Steps for preparing public consultations
1. Determine your budget. The principal costs vary widely but may include consultation fees, public opinion surveys, staff time for preparing, attending and recording of public meetings, travel expenses and communication channel expenses.
2. Identify all stakeholder groups. The following questions will help you do this:
- Who will be directly and indirectly affected?
- Who might have an interest or feel that they are affected?
3. Understand the decision making process. Particularly understand how decisions are made i.e. identify which parties (government, financial institutions) make which decisions and at what points in the project cycle.
4. Identify the key issues which should be addressed in the consultation.
5. Identify the most appropriate method for conducting the consultation (e.g. written comments, questionnaire surveys).
6. Define the time period for the consultation (enough time should be allowed for people to receive the information and comment on it).
7. Develop a methodology for recording, collating, analysis and considering the views submitted.
Tips for successful public consultation
- Establish realistic timeframes for the consultation, allowing plenty of time for each stage of the process.
- Provide as much detail as necessary in your document, without over complicating them. They should include a summary and clearly set out the questions which the consultation wishes to address. If your consultation is multi national you may need to provide your documents in different languages.
- Record, collate, analyse, and consider the views submitted. Carefully consider the stakeholder’s and public's views when making key decisions.