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Section 1 - Background Information

Q1.1 Name of your organisation

Q1.2 Is your organisation predominantly active in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland or both?

Northern ireland                           
Republic of Ireland
Both

Q1.3 Which of the following comes closest to characterising the focus of your organisation? (Please tick one box only)

Issue advocacy

Development / regeneration

Social services

Charitable fund-raising

Cultural or religious association

Umbrella organisation

Other

If Other, please specify

Q1.4 Name of staff member responding

Q1.5 Email address of staff member responding


Q1.6 How many full-time staff does your organisation have? 

Q1.7 How many part-time staff does your organisation have?

Section 2 - Participation in Public Consultation

(Please refer to the glossary)

Q2.1 Have you ever participated in a public consultation process initiated, established or convened by government? (By ‘government’ we mean all government departments, public bodies and agencies, and local authorities)

Yes
No

Q2.2a Were any of the following techniques ever used in the public consultation processes initiated, established or convened by government, in which you participated?

(Please tick all that apply)

You will be asked later about techniques used in processes that your organisation was responsible for initiating. Please distinguish those initiated by government, and those initiated by you, and answer here in relation to those initiated by government.

Q2.2b For each technique that you have used, please estimate as accurately as you can how many times you have participated in it in the last twelve months prior to your response to this survey. (For example, how many surveys have you responded to? How many consultation documents? how many area forums have you sat on? How many partnerships? Etc.)

Technique

Ever used

How many initiated in the last twelve months

1) Market research-like methods of public consultation

Complaints/ suggestion schemes

Yes or No

Surveys

Yes or No

Opinion polls

Yes or No

Focus groups

Yes or No

User panels

Yes or No

Citizens’ panels

Yes or No

 

 

 

2) Traditional methods of public consultation

Notification and solicitation of comments / consultation documents

Yes or No

Viewing of planning document / draft development plan

Yes or No

Viewing of environmental impact statement

Yes or No

Consultative conferences

Yes or No

Public meetings

Yes or No

Public hearings

Yes or No

Question and answer sessions

Yes or No

Workshops

Yes or No

Referendums

Yes or No

Shadow councils/parliaments
Yes or No

 

 

3) Electronic Techniques

Communities of interest emailing list

Yes or No

Online complaints / suggestions

Yes or No

Online polls and surveys

Yes or No

Online referendums

Yes or No

Online citizens’ panels

Yes or No

Online petitions

Yes or No

Live chat events

Yes or No

Online conference

Yes or No

Online submissions for public hearings

Yes or No

Online focus groups

Yes or No

Online citizens’ juries

Yes or No

Online deliberative polling

Yes or No

 

 

4) Community visioning/ planning mechanisms

Action planning

Yes or No

Community audits / appraisals / profiling

Yes or No

Community plans/ needs analysis

Yes or No

Community indicators

Yes or No

Future search

Yes or No

Local sustainability model

Yes or No

Area / neighbourhood mapping

Yes or No

Participatory strategic planning

Yes or No

Participatory theatre

Yes or No

Planning for real

Yes or No

 

 

 

5) Consensus building and public dispute resolution

Consensus building and public dispute resolution processes

Yes or No

 

 

 

6) Deliberative forums

Citizens’ juries

Yes or No

(Deliberative) citizens' panels

Yes or No

Consensus conferences

Yes or No

Deliberative polling

Yes or No

Roundtables

Yes or No

Citizens’ inquiries

Yes or No

Scenario workshops

Yes or No

Study circles / Issues forums

Yes or No

 

 

 

7) Mapping techniques

Multi-criteria mapping

Yes or No

Stakeholder decision analysis

Yes or No

Deliberative mapping

Yes or No

 

 

 

8) Citizens’ advisory committees

Citizens’ advisory committees

Yes or No
     
9) Local authority co-option    
Local authority co-option committees
Yes or No

 

 

 

10) Forums

Service user forums

Yes or No

Issue forums

Yes or No

Shared interest forums

Yes or No

Area/neighbourhood forums

Yes or No

 

 

 

11) User management

User management

Yes or No

 

 

 

12) Partnerships

Partnerships

Yes or No

Q2.3a (For Northern Ireland respondents only) Have you had delegates in any one of the following: the Civic Forum, Joint Forum, Concordia, or The Economic Development Forum?

