Best Practices

Publivate has created a series of short, practical scenarios of virtual approaches to traditional in person public participation activities. These are meant to be helpful for those that did or were intending to undertake in-person engagement or consultation activities - be it public, select stakeholders or employees - and are not sure about their next move

This is a bit of a departure from the New Normal pieces that we have written to date but certainly is a topic that is affected by Covid 19 and, perhaps more importantly, it’s something that we are passionate about trying to solve.

In October of 2019 we began working with our friends at Sarah Herr Consulting to jointly tackle what we viewed as a substantial opportunity; Indigenous communities rarely participated in online public engagements even when the issues and the outcomes would affect them.

Which is why we have built the first ground up online engagement methodology that supports truly inclusive engagement. It is called the Kūwiingu-Néewul Approach and here is a brief overview.


There is one overarching objective for our approach. It is: To provide a unique online approach and tools that are designed to enable inclusive public engagement amongst all communities including Indigenous Nations.

Use Cases

The Kūwiingu-Néewul Approach, while applicable for a wide variety of public engagements, fits best in addressing complex topics that have diverse audiences, often with different desired outcomes. Too many public issues fit this description, often with some of those topics taking years and even decades to resolve and some never having been resolved. Top of mind issue areas include:

  • natural resources
  • health
  • economic development
  • land claims
  • education
  • environment


The Kūwiingu-Néewul methodology draws upon decades of experience in designing and carrying out public engagement. It is informed and takes best practices from IAP2, Design Thinking, Human Centered Design as well as numerous Indigenous based methodologies and guidance including OCAP, Medicine Wheel teachings, Clan System, Consensus Building, among others. Consideration of which best practices are incorporated into an engagement is based upon the specific objectives to be accomplished. Therefore, each approach is unique and based on discussions with participating groups.


Our Engagement Approach has 4 stages that each revolve around our core principles of transparency, inclusivity, responsibility, and respect.

  • Embark ensures the most appropriate foundation is built for a successful dialogue. This stage can be done in person with relatively few core organizing partners.
  • Trust is the only variable stage. For some dialogues it is essential, for others it is inherent. This stage can be a combination of in person and online, normally involving more partners than Embark.
  • Dialogue, understandably, is the most comprehensive stage where the online activity or activities take place together with participants.
  • Follow Through can be the most important stage and carries risk for all if not done properly. This Stage is conducted with the core organizing partners and is based on feedback received from all previous stages.


As a starting point, we have a suite of world class integrated online engagement tools that allow for ideation, eWorkbooks, narrative capturing, among other techniques. We have layered in other tools and functions, some embedded for every engagement, some ad hoc and deployed as needed that specifically support the Kūwiingu-Néewul Approach.

For reader understanding

The Kuwiing-neewul (kwing-a-nowel) approach is named after a common Lenape greeting that translates to “I see you”. This transcends beyond a hello and provides an acknowledgement of presence and mutual respect in the dialogue to take place.

Publivate has been a recognized leader in online engagement and consultation for the last decade with unique and proven tools, methods, and expertise to support a wide spectrum of online dialogue activities.

You may also like

Success story

November 11th, 2019

Adam Coleman

Success story

Success story

April 13th, 2023

Adam Coleman

Let's get started.