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A Practical Guide to Consensus

This 75-page step-by-step handbook walks readers through the stages of sponsoring, organizing, and participating in a public policy consensus process. Designed primarily for government agencies or departments, the guide also is useful for any other sponsor of-or participant in-a consensus building process.


Order the Practical Guide to Consensus (please contact KTD directly for interational orders or bulk orders of 10 or more Guides).

The Practical Guide was developed and written by Chris Carlson, founding director of the Policy Consensus Initiative (now Kitchen Table Democracy) and a leading authority on consensus building, and by Jim Arthur, a long-time facilitator and consultant in the use of dispute resolution to address policy conflicts.

The Practical Guide to Consensus will help officials and agencies design the most appropriate, and effective, uses of consensus processes, with "Before, During, and After" instructions on how to:

  • Assess whether a situation is appropriate for a consensus process
  • Select a facilitator or mediator to manage the process
  • Plan and organize the process
  • Write ground rules
  • Negotiate issues and reach agreements
  • Formalize and implement agreements