talk about their own skills and the skills they share, which can be useful towards team building and staff self-awareness.  It's fun, easy to prepare and provides useful outputs of lists of shared skills among participants. Alternatively, you could do the activity not about skills but about other shared characteristics, but skills makes sense for team building type workshops.

My Skills Club

Instructions to participants

Dot Voting vs. Idea Rating Sheets

If you like sticker dot voting (aka multi-voting), then you will love idea rating sheets. Here's why...

Workshop Plan - The Ultimate Meeting Logistics Checklist

Workshop logistics checklist template

A good meeting logistics plan describes information such as:

10 Question to Ask Before Starting a Public Consultation

Recently Joseph Peters (Partner at Ascentum) and Joe Goldman (Vice President of Citizen Engagement at AmericaSpeaks) published an excellent two page article called: Open Policy Making 101: 10 Questions To Ask Before Launching Your Online Public Consultation

Action Implementation Plan - a two page template

For BikeCamp TO I created a simple one page (two-sided) form to help small groups to document a plan to get something done.

Sections included in the form are:

  • Name for the plan
  • Desired results to be achieved and strategies to be used
  • Key strengths, challenges, opportunities and threats (aka a SWOT analysis)
  • Contact information for team members
  • Timeline of important tasks and major milestones

This simple template can help focus ad-hoc teams and give concrete outcomes to open space conferences. I hope you find it useful!

Download the Action Implementation Plan form (PDF)

 

Consensus Decision-Making Workshop Matierials

On September 29th 2009, my self and Simone Arsenault-May presented an evening workshop for parents at the Grove Community School, a new alternative school part of the Toronto District School Board.

This workshop focused on teaching the basics of a consensus process that uses cooperative dialogue. It also covered techniques for an efficient council and tools for effective community engagement.

A Public Involvement in Decision Making Toolkit

Back in 2000 Health Canada published an excellent resource called The Health Canada Policy Toolkit for Public Involvement in Decision Making.
It is a complete toolkit with guidelines, about 50 techniques described in concise details and with useful suggestions, and also case studies and references. I highly recommend it as a definitive reference on the various options for effective public engagement within the Canadian context. You can access other free resources in my links section.

Project Charter Templates

Project charters define how a team will collaborate to achieve its goals. Below are a few examples of headings in typical project charters.

 

Project Charter Elements - from USDA template

  • Purpose of the charter

  • Project objective
  • Summary Scope Statement

  • Project Authority

  • Project Manager

  • Roles and Responsibilities

Visualize information to make it accessible

Public consultation and engagement requires a two-way flow of communication between the proponent (the organization doing the consultation) and the public. The public needs to have information presented in a way that is easy to understand and this can be done, in part, by using good visuals. I recommend the booklet "Visualizing Information for Advocacy: An Introduction to Information Design" as a good resource to review before creating your public information materials. It's written for NGOs who do advocacy, but the suggestions apply just as well to public consultations.

A great guide to public consultation

I recently found this manual...

PUBLIC CONSULTATION GUIDE:
CHANGING THE REIATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND CANADIANS

By Peter Sterne with Sandra Zagon
http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection/SC94-62-19-1997E.pdf

I am finding it very useful for planning public consultations required for environmental assements. The detailed Roadmap Model gives 51 key steps one should carry out to conduct a successful public participation process. Written in 1997 it's a bit out of date in terms of more conteporary approaches, such as the use of online tools, but it is still very worth while and insightful for consultants and government folks in Canada and beyond. Pass it on!

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