When a dialogue and deliberation program involves more than one process or approach, it may be called a multi-approach program. Usually the constituent approaches or processes are combined in such a way that the whole program produces more value than the individual components can separately. In other words, they are more or less synergized, so that the outcome of one process becomes input for another process, or one process creates a rich context for the next process, or the various approaches engage a wide variety of people, and so on.
As dialogue and deliberation practitioners we may get trapped inside a particular process or approach which has often worked well for us and which we may even feel is the answer to every situation. We lose sight of the fact that most processes, if done well, will work well for certain situations and purposes and not so well for others. If we can free our attention from our favorite processes long enough to deconstruct the elements that make diverse processes do what they do, we may be able to more easily and effectively construct processes and programs - or new combinations of diverse practices -- that serve specific needs.
:A metaphor: If we know a word is made of letters and meaningful root syllables, we can often figure out an unfamilar word or construct new words with useful meanings. Similarly, if we understand the underlying dynamics and the special gifts and limitations of various processes and Process Design Elements, we can more creatively and effectively use diverse process approaches.
Through the links on this page, we can explore the ins and outs of multi-approach programs.
Here are topics we can explore:
- The Logic Of Multi Approach Programs - here we can explore why we might want to use multi-approach programs and some of the principles that might guide us in building such programs for various purposes
- Participatory Practices Analysis can help us understand why we might choose this or that process for a particular purpose when we design multi-approach programs.
- Multi Approach Program Case Studies - stories and analysis of real multi-process programs
- Multi Approach Program Possibilities - stories and analysis of imaginary or proposed examples of multi-approach programs to serve various purposes
- Multi Approach Bibliography - books, articles, websites, etc., which provide perspective on multiple Participatory Processes and/or how they may work together