HomeNewsProjectsPublicationsAbout usContactAccessibilityMain site

Shared Practice publications

Our publications include research and evaluation reports, practical guides, web sites, initiated research, and books. For many of the projects listed here you can choose to download the associated publications as PDF documents or link to further web based research findings.

If you need to download the free Arcobat reader to view PDF files go to Adobe

Evaluation of the Environment Agency's consultation on the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) for new nuclear power stations
Commissioned by Environment Agency

Written by Diane Warburton (2012)

During 2010, the Environment Agency launched a major stakeholder consultation on the Generic Design Assessment they were undertaking to assess two reactor design options for new nuclear power stations. The GDA was a new process developed by the Environment Agency and the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) , and the consultation enabled the Agency to gain feedback from stakeholders as part of its GDA assessment process.

Shared Practice was commissioned to undertake an independent evaluation, which aimed to assess whether the consultation had achieved its objectives, and to identify lessons from the experience and improvements that could be made in planning future public and stakeholder engagement.

The report describes the main findings from the evaluation which was carried out from December 2009 to March 2012. The evaluation research included detailed reviews of comments from all stakeholders, seminar participants, questionnaire respondents, as well as from those who chose not to respond to the consultation.

Full report PDF 684KB
Report appendices PDF 692KB


Pathways through participation
Funded by Big Lottery Fund

Written in partnership between NCVO, IVR and Involve (2011)

The Pathways through Participation project was a major three-year research project led by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) in partnership with the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) and Involve (with Diane Warburton of Shared Practice). The project aimed to improve understanding of how and why people participate, how their involvement changes over time, and what pathways, if any, exist between different activities.

The research identified three broad and overlapping categories of participation that cover a wide range of activities: social, public and individual participation. Using methodology that placed individuals’ own experiences throughout their lives at the centre of the research, the researchers examined three different geographical contexts (suburban Enfield, rural Suffolk and inner city Leeds), conducting over 100 in-depth interviews, enabling people to tell their stories of participation throughout their lives in their own words.

Final report PDF 1.8 MB
Summary PDF 831 KB

Three accompanying papers identified the specific implications of the project findings for volunteer management, local engagement in democracy and for national policy agendas that relate to citizen engagement.

Volunteering as a participation pathway PDF 369 KB
Local engagement in democracy PDF 451 KB
Informing and influencing policy PDF 455 KB

Evaluation of BERR's engagement of the public and other interested parties in the future of civil nuclear power in the UK
Commissioned by COI on behalf of DTI

Written by Diane Warburton (2009)

In May 2007, the Government launched a major consultation exercise on the future of civil nuclear power in the UK. The consultation was led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), now the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR); responsibilities for energy and climate change were later passed from BERR to the new Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The consultation, which ran for 20 weeks, was one of the fullest such exercises undertaken in the UK in terms of consultation activities and events. 5,200 copies of a 205-page consultation document were distributed, and 2,728 detailed written responses were received from stakeholders and members of the public (online and in hard copy). Evidence for the consultation was also provided from nine regional deliberative public engagement events (with nearly 1,000 participants) and 21 stakeholder events (with over 600 stakeholders), as well as other meetings with particular interest groups. A total of 4,309 individuals contributed to the consultation at the events or in writing.

Shared Practice undertook a detailed evaluation of the consultation, from April 2007, the report of which was published by DECC in October 2009. The report summarises the methodology used for the evaluation, the purpose and objectives of the consultation, and describes and assesses all the main activities within the consultation, drawing significantly on feedback from all those involved. It considers the extent to which the objectives have been achieved, identifies the elements of the process that worked particularly well and less well, and identifies some lessons for future practice in the light of these findings. The annexes include detailed analyses of all the statistical and qualitative data.

Full report PDF 1.4MB
Report annexes PDF 1.5MB

Evaluation of the Drugsfutures project
Academy of Medical Science

Written by Diane Warburton (2008)

In 2006, the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) launched an independent inquiry into issues of brain science, addiction and drugs. The AMS convened a multidisciplinary expert Working Group to conduct the inquiry, designed to culminate in recommendations for public policy and research. A significant strand of the Working Group's inquiry was a programme of public engagement activities: the Drugsfutures project. The Drugsfutures project was funded and supported by the Sciencewise programme of the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).

