Our Approach

PEA employs innovative and pragmatic methods to engage the public which can be used in a wide variety of situations.  At the heart all of our work is the skillful application of small group dialogue. We design and facilitate small group discussions which enable all participants to be heard and make it possible to understand the interests and concerns of all parties. In many situations, we combine that dialogue with the use of technology to enable us to capture a broad range of feedback.

Our primary technology includes:

  • Computers that capture the main themes from discussions and
  • Electronic keypads that measure the level of agreement or disagreement with specific ideas put forth.

This approach enables us to generate large amounts of both qualitative and quantitative data about what people think and want.

Our methods for engaging the public can be applied to groups of all sizes—from large community meetings with hundreds of people to smaller discussions with key local leaders or stakeholders. In all of our meetings, we make sure that participants comprise a representative sample of those who are impacted by the issue being discussed.

Input from citizens is most valuable when the right people are in the room. Our approach to outreach ensures that those people are present. We know how to identify and involve the key individuals and groups on a particular issue and make sure their voices are heard. As a result, the feedback that is collected is representative of the target population and can be used to identify clear priorities and make plans for effective action.