Download a pdf version of this case study: CoRWM case study [pdf document, 292KB - opens in a new tab/window]
The national move towards low carbon energy, in particular the rise in the number of nuclear power stations, presents many public engagement challenges. When the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) needed to make recommendations to the government on disposal of radioactive waste it was immediately clear that involvement of public bodies and communities would be vital. However involving many geographically diverse groups and potentially thousands of individuals in meaningful discussion is a demanding feat. Dialogue by Design was contracted to run an engagement process including:
Dialogue by Design created a bespoke discussion guide which was distributed to a variety of stakeholders including environmental, educational and community groups. The guide helped participants to understand technically very complex issues, enabling self-managed discussion, and consideration of others' views to build consensus among members of the group.
Organisations were then able to visit a dedicated consultation website to enter feedback from their discussions, or if they preferred submit a paper feedback form or respond by email. As the responses were received by Dialogue by Design the comments were grouped according to common themes and issues using our unique analysis system. This enabled our report writers to produce a concise and accessible report, detailing what the public find acceptable (and why), to inform CoRWM's recommendations to government.
Our innovative collation tool, which allows participants to see exactly how their responses have been treated, was vital in the success of a project with such a sensitive nature.
With participants as diverse as Friends of the Earth, local Women's Institutes and nuclear industry businesses the consultation strategy proved a great success. Over 2800 individuals participated in the discussion, with over 550 groups submitting feedback either online or by post. The consultation also effectively engaged with young people, a 'hard to reach' group. Over 60% participants were from schools or colleges. Our integrated methods resulted in a robust but cost-effective consultation, and the reduced need to travel increased inclusiveness and participation.
"We have worked with Dialogue by Design over the last 18 months to deliver a high profile Discussion Guide for the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM). The team worked closely and responsively with all concerned to ensure that the project met the objectives and expectations of the client. The project was delivered to time and budget and has been very well received by CoRWM"
- CoRWM Project Manager
A look under the surface of a public consultation: Part 5/5 - Publication
By Remco van der Stoep
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