This report presents an evaluation of the public engagement activities undertaken through the Drugsfutures project. In particular, the evaluation focuses
on the deliberative public engagement elements of the engagement, as these were the elements of the process that potentially had the most lessons for future
AMS public engagement work.

The full report and annexes include detailed analyses of all the statistical and qualitative data. The summary report identifies the main findings from the evaluation study of the Drugsfutures project.

Full report PDF 456KB
Report annexes PDF 300KB
Summary findings 120KB


Evaluation of public engagement process on climate change
Commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Written by Diane Warburton (2008)

Report of the evaluation of a Defra public engagement process to help government design policy to maximise positive individual behaviour on climate change. The process (run by Opinion Leader) included regional workshops and a national summit of 150 public participants.

Full report PDF 295KB
Report annexes PDF 98KB


Tidal power consultation evaluation
Sustainable Development Commission

Written by Diane Warburton (2008)

In 2006, the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) launched a research project on tidal power in the UK. The project comprised a detailed initial desk research exercise (from November 2006), followed by a public and stakeholder engagement programme (from March to April 2007).

This report presents an evaluation of the public and stakeholder engagement programme. In particular, the evaluation focuses on the deliberative public engagement elements of the consultation, and the stakeholder workshops, as these were the elements of the process that potentially had the most lessons for future SDC public and stakeholder engagement work.

The report considers the extent to which the objectives have been achieved, identifies the elements of the process that worked particularly well and less well, and identifies some lessons for future practice in the light of these findings. The final section concludes the report by identifying the particular value the process provided for public participants, stakeholders and SDC policy makers.

Full report PDF 648KB
Report annexes PDF 380KB
Summary findings 120KB


Deliberative public engagement: nine principles
In partnership with the National Consumer Council/Involve

Lead author was Diane Warburton, supported by Lindsey Colbourne at the Sustainable Development Commission, Karin Gavelin and Richard Wilson at Involve and Anthony Noun at the National Consumer Council (2007-08)

Deliberative public engagement is a distinctive approach to involving people in decision-making. It is different from other forms of engagement in that it is about giving participants time to consider and discuss an issue in depth before they come to a considered view. The aim of this document is to encourage and support deliberative public engagement in public policy.

The government and other public bodies are currently developing general guidelines on public and stakeholder engagement – making it timely to draw on the growing body of learning and evidence to contribute a set of specific principles on deliberative public engagement from outside government. This is far from being the last word. Over the next year we will continue to monitor the field, listen to feedback on the value and relevance of these principles, and consider the potential need for more detailed guidance.

Guidance PDF 136 KB


Evaluation of public engagement process on climate change
Commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Written by Diane Warburton (2008)

Report of the evaluation of a Defra public engagement process to help government design policy to maximise positive individual behaviour on climate change. The process (run by Opinion Leader) included regional workshops and a national summit of 150 public participants.

Full report PDF 295 KB
Report annexes PDF 98 KB

Advocacy, participation and NGOs in planning
APaNGO Interim Report 1 - Commissioned by the TCPA

Written by Diane Warburton with Gideon Amos and the APaNGO partners(2007)

APaNGO is a transnational partnership project, led by the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) with Brusselse Raad voor het Leefmilieu, (Belgium); Geuzenveld-Slotermeer, City District of Amsterdam (the Netherlands); Planning Aid for London (UK) and Spectacle Productions Ltd (UK). The project, part-funded by the European Union’s INTERREG IIIB programme for North West Europe (NWE), is one of the first European Union action research projects on community participation in planning and development. Its underlying philosophy is the importance of fostering constructive community engagement in order to help deliver sustainable development on the ground.

This final report summarises the research on planning systems, participation mechanisms, tools and techniques in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, and the UK.

The final report includes essays on individual demonstration projects from the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands, describing the participation processes employed and the lessons learned. The report concludes with a summary of the overall issues arising from these case studies, followed by conclusions drawn from them on the conditions necessary for effective participation in planning.

