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Introduction to public dialogues: engaging the public in complex and controversial policy issues

When policy makers are dealing with complex and controversial issues, engaging with the public can be critical. Public dialogue has been developed as a key tool within the open policy making agenda, enabling policy makers to bring the public voice into challenging policy areas which are usually the preserve of experts alone. A core element of Open Policy Making within the Civil Service Reform Plan, public dialogue is central to the drive towards more responsive, innovative and effective government and has an established track record of delivering results in complex and controversial policy areas.

This short introductory session provides the core essentials that policy professionals need to know about public dialogue. It gives an overview of what public dialogue is, what it means in practice, and the impact it can deliver. Participants will explore a range of real life case studies, consider where and when it might be relevant for their own work, and understand the financial support and services that are available to UK policy makers on public dialogue.   

Learning outcomes:
•    A solid understanding of the public dialogue approach; when and how to use it; the impact it can have.
•    A knowledge of real life case studies
•    Understanding of the relevance of this approach; and pathways to further support

We will be hosting these training sessions across the following government departments as part of a wider programme of Open Policy-Making Training in partnership with government departments. Our sessions form part of a one hour slot during a full-day training session unless otherwise specified.


Wednesday 9 March – Civil Service Learning Fast Streamer training, London

For more information, or to register, please e-mail

There will also be sessions with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills Policy Profession Curriculum in May 2015, September 2015 and January 2016 with details to be confirmed. Please get in touch if you’d like to receive further information about these events in due course.

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