From how we continue to fight the pandemic, to what the new normal for our economy, environment and communities should look like, significant decisions need to be taken in the coming weeks and months with consequences that will be felt for years and decades. 

This handbook is intended to support local authorities to consider how they can build back with their local communities, involving them in the Covid-19 response and recovery.

The handbook contains eight chapters, covering the following:

How this handbook has been developed

This handbook has been developed as part of “A democratic response to Covid” – a joint project by Involve and the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Westminster University.

The handbook has been written by Involve in partnership with members of the Deliberative Democracy Practitioners’ Network – a group of designers and facilitators of participatory and deliberative processes. It has been edited by Tim Hughes, director of Involve.

The title of this handbook is inspired by our friends at the Poverty Truth Network. Find out more about them at: 


  • Anna McKeon, Traverse
  • Carisse Hewer
  • Dylan Quinn, Dylan Quinn Dance Theatre / ConversationsNI
  • Eva Trier, Eva Trier Consulting Ltd. 
  • Gary Austin, circleindigo
  • Graham Smith, University of Westminster
  • Grainne Walsh, stratagem
  • Hally Ingram
  • Jez Hall, Shared Future
  • Joe Mitchell
  • LaShanda, BritainThinks
  • Lizzie Adams, Involve
  • Maddie Gough, Involve
  • Matt Reynolds, Ipsos MORI
  • Paul Carroll, Ipsos MORI
  • Perry Walker, Talk Shop
  • Riley Thorold, RSA
  • Skye McCool, Traverse
  • Stephen Robinson, SJR Strategic Consulting Ltd
  • Susannah Lansdell, Involve
  • Tim Hughes, Involve
  • Tom Lord, Sortition Foundation

Help write this handbook

This handbook is intended to be a living document that we update over time as new issues, resources and case studies arise. A version of it will live here on the Involve Knowledge Base, which we will periodically update based on updates to a live collaborative document (hosted on Google Docs). If you'd like to help improve the handbook, access the live document and start writing or leave a comment.

Access the live document

Using this handbook

All of the content in this handbook is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence. This means that you are free to remix, adapt, and build upon the handbook non-commercially, as long as the original handbook is credited and you license your new creation under the same terms.

Find out more