Interim Report PDF 736KB
Final Report PDF 7.4MB
Final Report Summary PDF 412KB


Evaluation of public dialogue on energy research
Commissioned by the Research Council UK (2007-08)

In March 2007, Research Councils UK (RCUK) launched a public dialogue to elicit and understand the public's priorities for energy research to inform their strategic decision-making for the next three years. The aim was for information on public views to be provided to these decision-makers alongside academic, industry and government views, to help them shape their thinking and decisions on future energy research priorities.

Shared Practice was commissioned to research and evaluate the whole of the dialogue process, which ran from April to November 2007, which included interviews with public participants, project advisors, decision makers and associated experts. The full report includes detailed analysis of all the collected statistical and qualitative data, and the summary identifies the main findings from the evaluation study of the dialogue.

Full report 216KB and Report appendices 148KB
Summary findings 108KB


Improving poor environments: the role of learning architectures in developing and spreading good practice
Commissioned by the Environment Agency(2006-2007)

In 2005, the Environment Agency began a programme of work to develop a system to identify and improve the poorest environments in England and Wales: the Improving Poor Environments (IPE) programme. With Defra, the Agency recognised that, in order to build an effective national programme, a different approach to learning was needed from conventional models based only on providing guidance and disseminating good practice. Shared Practice was part of the team (with Sustainable Futures) commissioned to review learning approaches in the public sector, and propose a new approach to learning to support the design and development of the IPE programme.

This report summarises the research (including a literature eview and interviews), provides analysis of the implications for the IPE programme, and makes a series of recommendations for a learning architecture for sharing knowledge and good practice from innovative local practical projects. The research was completed in 2006 and this report was published by the Environment Agency in 2007. It is one of a series of four reports on the IPE programme.

Full Report PDF 536 KB


Community learning and action for sustainable living
Commissioned and published by WWF (2007)

Written by Diane Warburton

Community learning and action for sustainable living (CLASL) is a three-year WWF project, funded by Defra. The project is working with three pilot communities to develop a community-based method which encourages and enables local groups to define and work towards sustainable living.

WWF commissioned Shared Practice to review current thinking on behaviour change and methods for community engagement to feed into the early development of the project. The full literature review provides a synthesis of current thinking on behaviour change, community techniques and sustainable development. The shorter summary paper identifies the main themes that have emerged.

Full Literature Review PDF 2.7 MB
Summary Report PDF 736KB
Evaluation Report PDF 1.9MB
Guide PDF 932KB

See also www.wwf.org.uk/localmatters


Making a difference: A guide to evaluating public participation in central government
Commissioned by the Department of Constitutional Affairs

Written by Diane Warburton, published by DCA/Involve (2007)

Public participation has become a central plank of public policy-making. Increasingly, decision-makers at all levels of government build citizen and stakeholder engagement into their policy-making processes.

This guide to evaluating public participation in central government is intended to help those involved in planning, organising or funding these activities to understand the different factors involved in creating effective public participation. It provides guidance on setting and measuring objectives, evaluating impact, and identifying lessons for future practice.

Guide PDF 288KB


Evaluation of the HFEA public consultation on hybrid and chimera embryos
Commissioned by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (2007)

In April 2007, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) launched a major public consultation on the creation and use of human-animal embryos for research. The consultation ran for three months, from 26 April to 20 July 2007.

HFEA commissioned Shared Practice to evaluate the public consultation exercise which was the largest of its type the Authority had undertaken. Written by Diane Warburton, the full report of the evaluation findings includes detailed analyses of all the statistical and qualitative data (with separate annexes), and the summary identifies the main findings from the evaluation study of the public consultation.

Full Report PDF 292 KB and Report Annexes PDF 208 KB
Summary findings PDF 104 KB

Evaluation of Your Health, Your Care, Your Say
Commissioned by the Department of Health (2006)

The Your Health, Your Care, Your Say (YHYCYS) initiative for the UK's Department of Health created one of the largest and most ambitious public engagement exercises ever mounted in the UK. The aims were complex and ambitious: to ensure that the public (especially the 'seldom heard') were actively involved in deliberative debates on contentious issues in health and social care services, alongside creating a high public profile to encourage wide public and stakeholder involvement.

