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Public Body Survey
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Online Survey
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Section 1 - Background Information

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?

Northern ireland                           
Republic of Ireland
Both

Q1.3 Please select one of the following categories that most accurately describes your organisation.

Government department
Public body or agency
Local authority
Other
If Other please specify

Q1.4 Name of staff member responding

Q1.5 Email of staff member responding


Section 2 - Different Forms of Public Consultation

(Please refer to the glossary.)

Q2.1 Have you ever initiated, established or convened a public consultation process?

Yes
No

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.)

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 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.

Technique

How many initiated in the last twelve months

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?         

More often           

Less often

About as often

 

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 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)

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

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)

 

Always

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Never

Quality customer service / excellent service standards / continuous improvement

Equality (Section 75) legislation requirements (NI only)

Planning legislation requirements

Other legal obligations to consult (please specify)

An EU community, social or economic programme

A government community, social or economic programme

Inter-community relations policy (excluding section 75)

Other policy commitments to broadening political participation

If Other, please specify

 

Section 4 - Your Organisation's Experience of Public Consultation

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)

To meet statutory requirements       

To increase awareness

To obtain information that is useful for your policy or decision-making                               

To gain public approval for your projects or decisions                                

To develop/ empower local communities                                  

To enable community and voluntary organisations to influence your policies or decision-making

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)

Better policy-making                                                    

Better decision-making on specific points                     

Improvements in services         

Greater citizen awareness         

 Community development/ awareness                            

Includes a wide variety of social groups and categories in decision-making

Encourages citizen participation in decision-making

Q4.3 How beneficial is engaging in public consultation? Is it…?

 

Very beneficial

Beneficial

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)

 

Always

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Never

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

Section 5 - 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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