Q1.1 Name of your department, public body/agency, or local authority
Q1.2 Is Your Organisation operational in Northern Ireland, The Republic of Ireland or Both?
Republic of Ireland
Q1.3 Please select one of the following categories that most accurately describes your organisation.
Public body or agency
If Other please specify
If Other please specify
Q1.4 Name of staff member responding
Q1.5 Email of staff member responding
(Please refer to the glossary.)
Q2.1 Have you ever initiated, established or convened a public consultation process?
Q2.2a Were any of the following techniques ever used in the public consultation processes that you initiated, established or convened?
(Please tick all that apply)
Q2.2b For each technique that you have used, please estimate as accurately as you can how many you have used in the last twelve months prior to your response to this survey. (For example, how many surveys have you conducted? How many consultation documents have you invited responses to? How many area forums have you convened? How many partnerships have you established? Etc.)
How many initiated in the last twelve months
1) Market research-like methods of public consultation
Complaints/ suggestion schemes
Yes or No
2) Traditional methods of public consultation
Notification and solicitation of comments / consultation documents
Viewing of planning document / draft development plan
Viewing of environmental impact statement
Question and answer sessions
3) Electronic Techniques
Communities of interest emailing list
Online complaints / suggestions
Online polls and surveys
Online citizens’ panels
Live chat events
Online submissions for public hearings
Online focus groups
Online citizens’ juries
Online deliberative polling
4) Community visioning/ planning mechanisms
Community audits / appraisals / profiling
Community plans/ needs analysis
Local sustainability model
Area / neighbourhood mapping
Participatory strategic planning
Planning for real
5) Consensus building and public dispute resolution
Consensus building and public dispute resolution processes
6) Deliberative forums
(Deliberative) citizens' panels
Study circles / Issues forums
7) Mapping techniques
Stakeholder decision analysis
8) Citizens’ advisory committees
Citizens’ advisory committees
Service user forums
Shared interest forums
11) User management
Q2.3a Please list any other techniques that were used in any public consultation process that you have initiated, established or convened.
Q2.3b For each technique that you have used, please estimate as accurately as you can how many you used in the last twelve months prior to your response to this survey.
Q2.4 Would you say that in the last twelve months you have initiated consultation techniques, more often, less often, or about as often, as you have done in previous years?
About as often
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 Which of the following has most often been the context of the public consultation processes that you have used? (Please tick one only).
Quality customer service / excellent service standards / continuous improvement
Equality (Section 75) legislation requirements (NI only)
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
If Other, please specify
If Other, please specify
Q3.2 How often has each of the following been the context of the public consultation processes initiated, established or convened by you?
(Please tick one box on each line)
Planning legislation requirements
Other legal obligations to consult (please specify)
An EU community, social or economic programme
A government community, social or economic programme
Q4.1 What are the main purposes of public consultation in your organisation? (please rank the following where 1 is the most important and 7 the least important)
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 To meet statutory requirements
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 To increase awareness
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 To obtain information that is useful for your policy or decision-making
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 To gain public approval for your projects or decisions
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 To develop/ empower local communities
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 To enable community and voluntary organisations to influence your policies or decision-making
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 To enable the general public to influence your policy or decision-making
Q4.2 What are the main benefits that consultation initiatives have brought to your organisation? (please rank the following where 1 is the most important and 7 the least important)
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Better policy-making
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Better decision-making on specific points
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Improvements in services
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Greater citizen awareness
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Community development/ awareness
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Includes a wide variety of social groups and categories in decision-making
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Encourages citizen participation in decision-making
Q4.3 How beneficial is engaging in public consultation? Is it…?
Only slightly beneficial
Not beneficial at all
For developing a two way relationship with community and voluntary organisations
For developing a two way relationship with members of the general public or the local community
For developing a two way relationship with a wide variety of different social groups and categories
For facilitating the impact of community and voluntary organisations on your policies or decisions
For facilitating the impact of members of the general public or the local community on your policies or decisions
For facilitating the impact of a wide variety of different social groups and categories in policy and decision-making
For facilitating a ‘bottom-up' approach to your policy decisions
For achieving a consensus between you and participants
Q4.4 When you conduct public consultation….
(Please tick one box in each line)
You involve people in relation to the issues that most concern them
You send replies explaining why the final decision was taken
Your consultees know how you review their submissions, inside your organisation
Public consultation influences policy or decisions
Organisations who participate in public consultation have equal influence
Consultation is just a public relations exercise
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