Yes
No

Q2.3b (For Republic of Ireland respondents only) Have you had delegates in the national Social Partnership process?

Yes
No

Q 2.3c Please list any other techniques that were used in any public consultation process that your organisation has participated in, that was initiated, established or convened by government.

Q2.3d For each technique that you have used, please estimate as accurately as you can how many times you have participated in it in the last twelve months prior to your response to this survey.

Technique

How many times have you participated in, in the last twelve months?

Q2.4 Would you say that in the last twelve months you have participated in consultation techniques, more often, less often, or about as often, as you have done in previous years?

More often           

Less often

About as often

Q2.5 How often have each of the following initiated, established or convened the processes that you have participated in? (Please tick one box in each line).

 

Always

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Never

Government departments

Public bodies or agencies

Local authorities

Other Ngos

Other

If Other, please specify

Section 3 - The Context of Public Consultation

Public consultation initiated by government departments, public bodies/agencies and local authorities, takes place in different contexts. It can take place, for example, because of quality customer service standards, Section 75 equality legislation (NI only), or planning requirements, etc.

Q3.1 In general, when you have been asked to participate in a public consultation process, how often has the particular context been made clear to you?

Always

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Never

Q3.2 Which of the following has most often been the context of the government public consultation processes that you have participated in? (Please tick one only).

Quality customer service / excellent service standards / continuous improvement

Equality (Section 75) legislation requirements (NI only)

Planning requirements

An EU community, social or economic programme (e.g. the PEACE programme)

A government community, social or economic programme (e.g. the Local Development Social Inclusion Programme, or the Local Community Fund)

Inter-community relations policy (excluding section 75)

Other policy commitments to broadening political participation

Other

If Other, please specify

Q 3.3 How often has each of the following been the context of the public consultation processes that you have participated in?
(Please tick one box on each line)

 
Always
Often
Sometimes
Rarely
Never

Quality customer service / excellent service standards / continuous improvement

Equality (Section 75) legislation requirements (NI only)

Planning requirements

An EU community, social or economic programme (e.g. the PEACE programme)

A government community, social or economic programme (e.g. the Local Development Social Inclusion Programme, or the Local Community Fund)

Inter-community relations policy (excluding section 75)

Other policy commitments to broadening political participation

Other

If Other, please specify

 

Section 4 - Your Organisation's Experience of Public Consultation 

Q4.1 For each of the following outcomes, how beneficial is participating in public consultation initiated, established or convened by government?

(Please tick one box on each line).

 

Very beneficial

Beneficial

Only slightly beneficial

Not beneficial at all

For developing a two way relationship between you and local authorities or government departments/agencies

For your organisation's impact on policy or decisions

For facilitating a 'bottom-up' approach to policy or decisions

For achieving a consensus between government bodies and your organisation

Q4.2 When you participate in public consultation initiated, established or convened by government….

(Please tick one box in each line)

 

Always

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Never

You are involved in relation to the issues that most concern you

Participation is too time-consuming

You receive a reply explaining why the final decision was taken

You know how the initiating public body reviews your submissions, inside their organisation

Your organisation influences policy or decisions

Organisations who participate in public consultation have equal influence

Consultation is just a public relations exercise

 

Section 5 - Your Organisation's Initiation of Public Consultation

Q5.1 Has your organisation ever initiated, established or convened a public consultation process?

Yes
No

Q5.2a Were any of the following techniques ever used in the public consultation processes which you initiated, established or convened?

Q5.2b For each technique that you have used, please estimate as accurately as you can how many times you have used it in the last twelve months prior to your response to this survey.