Shared Practice was commissioned to evaluate the initiative, with a focus on the local, regional and national deliberative events that involved members of the public. The evaluation aimed to come to conclusions about the extent to which the methodology chosen for delivery of YHYCYS met the objectives set, and draw out learning for future public engagement activity.

Main Report PDF 852KB
Summary Report PDF 852KB

See also www.dh.goc.uk/NewsHome/YourHealthYourCareYourSay


People and Participation
How to put citizens at the heart of decision-making

A publication by Involve (2005)

Set up in 2003, Involve aims to create new systems that enable people to influence decisions and get involved in actions that affect their lives.

'People and Publication' is the first publication from Involve and is based on new research funded by the Home Office Civil Renewal Unit during 2004/5. The publication first examines some of the main issues affecting participation in the UK today, then offers guidance to planning for participation, identifying key steps to ensure that participation works and providing a detailed assessment of some different participation methods.

The publication was co-researched, produced and edited by Diane Warburton, Richard Wilson and Edward Andersson.

People and Participation report PDF 2.1MB

See also www.involving.org


Evaluating the Heritage Lottery Fund development programme
A publication by the Heritage Lottery Fund (2005)

Report of evaluation by Diane Warburton of the HLF's outreach and development programme to encourage grant applications from hard-to-reach and other groups new to heritage activities.

In 2002, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) made some important changes to the way it delivered services to applicants and potential applicants, guided by the aims of HLF's Strategic Plan 2002-2007. This evaluation focused on the programme of development work launched as part of these changes in 2002, involving a mix of statistical analysis, interviews with staff in four HLF regions, and interviews with a small selection of grantees who had direct experience of HLF's development work.

Final Evaluation Report PDF 532KB
Summary Evaluation Report PDF 92KB
Report Annexes PDF 284KB


The True Costs of Participation
Funder: Home Office Civil Renewal Unit (2004-2006)

The aim of this research by Involve has been to take a step forward in our understanding of public participation and develop a greater appreciation of the wider costs and benefits of participation, moving away from the narrow ranges of disourse that have dominated thus far.

In recent years there has been a huge rise in participatory activity across the UK, but this rise in activity has not been matched by the development of the analytical frameworks to enable us to fully understand the phenomenon or to continue to improve practice. Therefore, the development of a framework for assessing the costs and benefits of participation has been an essential and major part of this study.

Framework PDF 136KB
Final Report PDF 1.1MB


Community and Sustainable Development
Participation in the Future

Edited by Diane Warburton (1998)

Community and Sustainable Development is about the future - a future in which people have the resources to meet their needs. This basic message of sustainable development recognises the need to conserve environmental resources, but also to support and build the human resources through which the future will be realised, by ensuring that local people are able to particpate in the decisions and activities which affect their living environment.

Featuring contributions from many leading figures in the fields of community participation and sustainable development (including Tim O'Riordan, Robert Chambers, Amitai Etzioni, Gary Lawrence, Alex MacGillivary, Judy Ling Wong), this book shows how participation can extend democracy, citizenship and accountability. It also considers the role of lay knowledge and civic science in setting and achieving appropriate goals for development, and describes how participatory initiatives can inspire sustainable action on poverty and social inclusion.

Published 1998, Reprinted 2000
ISBN 1 85383 531 5 (paperback)
ISBN 1 85383 530 7 (hardback)
See also www.earthscan.co.uk


From Here to Sustainability
Politics in the Real World

The Real World Coalition, written and edited by Ian Christie and Diane Warburton (2001)

For more and more people, politics is increasingly divorced from the problems it should be addressing and solving. The evidence is all around us, in food safety and other health scares, traffic congestion and decaying infrastructure, rural decline and urban squalor, natural disasters, loss of species and habitats and the threat of climate change. With increased affluence and consumption, there are also growing inequalities within and between societies, and more stress and greater insecurity at work, at home and in the community.

