2008 WINNERS CIRCLE
Every year the IAP2 Core Values judging team have a hard time in separating the stellar applications. This year was no exception and as a result special recognition was offered to a number of entries. Past President Scott Russell convened the judging panel and they were impressed by the high calibre and diversity of applications received.
Organisation of the Year
Southern Nevada Water Authority, Nevada, USA
Since its formation in 1991, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) has actively engaged the public in its decision making processes. For the SNWA, public participation means more than simply paying "lip service;” it means developing processes where citizens and stakeholders can participate in a meaningful way. Over the last 17 years, we have established eight such public processes. Some of which were designed to address specific, time-sensitive issues such as drought, while others – like the Advisory Committee for Groundwater Management and the Youth Advisory Council – are ongoing processes, allowing for long-term public involvement.
While the SNWA has a long track record of public engagement, it is the concrete and tangible results of these efforts that are the true measure of our success. Our commitment extends beyond the duration of the committee, as evidenced by the continued influence of past recommendations on SNWA actions today.
Click here to read their award winning application demonstrating the benefits of sustainable decision-making processes in pubilc participation embedded into the life of an entire organisation.
Project of the Year
Strategic Quest: Capital Health Nova Scotia, Canada
The Strategic Quest process used as its strategic planning framework the U-Theory approach developed by Otto Scharmer, a senior lecturer at MIT (http://www.ottoscharmer.com/). U-Theory is based on over eight years of scientific research into innovation and leadership through interviews with 150 thought leaders. There are five stages in the U-process: Initiating, Sensing, Presencing, Creating and Evolving. Strategic Quest engaged citizens and stakeholders in the sensing, presencing and creating phases of the process. The U-process provided Capital Health a deep, reflective journey into its work and role in the community. Between April and November 2007 the Strategic Quest engaged over two thousand citizens, stakeholders, patients/client families and staff using a variety of methods, including: World Café (www.theworldcafe.com); Conversation Circle technology (www.conversationcircle.com); Open Space technology (www.openspaceworld.org); Scenarios; One-on-one interviewing; Promise Councils (in Alignment with IAP2 Core Values); Patient-family waiting room journals; Quantitative and qualitative public opinion research and "Quest on a Cart” (a mobile toolkit for engaging people in Strategic Quest discussions which was used inside the organization and with some external stakeholder organizations).
This outstanding project's submission with further details can be read in full here
Canadian Blood Services, Canada
"The strength of Canadian Blood Services is largely due to the engagement of stakeholders
and the public in our decision making. To gain and maintain trust, it is critical that our
Board and our executive management are open, available and attentive to the people that we
Dr. Graham Sher, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Blood Services
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, thousands of Canadians received blood and blood products that were contaminated with two infectious viruses, Hepatitis C and HIV, resulting in many deaths and Canada’s largest public health crisis. A commission of inquiry was launched, led by Justice Krever from which a comprehensive report called for a new, national blood operator in Canada.
Justice Krever made many recommendations for the new blood system in Canada; including safety, finance, research and development and blood utilization. In addition, he made recommendations on public confidence and accountability, "The public must have access to information about the policy, management and operations of the blood supply system and be represented in the decision making.” These recommendations set the stage for a new blood system that would be safe, open, inclusive and accountable to the public from that point forward.
Read their national success story - starting early and at the top
Toi te Taio: the Bioethics Council, New Zealand
Toi te Taiao: the Bioethics Council was established after New Zealand‘s Royal Commission of Inquiry on Genetic Modification. Its purpose is to consider the cultural, ethical and spiritual issues raised by biotechnology. In this role, the Council provides information, promotes and participates in public dialogue, and gives advice to Government.
The Council was scheduled to report to the New Zealand Government in May 2008 on the issue of pre-birth testing. Because pre-birth testing is an issue which touches the lives of so many men, women and children, the Council opted for a very public and participatory approach to framing the issue and developing its recommendations. The end goal was to ensure that the views and values of New Zealanders were reflected in the recommendations that the Council will make to government – while ensuring that these recommendations were just, reasonable and practical.
Read more about the work of Who Gets Born and how this project undertook public participation using a range of deliberative techniques on a highly controversial issue in our time in their submission.
Woodlands Governance, Texas, USA
Begun in 1974 by businessman George Mitchell, The Woodlands is a master-planned community of today, nearly 90,000 residents (at the time of Phase II of the project, 85,000 residents.) The Woodlands has approximately 26,000 jobs, making it a strong employment area. The great majority of the 27,000 acres of land included within The Woodlands lies in the unincorporated areas of Montgomery County, with approximately 3,000 acres extending south of Spring Creek into unincorporated Harris County. Approximately 160 acres of The Woodlands are located in the corporate limits of the City of Shenandoah, and some 375 acres are located in the City of Conroe.
As Mr. Mitchell was considering a plan for The Woodlands in the 1960’s, many major United States (U.S.) cities were experiencing an out migration of people from declining inner city to thriving suburbs. City dwellers escaped into small, incorporated towns that encircled many larger cities, leaving the core city unable to grow and vulnerable to future decline. Mitchell traveled extensively and witnessed the plight of some U.S. cities. He held the view that the Houston region would be stronger if the central city retained the ability to grow its tax base. A stronger city, in his view, would produce stronger suburban growth. He wanted The Woodlands to be a part of Houston’s solution, not a part of its problems. Therefore, by agreement with Houston, all of his landholdings that would become The Woodlands (and not already within another city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) were included in Houston’s ETJ. An ETJ, as will be explained later, is the area adjacent to the corporate limits of the city and may be unilaterally annexed.
Having essentially all of The Woodlands within the ETJ of a single city effectively prevented fragmentation of the planned community and its services through partial annexations initiated by other nearby cities of through multiple, separate incorporations that could have taken place on a piecemeal basis. Having included most of his landholdings for The Woodlands into Houston’s ETJ, Mitchell and his development team, utilizing consultants experienced in community governance, set about the task of establishing a fragmented service delivery system.
Annexation and The Woodlands? In Texas, larger cities have strong powers of annexation. Within their extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), that is, the area adjacent to the corporate limits of the city, these cities have limited authority to regulate land development, but have exclusive authority to annex land into their corporate limits. A new city may not be incorporated within the ETJ of an existing city without the city’s consent. At the city’s sole discretion, and after following required notice and hearing procedures, it can annex territory within its ETJ. Approximately 95% of The Woodlands is included in Houston’s ETJ, with the balance being in the city limits of ETJ of the Cities of Shenandoah or Conroe.
To find out this project's award winning features in governance and inclusion click here
Interested in learning more ?
For a comprehensive report on previous winners and key learnings read the State of the Practice Report prepared by the IAP2 Research Committee.