What is the Voice in Decisions Technique?

Created by the Right Question Institute, The Voice in Decisions Technique (VIDT), is a process that builds people’s skills to participate effectively in decisions that impact their lives. It helps people name or identify key decisions, ask their own questions about those decisions, and focus their questions on key elements of a decision.


Everyone should have the opportunity to have a say in decisions that affect them

A step-by-step process

The VIDT, a main component of the Right Question Strategy, along with the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), provides a simple, step-by-step process for participants to:

  • Learn a simple, clear definition of a decision.
  • Look at different components of a decision: the reasons for the decision, the process for making the decision, and the role the person affected plays in the decision.
  • Come up with their own questions about a decision that affects them.

Participants learn to produce their own questions, improve them, and strategize about how to use their own questions about decisions.

Check out the VIDT facilitation resources

The key elements of a decision

There are three key elements to look for in any decision:

1. The reason for a decision
2. The process for making that decision
3. The role you can play in the decision

Focusing on the reason, process and role makes it easier to hold accountable anyone who is making decisions about health care, job training, welfare, education and many other services. Put those three pieces together with the ability to ask one’s own questions and you have a very powerful advocacy and accountability tool.

RQI tools for self-advocacy

Connecting the VIDT to democratic decision-making

Each element of the VIDT relates to a fundamental principle of decision-making in a democracy: legitimacy, transparency, and opportunities for participation.

  • When you ask questions about the reason for a decision, you expect that those reasons be legitimate.
  • When you ask questions about the process, you expect that you have a right to know how the decision was made–a right to transparency.
  •  When you ask questions about your role, you expect or seek an opportunity to participate in the decision.

Key elemts of the VIDT and principles for democratic decision making

A vision of Microdemocracy

When people begin to ask questions and participate effectively in decisions, they are using fundamental democratic skills that are relevant on any level of democracy.

The Right Question Institute’s vision of Microdemocracy calls for transforming people’s ordinary encounters with public or publicly funded institutions into new opportunities for participation and new starting points for democratic action. Learn more

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Our materials are available under a Creative Commons Sharealike license. To comply with this license, you must include the following language on all materials you use, share, adapt, or create: “Source: The Voices in Decisions Technique (VIDT) was created by the Right Question Institute (RQI). Visit rightquestion.org for more information and free resources.”

As long as you include this source language, you are welcome to use, adapt, and share our strategies and materials for noncommercial use. You may also create new materials that reference The voices in Decisions Technique (VIDT) and/or other Right Question Institute strategies as long as you include the source language above. If you are interested in sharing RQI’s resources for commercial purposes you must contact us by selecting the “Permission for Use” option on the contact form.

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