Deliberative Opinion Polls

Synonyms: 
DOPs

The purpose of Deliberative Opinion Polls (DOPs) is to measure informed opinion on particular issue. DOPs differ to ordinary opinion polls, in that participants are informed on a specific issue and are given time to consider it in detail before they are asked their opinion.

"DOPs aim to develop well-informed core group representatives, who have been privy to good quality information and who can take this information back to share within the community. 

DOPs will deliver a report which reflects informed public opinion on an issue or proposal. Such reports may then be distributed to the wider community via the popular media." 

Source: Department of Sustainability and Environment (2005)

Advice

Advice for Choosing this option (tips and traps)

  • The DOP uses a random sample of the population so that the results can be extrapolated to the community as a whole. The DOP advises decision makers and the media what the public would think if they had enough time to consider the issue properly.
  • With so many participants’ opinions, managing data is a significant undertaking. 
  • Organising and running the event can be time consuming.
  • DOPs involve a large number of participants (between 250 and 600), therefore set-up costs are high.
  • Informing the participants normally requires access to experts in a number of fields of knowledge. 

Advice for USING this option (tips and traps)

  • Organisers need to allow time to select participants, undertake an initial opinion poll, allow two to four days for the deliberation process, and then allow time for another poll, and formulating the report. 
  • Speakers need to be organised. 

This advice is taken from Department of Sustainability and Environment (2005), Book 3: The Engagement Toolkit.Effective Engagement: building relationships with community and other stakeholders, The Community Engagement Network Resource and Regional Services Division, Victorian Government Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Resources

  • The Engagement Toolkit: Page 28 of this resource provides detailed estimations of the costs, time and resources needed employing this option.It also provides a step-by-step practical guide for its application.

Sources

Department of Sustainability and Environment (2005), Book 3: The Engagement Toolkit.Effective Engagement: building relationships with community and other stakeholders, The Community Engagement Network Resource and Regional Services Division Victorian Government Department of Sustainability and Environment. Retrieved from http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/105825/Book_3_-_The_Engagement_Toolkit.pdf

Updated: 14th January 2014 - 1:51am
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A special thanks to this page's contributors
Author
Research Assistant, RMIT University.
Melbourne.

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