Public Voice Reports

Engage your community to ignite meaningful action


For nearly 30 years, The Harwood Institute has been producing “Public Voice Reports” that help to uncover how people feel about important issues—their aspirations, the challenges they see and what progress together would look like.

The Institute has produced such reports on national and local issues including American politics, the social compact, health care, financial security, and education, among others. 

These reports provide groups, organizations, institutions and coalitions with a tangible product, which produces the following: 

  • A reframing of the public discussion that helps to move debates fro gridlock, acrimony and “problems” to focus on people’s shared aspirations for what they seek to create together.

  • A new reference point for alignment that exists outside the ingrained interests of individuals and often fragmented organizations and groups.

  • A platform for ongoing public engagement that enables organizations, groups and citizens to hold a shared sense of direction.

  • A new public narrative that moves beyond negative ingrained narratives to one that is grounded in people’s reality, reflects their values and build positive momentum for action.

The Harwood Public Voice Report is created through a series of in-depth conversations led by trained moderators using a highly-crafted discussion guide. They can be augmented with various types of alternative forums—with ordinary people and leaders. Importantly, these are not “political focus groups” where discussion moderators are searching out “hot button” topics and language to persuade or manipulate public opinion. Instead, these reports help to provide the basis for genuine, sustainable action and public will.


Project Components