Depth of Engagement

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Depth of Engagement

Whilst many of the examples of E-enabled systems found in the literature pay a great deal of attention to facilitating participants in the pursuit of meaningful dialogue around an area of shared significance, when we come to consider the reality of citizen participation in relation to policy- making, we must look through another lens as not all participation activities afford those participating a process that is open and transparent from beginning to end.

In any public consultation, the general objective will be to inform some kind of decision, but the degree to which public participation is likely to have influence is largely dependent on the type of decision to be made. Jones and Gammell (2004) [1]offer a classification of the types of decisions that public bodies open to consultation (see Figure III below).


  1. Jones R. and Gammell E. (2004), White Paper: Was it worth it?—evaluating public & stakeholder consultation- London: The Consultation Institute