Van Dijk International have extensive experience managing both multiple stakeholders projects and public consultation processes. Each project that involves multiple stakeholder involvement or public consultation has to be assessed on its own merits.
Prior to embarking on the process, we develop a consultation process plan and detailed programme with the advice and input of the client.
Techniques to involve the consultees commonly used are focus groups, one to one interviews, group meetings, questionnaires, public displays, e-mails, advertising, interview, projects in local schools, childrens art competitions and panel discussions on local radio and anonymous suggestion boxes.
The pace of a programme of public consultation is as important as the content and method of interaction. Apart from the carrying out of the consultation plan, regular review meetings are conducted to assess the effectiveness of the techniques being employed and the pace of the programme so that adjustments can be made to ensure a positive outcome.
We define a positive outcome as one where all stakeholders and consultees are aware of the process, have had a chance to contribute to the process, and reach a general level of acceptance of the proposals which have resulted from the process.