Talk:Benefits and costs

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Consultation & Participation in Public Decision Making

In any consultation process there must be at least two groups – the consulters (those who are seeking the information) and consultees (those from whom the information is being sought.)

Benefits For the consultees• The process creates an informed, aware, active and involved citizenship • It has the potential to create socially inclusive and informed decision making structures in the community • It results in decision making in which reflects the views of the diverse range of interests in the community. • It enhances the provision for diversity and choice through the transmission of information in a variety of media which facilitates people in making informed choices. • It assists to foster a sense of community ownership • It enhances community control of community destiny • The absence of consultation and participation creates an environment of imposition and mistrust. Rumour and hearsay will take precedence over truth. • It provides greater openness, transparency and accountability In doing so, it safeguards against corruption and self interest and strengthens democracy and its processes.

For the consulters• Modern society is complex and it is recognised that Governments and administrations at any level do not have all the answers nor are they expected to have. • Decision makers have a responsibility to ensure that the perspectives they adopt do not have unforeseen unintended consequences such as excluding certain sections of the community. • The contributions of those affected can identify and assist to avoid or overcome: o Problems, difficulties and roadblocks; o Unnecessary hardships; and o Unforeseen consequences • They assist to develop a partnership approach to decision making. The consultees are allowed a degree of ownership over the decision being enacted or if the consultation is of a development nature, a degree of input into the final outcomes. responsive government • They ensure a focus upon needs defined and outcomes desired by the community