Government's Open Policy Making Toolkit recommends public dialogue and Sciencewise
The Open Policy Making Toolkit, published by the Cabinet Office on 20 March 2015, recommends deliberative dialogue that "brings together the public and policy makers to discuss policy issues in a structured way". This section of the Toolkit describes public dialogue and what it can achieve as follow:
"A deliberative dialogue is not simply a meeting with the public and a discussion: it is a carefully structured session. It uses different creative techniques to get people to develop and explain their views on an issue through conversation with other participants, policy makers and experts. These techniques elicit people’s deeper views on issues and, crucially, what values and understandings underpin those views: they are rich discussions that produce valuable insights into tricky issues from diverse perspectives.
The result of a public dialogue process is a deep understanding of public views on an issue. It provides a source of evidence that can be used in the rest of the policy process. This means stronger policies that are more likely to be accepted by citizens."
The Best practice examples are described as follows:
"In the civil service a lot of deliberative dialogue is done on topics relating to science and technology. There is a special programme, Sciencewise, which helps to organise public dialogue projects."
It then goes on to identify Best practice examples, with links, as the Sciencewise-funded dialogue projects on mitochondrial replacement, synthetic biology, greenhouse gas emissions (2050 pathways) and the use of wellbeing data. It also specifies a series of benefits from using deliberative dialogue as well as issues to be aware of, and some of the key steps in designing and running a dialogue. It also recommends the Sciencewise Departmental Dialogue Index.