STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT NAVIGATOR | Dissemination, Implementation, Communication, and Engagement
A guide for health researchers

Home Education Hub Find Engagement Strategies Glossary Contact Us
fal fa-file-spreadsheet fa-sm Fact Sheet

Deliberative Processes

Deliberative engagement processes aim to simultaneously inform the public and obtain input, typically from a 'representative' group of people. Such processes engage the public in decision-making by providing the public with an opportunity to learn more about a topic or issue. Participants then consider that topic or issue in depth with relevant evidence and through discussion with other participants. After developing an informed view of the topic or issue, participant’s input may be used to help develop a set of recommendations. Deliberative processes can happen over a number of weeks or months, or in an intensive day or weekend event.

far fa-dollar-sign fa-sm Budget (e.g. personnel, space, equipment) Low Medium High far fa-user-clock Time per interaction I expect to engage stakeholders for... An hour or less Half a day A full day far fa-calendar-check Number of interactions I expect to interact with stakeholders... 1-2 times Appx. 5 times 10+ times Engagement Purposes far fa-scrubber Identify and explore new perspectives or understanding far fa-scrubber Identify which topics are most important to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Develop research questions relevant to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Select outcomes and measures that matter to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Refine and help implement effective recruitment strategies far fa-scrubber Expand and diversify stakeholder outreach far fa-scrubber Investigate best ways to successfully implement a study, based on stakeholder insights far fa-scrubber Design strategies for translating research into practice far fa-clock Time Frame

Can take place in a single day or over the course of several months.

fal fa-tasks-alt Workload LIGHT MEDIUM HEAVY
Appropriate Applications More useful for: far fa-scrubber Gathering public input; Eliciting opinions and views from citizens far fa-scrubber Accommodating a wide range of interactions among participants far fa-scrubber Developing trust far fa-scrubber Group engagement far fa-scrubber Understanding complex issues far fa-scrubber Sharing new information far fa-scrubber Decision making / Problem solving far fa-scrubber Brainstorming ideas far fa-scrubber Promoting consensus building far fa-scrubber Societal-level questions due its "public" approach Less useful for: far fa-scrubber Gaining information to be used at the individual level far fa-scrubber Engaging stakeholders with special interests far fa-scrubber Co-design far fa-scrubber Dissemination Key Characteristics Resources Needed fas fa-money-bill-waveMoney far fa-scrubber Incentives for participants far fa-scrubber Food/drink far fa-scrubber Childcare far fa-scrubber Travel reimbursement far fa-scrubber Other costs vary based on specific project requirements fas fa-paperclipMaterials and Resources far fa-scrubber Promotion materials far fa-scrubber Balanced, unbiased information on the topic in question far fa-scrubber Transcriptions of deliberations (if audio recorded) for data analysis far fa-scrubber Venue rental (if necessary) fas fa-usersPersonnel far fa-scrubber Experts to give educational presentations far fa-scrubber Trained facilitators far fa-scrubber Note takers How To What is the purpose of the deliberation? What are you looking to get out of it? Who do you want to get involved? Problem identification: community members may approach researchers with a specific problem on which they want help or researchers may approach a community and propose working with them to research a specific disease or issue. How will you recruit participants? (E.g., based on demographics, interest group or random selection). Make sure that your recruitment strategy allows you to meet your purpose and that you are clear about your selection processes. a. Are you inviting an appropriate mix of experts and participants? Ensure that the information you provide participants with is balanced. For a controversial subject, be sure to include opposing expert opinions. This may mean more than opposing views within the discipline; your deliberation could be enhanced by drawing in the views of economists, political scientists, anthropologists as well as philosophers and religious leaders to help participants explore the ethical and moral dimensions more deeply. Is there a logical path through learning and discussion? You will need to allow participants to build on and use the information and knowledge they acquire as the process develops. Adapted from "How to... facilitate deliberative engagement" from the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement ( Variations

Deliberative processes can take many forms, including:

Deliberative mapping - a method for mapping out a range of values and priorities held by public and “expert” individuals towards a particular controversy or series of policy options. Deliberative polling - a method that seeks to examine what the public would think if given an opportunity to be informed of competing arguments and to deliberate with their peers on topics of social and public policy. Consensus conferences - an approach that facilitates discussion between the public and experts on a contentious or complex issue with the goal of reaching a consensus. The media play a key role and are invited to attend parts of the event.
Considerations (Potential Pitfalls) This can be a difficult approach to use in situations where social inequality is present. Ensure that all participants, including experts, are clear about their role and how the process will work. Recognize the value of expertise from all participants not just your ‘experts’ – and ensure - you provide enough time for everyone to share their views. Vary the ways in which participants can express their views throughout the process:
  • collectively in group discussions and individually through other methods such as voting, postcards, flipcharts and post-it notes.
Keep the participants informed after the event. Provide a summary of the views and clarify how their input has made a difference.
Examples*theory resource rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed  References / Other Resources

The Stakeholder Engagement Navigator is a service of the Data Science to Patient Value Initiative at the
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

About us | Find us on