Launch of research programme

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On 20th May 2004, Minister Sile de Valera will be launching the N-S Research Programme for Peace and Reconcilliation, in Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan.


<img align="right" src="pappile.gif" border=0 alt="pile of paper">

  • You are one of two staff in a community or voluntary group
  • You have received 25-page consultation documents from each of 120 public bodies
  • They have given you 8 weeks to reply


  • It happened in June 2000, when devolved public bodies started having to consult the public.
  • They had to consult on the equality impact of their policies.
  • Under direct rule, they rarely consulted
  • Unlike councils in England which have spent 20 years learning how to consult.
  • Currently there are 41 consultations listed on the NI Executive Central Consultation Register


  • It is the use of electronic computing and communication technologies in consultation. This complements existing consultation mechanisms.
  • Succesfully used by:
    • Dutch government agencies.
    • Researchers at the German National Research Labs. for Computing.
    • East Belfast Partnership Board
  • As shown at our E-consultation workshop

E-consulation research

  • We aim to turn e-consultation from an experimental idea to a practical option for community, voluntary and public sector bodies in areas affected by conflict.
    • Engaging excluded citizens in governance.
    • Improving consultation processes.
    • Developing a more participatory democracy.
    • Contributing to the survival of the peace process.
  • We cannot just copy what works in German town planning, US politics or business decision-making.
  • We need to research consultation technologies and processes appropriate to local needs and conditions.