Technique

Ever used

How many initiated in the last twelve months

1) Market research-like methods of public consultation

Complaints/ suggestion schemes

Yes or No

Surveys

Yes or No

Opinion polls

Yes or No

Focus groups

Yes or No

User panels

Yes or No

Citizens’ panels

Yes or No

 

 

 

2) Traditional methods of public consultation

Notification and solicitation of comments / consultation documents

Yes or No

Viewing of planning document / draft development plan

Yes or No

Viewing of environmental impact statement

Yes or No

Consultative conferences

Yes or No

Public meetings

Yes or No

Public hearings

Yes or No

Question and answer sessions

Yes or No

Workshops

Yes or No

Referendums

Yes or No

Shadow councils/parliaments
Yes or No

 

 

3) Electronic Techniques

Communities of interest emailing list

Yes or No

Online complaints / suggestions

Yes or No

Online polls and surveys

Yes or No

Online referendums

Yes or No

Online citizens’ panels

Yes or No

Online petitions

Yes or No

Live chat events

Yes or No

Online conference

Yes or No

Online submissions for public hearings

Yes or No

Online focus groups

Yes or No

Online citizens’ juries

Yes or No

Online deliberative polling

Yes or No

 

 

4) Community visioning/ planning mechanisms

Action planning

Yes or No

Community audits / appraisals / profiling

Yes or No

Community plans/ needs analysis

Yes or No

Community indicators

Yes or No

Future search

Yes or No

Local sustainability model

Yes or No

Area / neighbourhood mapping

Yes or No

Participatory strategic planning

Yes or No

Participatory theatre

Yes or No

Planning for real

Yes or No

 

 

 

5) Consensus building and public dispute resolution

Consensus building and public dispute resolution processes

Yes or No

 

 

 

6) Deliberative forums

Citizens’ juries

Yes or No

(Deliberative) citizens' panels

Yes or No

Consensus conferences

Yes or No

Deliberative polling

Yes or No

Roundtables

Yes or No

Citizens’ inquiries

Yes or No

Scenario workshops

Yes or No

Study circles / Issues forums

Yes or No

 

 

 

7) Mapping techniques

Multi-criteria mapping

Yes or No

Stakeholder decision analysis

Yes or No

Deliberative mapping

Yes or No

 

 

 

8) Citizens’ advisory committees

Citizens’ advisory committees

Yes or No
     
9)Local authority co-option    
Local authority co-option committees
Yes or No

 

 

 

10) Forums

Service user forums

Yes or No

Issue forums

Yes or No

Shared interest forums

Yes or No

Area/neighbourhood forums

Yes or No

 

 

 

11) User management

User management

Yes or No

 

 

 

12) Partnerships

Partnerships

Yes or No

Q5.3a Please list any other techniques that were used in any public consultation process initiated, established or convened by your organisation. 

Q5.3b For each technique that you have used, please estimate as accurately as you can how many times you have used it in the last twelve months prior to your response to this survey.

Technique

How many initiated in the last twelve months

Q5.4 Would you say that in the last twelve months you have initiated, established or convened consultation techniques, more often, less often, or about as often, as you have done in previous years?

More often

Less often

About as often

Q5.5 NGOs initiate public consultation processes in different contexts (for example, the delivery of a government or EU programme, or independent civic or community action). 

Which of the following has most often been the context of the public consultation processes that you have initiated, established or convened? (Please tick one only).

 

Most Often

A government community, social or economic programme

An EU community, social or economic programme

A government inter-community relations programme

Civic or community action initiated independently of these

Other

If Other, please specify

Q5.6 For each of the following factors, how beneficial is initiating, establishing or convening public consultation?

(Please tick one box on each line).

 

Very beneficial

Beneficial

Only slightly beneficial

Not beneficial at all

For developing a two way relationship between you and the public or the community

For the impact of the public or the community on your policies and decisions

For facilitating a 'bottom-up' approach to your policy decisions

For achieving a consensus between you and the public or the community

 

Section 6 - Your Comments on Best Practice

This survey is addressed to local authorities and government departments/bodies/agencies and also to  community and voluntary organisations and Ngos. Each respondent is invited to add any comments or recommendations they wish to make relating to their experience of public consultation processes.

We will be producing a document detailing these suggestions which will be distributed to all respondents. This will provide an opportunity for government to communicate its views to Ngos, and Ngos to communicate their views to government. All identities will remain confidential.

Please make any comments and/or suggestions about public consultation processes that you would like to be included in this document.

Thank you for completing the survey and best wishes


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