Process design is a way of thinking about a civic engagement (or policy planning) project. It addresses the different steps from starting an initiative and setting the desired outcomes - until the making of final decisions as to appropriation and/or regulation. We might start with a small leadership group to define outcomes, and end up with a broad consultation of all teachers to find solutions.
In order to design the process, policy entrepreneurs should address several issues for each of the steps:
Each step in the process requires to define a question (WHAT), groups (WHO), channels (HOW) and timetable (WHEN):
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW. The question should include the outcome and trigger people to think about what it takes to fulfill it. What would you define as success? What do you want? What do you actually need to decide on?
WHO KNOWS. The groups we ask should have a diverse, decentralized and independent approach. Who will be affected by your decisions? Who holds the power to delay or help you? Who knows, studies or has experience in the field?
HOW TO APPROACH. The channels we engage through should make it beneficial for groups to participate. What channel can reach the groups? What is the quickest way for a group to answer? What engagements are already planned?
WHEN TO APPROACH. The timing should make the issue as relevant as possible to the groups you ask. Who should get an invite? What planned events should you integrate? What are the external deadlines you have?