This case study was written by Sandy Heierbacher, Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD), in 2001 as part of a consultancy with the Center for Disease Control's National Immunization Program.
Since 2002, the city of Grenoble, France, has engaged citizens in public decision-making through participatory committees and town meetings. Residents have been able to express their opinions and make recommendations on city planning, education, cultural life, and other municipal issues. Over the years, this program has strengthened local democracy and empowered public participation in important civic projects.
"Kerala is one of India’s 28 states, situated in the south-western tip of the country." (Justino 3) Kerala was created on November 1, 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganization Act bringing together the areas where Malayalam is the dominant language. Kerala has a higher Human Development Index than all other states in India (UNDP HDI Trends (1981-2001) for selected Major Indian States).
The community of Bethany conducted concept and comprehensive community planning for three reasons: 1. To meet various applicable state, regional, county and community planning objectives. 2. To identify necessary urban infrastructure requirements, and 3. To ensure that provisions for such infrastructure to serve the greater North Bethany area are fully in place before development begins. Public involvement has been a fundamental part of the planning process to facilitate an exchange of information and build awareness.
As of 2010, Portsmouth, New Hampshire (population 20,000) has sustained the practice of organized, public dialogue and deliberation for over ten years. Since 1999, diverse community groups in Portsmouth have organized at least six rounds of large-scale dialogue-to-action circles (study circles) initiatives. This case study provides brief descriptions of four of these initiatives from 1999 through 2004. Descriptions of Portsmouth’s later public engagement initiatives will be added to this entry at a later date, or posted as separate entries.