Deliberative participation such as mini public adds value to any decision-making process by giving a voice to community members who have a view but don’t usually attend public meetings or put in submissions.

Evidence from around the world tells us that the ‘silent majority’ is not silent because they are apathetic. Often, they don’t ‘see the point’ because they feel their views won’t be heard.

However, when invited to participate with other community members they invariably say that they are “honoured” to have been invited and selected to contribute to their communities. Around the world the recruitment of mini publics is undertaken in a variety of ways.

The traditional market research company approach is frequently subject to bias, with a study revealing that a large percentage of participants were political science students. Deliberately Engaging takes a different approach