This book explains the 'joined-up' approach that must be taken if government commitment to sustainable development is to become a reality. It shows how large the 'sustainability gap' is between rhetoric and action, and what has to be done to begin to close it. It identifies a series of interlocking problems we face, and proposes a radical agenda of reform in national and international politics and economic policy to attain quality of life and a shared sense of purpose to our lives and societies.

Published January 2001
Paperback 216 x 135mm, 224 pages
ISBN 185383 735 0
See also www.earthscan.co.uk


Design Council and Kingston University

Project directed by Nigel Ordish

Design Council Innovation funded research to develop Rematerialise.org, a unique virtual library of environmentally sustainable and low impact materials, based on research initiated in 1994 by Jakki Dehn at Kingston University.

The library was developed to allow designers access to material information by type, process, character and application, with accompanying case studies, videos, and links to related contacts. The information was targeted particularly to suit small and medium size enterprises unable to research, develop or maintain their own technical information resources.

The report details the stages of project development led by Nigel Ordish when Head of the School of 3D Design, Kingston University. It also examines the meeting of objectives, selection criteria and levels of participation, providing broader messages for future research.

Download report PDF 80KB


Evaluating participatory deliberative and co-operative ways of working
A working paper by InterAct (2001)

This document is designed to provide a framework for evaluating participatory, deliberative and co-operative processes, based on the experience of practitioners. The paper was produced by Diane Warburton on behalf of the Interact evaluation group (Jonathan Dudding, Florian Sommer and Perry Walker).

InterAct is an alliance of experienced practitioners,researchers, writers and policy makers committed to putting participatory, deliberative and co-operative approaches at the heart of debate, decision-making and action across the UK.

Download report PDF 488KB
See also www.interactweb.org.uk


Changing Places BBC Radio 4 programme
Series produced by Sandra Sykes, BBC Natural History Un
Factsheets written and compiled by Diane Warburton

A long-running radio series about ordinary people who are changing the place where they live and creating new lives for themselves and those around them. An accompanying directory of useful contacts compiled for the BBC is no longer available at their site. Contact Shared Practice if you would like a copy.


Evaluation of the Environment Council's National Waste Dialogue
Final and Summary Reports written by Diane Warburton (2004)

The Summary and Final Reports of the evaluation of The Environment Council's (TEC) National Waste Dialogue (NWD). The NWD was a series of stakeholder dialogue processes that ran between 1999 and 2002 as an experimental approach to addressing the complex sustainability issue of waste management. This detailed evaluation summarises the stakeholder dialogue approach and reviews its strengths and weaknesses in this instance.

The Summary Report presents a brief outline of the main findings of the evaluation research in relation to identified key themes. The Final Report, contains more detail on the theoretical background and the methodology used for the evaluation, the processes used in the two phases of the NWD and a more detailed analysis of the findings.

Final report PDF 744KB
Summary report PDF 340KB
See also www.the-environment-council.org.uk


Your place and mine
Reinventing planning • A publication by TCPA

Report written by Diane Warburton, Secretary to the Inquiry (1999)

A TCPA Inquiry into the future of planning which was established to recover the capacity to thinkstrategically about planning in the UK and to establish a new consensus on first principles. The aim of the Inquiry was to develop a new strategic vision for planning; establishing the principles, purpose, function and scope of planning in a changed world, and recommending how the system should be restructured to reflect and fulfil these principles, purposes and functions.

The role of the Inquiry Panel was to receive and consider evidence presented in a number of forms, and to develop conclusions and recommendations. The report was drafted and debated by the whole Panel and, although all Panel members do not necessarily endorse all aspects, they are pleased to offer the report as a stimulus for further debate.

Final report PDF 1.6MB


HomeNewsProjectsPublicationsAbout usContactAccessibilityMain site

Open access. Some rights reserved. 2013
We encourage the circulation of our work as widely as possible, and users are welcome to freely share, copy, distribute and transmit this work, subject to the conditions set out in the Creative Commons open access licence, which you can read at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/ In all cases, the licence requires that the author and Shared Practice are credited and the work is only used for non-commercial purposes.
Shared Practice 11 Clifton Street Brighton BN1 3PH • info@sharedpractice.org.uk • www.sharedpractice.org.uk • +44 (0)1273 774557