2005 Conference - Wednesday Concurrent Sessions 8
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Wednesday, October 19, 2005  

10:15 AM – 11:45 AM            Concurrent Sessions (8) 

Abstracts

Rebuilding Trust – A Responsive Public Participation Strategy, PJ Vankoughnett-Olson, Manager, Public Involvement and Lorna Tessier, Director Public Relations, Canadian Blood Services
This presentation will summarize the evolution of one aspect of the public involvement program at Canadian Blood Services from the challenge of rebuilding trust through openness and transparency to the vision of a comprehensive public participation strategy that responds to both policy and operational issues.  The program was designed with built-in flexibility to allow for quick and effective input when emerging health issues threaten the safety of the nation’s blood supply.   Participants in this presentation will be given specific examples of Canadian Blood Services’ public involvement initiatives.  We will discuss the evolution of our approach, what has worked well, lessons we have learned and our plans for continuing excellence in stakeholder engagement.

Cultural Sensitivity, Dexter Albert, Manager and Susan Springer, Intrinsic Consulting, LLC
Our presentation will focus on what connects, rather than what divides, people when culture and successful public involvement practices converge. We will: -Share tactics for successful communications between a state agency and tribal officials using the knowledge and understanding of the cultural/historical context; -Convey how practitioners can adapt their methods/styles when working with Native American and rural cultures; -Share tips and advice on working successfully with Native American and rural audiences.   Presentation participants will walk away with practical, hands-on ideas and suggestions about how to work with Native American and rural communities, while adhering to IAP2 principles.  

Touring the Wild Rose Centennial “Village”, Deborah Eastlick and Lonny Gabinet
Celebrating a century of engaged citizenry in the resource-rich province of Alberta, the Wild Rose Chapter’s Centennial Project builds on our past and recent efforts to develop a more inclusive and participatory path to the future.  Please join the co-chairs on a tour of the new virtual “Village”, currently under construction.   You will learn about the Village guilds, communities of practice with complimentary interests and spend some time exploring the “Learning Commons” where research and professional experience in the field will be shared.  There will be an opportunity for you to become a Village resident, visitor or guest.  You may even find yourself thinking about starting your own Village!    

Incorporating Community, Elaine Cogan, Cogan Owens Cogan, and Diana Lobo
In a four-year effort, Complete Communities for Clackamas County, Oregon, USA, engaged thousands of people in rural, suburban and urban areas in an extensive process to improve trust and communications between themselves and their government.  This effort was undertaken in part to respond to large impending additions of Clackamas County into the Urban Growth Boundary and provided an open and flexible process in which everyone's voice was genuinely heard.  In this milieu, a citizen-led effort to incorporate Damascus, the first new city in Oregon in more than 25 years, was launched.  Grass roots methods convinced citizens in this large, divergent rural area of metropolitan Portland to move from hostility and resignation to overwhelming approval of their new city.  Adverse response to the largest inclusion of land in the metropolitan Urban Growth Boundary will be discussed along with techniques used to harness citizen reactions and guide them through the successful incorporation election, including a 65% approval of the largest-ever tax increase in the area.  Public participation strategies employed in the concurrent Complete Communities, Concept Planning and incorporation processes will be presented, highlighting IAP2 and other tools.

Tools to Engage Communities, Marie Steichen, Research Profession, Kansas Sate University; LaBarbara Wigfall
The Environmental Empowerment and Education Institute (E3) facilitators will present a montage of public engagement tools they have found successful for involving citizens in meaningful dialogue on issues that matter to communities. Presenters will engage workshop participants in active learning exercises to enhance their skills for engaging community members in organizational change and decision making in the public arena. Engagement tools from our tool kit presented in this workshop include Alphabet Soup, Sunrise/Sunset, Empowerment Evaluation, Community Webbing, and the Puzzle. Additional tools and processes will be introduced as time permits.            

The E3 Institute is a multi-disciplinary consultancy group which fosters social change through appreciative and empowering public participation. E3 provides community-based services including: consultancy, research, education, evaluation, capacity building, and facilitation related to environmental issues. Through these processes, community members experience individual and collective power to improve their communities and organizations.            

E3 is a founding partner in The Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy (ICDD) at Kansas State University. ICDD focuses on the study and practice of public forums as a means to positive social change. The tools demonstrated today are among those being implemented through discourse and democracy in public forums.

Evaluating Community Visioning Public Meetings, Risks or Rewards, Pat Crawford, Warren Rauhe, University of Michigan
In the presentation I will share a two-prong survey technique developed at Michigan State University to track and evaluate participant goals and participant meeting evaluations.  Survey data from seven communities participating in MSU’s Community Design Initiative (CDI) visioning process will be presented with an emphasis on practical lessons learned.  Documenting participants personal goals are especially useful for the facilitator and the design team as well as exploring how the participant’s goals change through the STDI process.  At the end of each meeting participants complete a ½ page evaluation survey using a semantic scale technique.  How participants evaluated meeting effectiveness and successfulness will be explored - highlighting trends within the 3-meeting visioning process and trends across communities.  The presentation concludes with “The Case of Community 6,” detailing how the survey technique provides valuable insights into why the STDI process was not considered very effective or successful by the participants.

Measuring the Success of Public Involvement Efforts:  A Dialogue Among Peers, David Sale, Principal, ECO Resources Group, LLP, and Susan Safford, Environmental Outreach Manager, Port of Portland
This session will focus on how to measure success of public involvement efforts. Measuring success can help to focus a public involvement process and provide valuable lessons regarding tools and techniques.  There are numerous ways to measure and quantify (or qualify) success when involving communities in public deliberations, and there are equally as many questions and pitfalls that can arise.   

  • Why measure the success of public involvement efforts?
  • Who defines success, the public or the practitioner?  Often there are very different interpretations of success depending on your perspective.
  • How do you measure success?  What tools and techniques are available?
  • What metrics are available?
  • Does it take a majority to agree on success?
  • Can there be different levels of success?
  • What does it mean to be unsuccessful?  
David Sale and Susan Safford will present the results of a literature review on measuring success for public involvement efforts and sustainability initiatives, and a survey that asks public involvement professionals, planning directors, health officials, and corporate community affairs and social responsibility staff how they measure success in their public involvement and outreach efforts. Participants in this session will engage in a facilitated dialogue about measures of success that have been most valuable for them, whether measuring success is important, and provide input to questions raised by the survey and literature review.  The survey results, literature review and notes from the conference dialogue will be reported out in a journal article.

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