Choosing a method is only part of developing a consultation
plan. An overall process must be designed to fit the particular
In general, the process design might be as follows:
Identify the issue, project or policy about
which consultation is to occur.
Ensure that a consultation plan is part of
the overall project plan and it is agreed that adequate
resources will be committed to the consultation process.
Clearly identify the goal of the consultation
- Look at the range of activities and suggested methods
under Choosing a Method - How to?
Remember this is only meant to serve as a guide for you.
Look at the consultation method options for
that category of issue. The option you choose will depend
on a number of factors including:
Complexity of the issue
What the targets groups (affected parties)
Whether the target groups are easy to access
Whether the consultation will be "open"
How much time and what level of resourcing
Who in the council is managing/auspicing
the consultation process and who will be doing the
Make sure that advertising is eye-catching,
distinctive and exciting
When implementing the method, be sure that
venue quality and participant comfort are carefully handled.
A good quality, interesting environment and plentiful
refreshments will enhance the process.
Information should be readable, catchy and
feature pictures and cartoons where possible allowing
participants to make informed comment on the issue
Ensure participants are clear about the consultation
process, how the information they give is going to be
used and how the decision will be made. Where possible,
allow participants to have input into these processes.
Use feedback and evaluation processes. Where
possible, feedback should occur during and at the end
of consultation to give the benefits of feedback loops.
Stick to agreed timelines and commitments.
This will give participants more faith in the process