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About Deliberation

Why Deliberation?


Public deliberation is one way for the people of Oklahoma to approach resolving public issues.  The practice of deliberation gives communities and organizations a way to discuss potential solutions by convening and participating in deliberative forums.  In the forums, we examine critical issues and then move toward making choices for public policy.  These choices are based on Common Ground for Action identified through the public deliberation of local members.  Oklahomans cannot act together until they decide together.  By making choices, the public defines what it considers to be in its people’s best interest and finds common ground for action.


What are the core concepts of deliberation?


  • Learning the concerns people have about an issue.


  • Identifying the consequences, cost and benefits associated with the various approaches.  


  • Working through the inherent conflicts.


  • Finding a shared sense of direction or common ground for public action.


What is a deliberative forum?

Deliberative forums provide a safe non-partisan venue for citizens to tackle challenging issues facing their communities. These forums are based on the idea that a democratic society has a responsibility to convene and talk through public issues and eventually, to indicate to policymakers the desired course of public action.

In a deliberative forum:

A diverse group of 8-10 people
convene in a circle or horseshoe
with a trained moderator and recorder.

Over 2 to 2˝ hours, the moderator engages participants in deliberating three or four possible policy approaches to a public issue.

The moderator ensures that forum participants listen carefully and respectfully to each other as they share their perspectives.

They identify the costs and consequences of each approach and describe compromises they are willing to make.

Working together, they establish a shared sense of direction.

For more information on how to convene a forum, go to Deliberative Forums.



  Photo: Woman

 Link: Citizen Engagement through Public Deliberation Page

"Common Ground
for Action"


Oklahoma Partnership for Public Deliberation  Copyright © 2006 [OPPD]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04/07/09