Presentation on theme: "Public Participation in Community Decision-Making"— Presentation transcript:
1 Public Participation in Community Decision-Making CTAP ConferenceSeptember 29, 2007Jim Gruber, Antioch New England InstituteMichele Gagne, UNH Cooperative ExtensionCharlie French, UNH Cooperative ExtensionDan Reidy, UNH Cooperative Extension
2 Why Engage the Public?To identify and assist in addressing community needsTo educate and empower citizens so they can more fully understand the complexities of issues you must addressTo educate decision-makersTo broaden the asset baseTo make implementation more likely by building ownership of the citizens on the agreed upon approachTo build accountability and effective feedbackWe have several projects ongoing with WIU and SIU, and C-FAR crosses university boundaries.
3 Different Approaches of Community Engagement for Different Purposes Is the purpose…Community Building?Public Information?Deliberation?Decision Making?
4 Structure the Public Participation Process Determine the purpose of the ProcessDetermine the Role of the PublicIdentify and Involve Key StakeholdersDetermine how to engage the publicDevelop a processBuild Accountability (how will info be used)We have several projects ongoing with WIU and SIU, and C-FAR crosses university boundaries.
5 Public Participation Approaches Strategic PlanningCommunity Visioning (Vision to Action)Interest-Based Problem SolvingCitizen Advisory Committees
6 Strategic Planning Advantages Challenges Strategic planning enables a group to come to a shared vision of its desired future and to create a detailed, participant-owned plan of action.AdvantagesBrings community together around issuesResults-oriented processAddresses both short and long-term issuesComponents of plan adoptable by other plansChallengesRequires skilled facilitatorParticipants may get frustrated with the processThere is not always consensus re objectives and strategiesResults may be long term
7 Vision“Dream” of where the community/group wants to be far in the futureExample:Our town is committed to improving the quality of life for our residents by building a community in which all people have access to economic opportunity, the ability to pursue that opportunity, and a voice in the decisions that affect their lives.
8 Mission The “what” and “why” Example: To build a healthy community through a comprehensive initiative to promote jobs, education, and housing
9 Objectives The how much of “what” will be accomplished by “when” Example:Quality Affordable Housing is housing that is free of significant structural defects, meets the basic living needs of residents, and is reasonably safe and secure. To be “affordable,” the cost to live in quality housing should be within the financial reach of residents (30 percent of income) at various income levels. Quality affordable housing must be profitable for the builder, developer, landlord, etc., or it will not be built and/or maintained.
10 Strategies and Actions The “how” and specifics of who will do what and whenExamples:The City of ---- should enforce existing health and building codes encouraging rental property owners to recognize problems and take action.Form a committee to determine problem areas in town and report this back to town committees by March 2008Selectmen will make a determination after hearing report about expanding code enforcement officer hours to full-time by town meeting 2008
11 Advantages Challenges Community Visioning…the first step of a vision-to-action processThis approach can be used to either “map” the current condition (called a mind map) or to create a shared, collective vision of the future.AdvantagesBuilds a broad ownership of where the community wishes to goSets broad priorities of the created visionInclusive…100s can participate in one hourChallengesMust have a broad cross-section of the community “in the room”Must have a plan to translate the vision into tangible objectives and actionsThis is only the 1st step
12 Step One: The Vision Map Twenty Years form now….if there is sustained growth…How do you want your community to look, to feel, to have as a home?
13 The Vision MapDevelop a shared vision of where you want to be in 20 years based upon:the characteristics of your community that you value and wish to sustainchanges you wish to encourage andchanges that you wish to discourageprioritize key elements of the vision
14 Step TwoReview previous successful (and unsuccessful) approaches, actions, and events that were effective (or not effective) with planning, managing, and directing growth.Assess resources currently lacking that are needed to plan for growth.
15 Step 3 Translate the Vision Map into prioritized objectives Identify existing barriers that are in the way of achieving these objectives (economic, political, social, organizations, knowledge, etc.)Develop preferred strategies/ approaches that are most likely to address these barriers
16 Step 4Identify the specific types of resources/ strategies that are needed to fill the gap between the current resources of local government and what are needed to achieve the shared vision (prioritized objectives)Revise community’s master plan, capital budget, and other actions needed to proceed towards prioritized objectives
17 Ground Rules Rules: All ideas are valid The person with the idea says where it goesGive an example to clarifyEveryone has one contribution before a second contribution to the visionOpposing ideas are OK
22 Interest Based Problem Solving Interest-Based Problem Solving is an issue-resolution process that addresses individual and group differences in a problem-solving environment.AdvantagesFocuses on common interests – win-winFosters creativitySolutions weighed with objective criteriaBuilds leadershipChallengesNot all issues can be resolvedProcess can be frustrating and take a long timeSome parties intentionally work to corrupt process
23 When you hear the word “conflict” what images come to mind?
24 Positive aspects of public conflict: Mutual gains solutionsAddresses problems and promotes actionBuilds long-term relationshipsStimulates creativityStrengthens democracyLeadership emerges
25 Positions Are… Emotions – how someone feels about an issue A pre-determined solution
26 Problems with positions: Predetermined way to resolve problems.Does not deal with interest of parties in disputeLimits creative options.
27 Interests are… Needs, beliefs, values behind the positions. Why something is important.
28 Why focus on interests? Gets to heart of issue. Moves people beyond polarized positions.Sets stage for mutual understanding.Leads to group cooperation.Sets stage for issue re-framing.Sets stage for generating creative options.
29 Examples of interests & positions: Community pride Value historic school Educational qualityCost-efficiency Educational quality Stretch resourcesInterestsWant school consolidationOppose school consolidationPositions
30 Citizen Advisory Committee Citizen advisory committees foster positive relations with the community by engaging citizens in the development of policies and programs to ensure that they are enriched by diverse perspectives.AdvantagesDiverse representationBased on local assetsDirectly engages citizens in policy-makingChallengesCommittees often don’t have jurisdictional powerRequires much time/effortCan suffer low return ratesWe have several projects ongoing with WIU and SIU, and C-FAR crosses university boundaries.
31 How are they helpful?Help anticipate public reaction to proposed decisionsProvide communication to constituenciesOrganize a forum for building consensusThe advisory committee becomes more educated and their feedback is more informed
32 When are they used? Master Plans Representative of various groups in community with a chair to coordinate meetings and report back to town boardsCan work to develop public involvement opportunities for Plan update
33 Even More Approaches to Engage Community Members Search ConferencesCollaborative Decision MakingStudy CirclesDeliberative DialoguePublic Information OutreachCitizen SurveysYouth Involvement ProgramsPublic ListeningDistrict CouncilCommunity CelebrationsVolunteerism(See handout for a description)
34 Further Resources re Public Participation Tools: Asset Mapping:Concerns Survey:Needs Survey:Focus Groups:Interviews:Public Forums:
36 Strategies for Enhancing Public Participation An Example: Involving the public in a community master plan and capital budget planning and implementation process
37 Specific GoalsAll approaches should support overall community building and…Informs the Public (provides public information)Solicits input from the public (that includes public deliberation processes)Engages the public in “the work” (including the decision making process)
38 Three Break-out Groups Group A) Informs the Public (MG facilitates)Group B) Soliciting Input from the Public (JG facilitates)Group C) Engaging the Public “In the Work” (CF facilitates)
39 Impact vs FeasibilityEach group brainstorms potential, specific approaches of engaging the public including:both what your can do and how you can do it.Each approach is written on a sticky note.Each sticky note is placed on an “Impact vs Feasibility Grid” (Low, Medium, or High” feasibility and Low, Medium, and High Impact”