Unit 3: Suggestions for a successful process

  • A core group of people, the ‘Knowledge Management Team’ (KMT) composed by the owners of the problem, representatives of the main stakeholders and the SDDP experts, plays a crucial role in coordinating the process (identification of all the stakeholders, drafting the triggering questions, preparation of the reports, invitation of participants, etc.).
  • The identification of stakeholders is of very essential. All people and organisations whose lives might be influenced by any decisions taken i.e., accurately represent elements of the subject and cover all of its facets (local stakeholders, relevant public and semi-public organisations, NGOs, active citizens, etc), must be included.

(Council of Europe, n.d)

  • Sometimes it can be a good strategy to provide a list of triggering questions for the KMT (if the facilitator is not going to be part of that team). This way, the process will be more structured and focused!
  • It is good to choose questions regarding the dominant problems, issues or happenings of the time. This way, it will be more interesting and meaningful for the participants, and it will give added value to the whole process.

(Council of Europe, n.d)

Examples of questions:

  1. How is travelling affected by COVID – 19 pandemic? What can be done about it?
  2. Is climate change a reality or fiction? How can we prevent a huge crisis from happening?
  3. Why are so many conflicts arising around the world? Is there a way to prevent them?

A round table discussion is a discussion held at a meeting of parties or people on equal terms (Collins English Dictionary)

  • Specify the topic of the roundtable discussion.
  • Establish the purpose of the conversation, to help attendees work toward a common goal.
  • Specific questions or major points: This will help to avoid misunderstandings or vague answers.
  • Timeline: State the start time, finish time, and any breaks. This will assist in time management and will prevent disturbing the flow of conversation.
  • Ground rules: Establish a code of conduct to limit undesirable behaviours (i.e domination of the conversation by one person, rudeness, etc.)
  • Worldwide applications of SDDPs are controlled by the Global Agoras community, who is also broadening and advancing the methodology further to address shortcomings and to enable scaling-up. Many governments, EC and CoE projects, businesses, and NGOs have successfully implemented SDDP.
  • In conclusion, the Structured Democratic Dialogue is a very effective group decision-making methodology for handling complicated problems with the participation of many parties. This methodology can be very useful for the facelift of public administration in the direction of the New Governance system, where the relationship between the citizen and the state is that of collaboration and conformation of public policies, based on consensus and agreement.