2005 Conference - Monday Concurrent Sessions 2
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Monday, October 17, 2005

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM         Concurrent Sessions (2) 

  • Panel:  "You Want to Put What Where?” :  Grassroots Call to Action
    Diana Hinton, Community Relations, City of Portland, Moderator; Marlene Olsen, Olsen & Associates, Community Fights Neighborhood Casinos in Reno, Nevada; Steve Kaufman, Save Cedar Mill (from Wal-Mart development), Beaverton, Oregon; and Paul Leistner, Friends of the Reservoirs, Portland, Oregon


Panel:  "You Want to Put What Where?” :  Grassroots Call to Action, Diana Hinton, Community Relations, City of Portland, Moderator; Marlene Olsen, Olsen & Associates, Community Fights Neighborhood Casinos in Reno, Nevada; Steve Kaufman, Save Cedar Mill (from Wal-Mart development), Beaverton, Oregon; and Paul Leistner, Friends of the Reservoirs, Portland, Oregon
What do a casino, a big box development, and covering municipal reservoirs have in common?  Was the public process flawed?  Is public policy in keeping with the constituents it represents?  Are they lessons learned for public participation practitioners?  How are grassroots effots organizing themselves?  Are we in a new era - are grassroots efforts now expected to become non-profit enterprises for the life of the project, do fundraising, hire attorneys and PR firms?  If so, how does or could that change the public participation practices now in place? 

Southern Willamette Valley Ground Water Management Area, Audrey Eldridge, State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Faced with both large-scale groundwater contamination in a rural agricultural community and declining State budgets, the Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) needed to find cost-effective collaborative approaches to resolve the contamination issue.  ODEQ partnered with established and non-traditional and sought input from residents and concerned individuals from the onset of the groundwater investigation.  We asked for – and obtained – their concurrence to proceed to a resolution which involved instituting a “Groundwater Management Area.  The final solution will include a request that all Oregonians living and working in the area, take some actions to protect the groundwater on a regular basis. Those attending this session may learn how collaborating with new partners can be critical in the success of a program, as well as some low-cost ways to get the message out to the people who really need to know.  

Consultation and Communication in a Developmental Context, Elizabeth Smith, Senior Environmental Advisor, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Paolo Mefalopulos, Senior Communication Officer, The World Bank
With representatives of World Bank's Developmental Commission Division and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's Environmental Department.

  • How do public consultation and communication differ in a developmental context?
  • World Bank modus operandi, pre-requisites of adopting particular communication approaches; examples of consultation in developing countries, such as consulting on national poverty-reduction strategy plans (PRSPs).  New tools being piloted - such as participatory rural communication appraisal.
  • European Bank approach in development - working with the OECD Development Assistance Committee Task Force, and case study of public consultation on nuclear submarine decommissioning in northwest Russia.
  • Open discussion of themes, tools available, and tools needed for development work.

Neighbors and Neutrinos, David Bidwell, Michigan State University
Fermilab, a global leader in high-energy physics, celebrated an IAP2 Core Value when it formed its Community Task Force on Public Participation. Community members met for 8 months to discuss how the laboratory should involve locals in future decision making. A key recommendation was for Fermilab to advocate for public participation in an international design effort for a new subatomic particle collider. In this session, the facilitator will review the task force process and lead a discussion of the public’s role in science.

Accountability in Health: Public Participation in the Information Age, Laura Heller, Project Manager, Public Engagement Platform and Doina Lupea, Research Associate, Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, University Health Network, Toronto  
The objective of this presentation is to review and analyze the potential of public participation to hold policy makers, managers, and other key actors accountable for decision-making, planning and delivery of services in health. A major public participation initiative at the University of Toronto and Centre for Global eHealth Innovation of the University Health Network will be described, along with examples that demonstrate its impact and the breadth of its significance in the above-mentioned arenas. This will all be done in the context of major health care reform in Canada, a decentralized, publicly funded health system. The projects cover such areas as public health, pharmaceutical policy, and bioethics.

IAP2 – Kettering Foundation Study: “Painting the Landscape:  A Cross-Cultural Exploration of Public Government Decision Making
Get involved in the project design of this three-year study that is focused on understanding the cultural context of public participation/deliberation in four regions of theworld.


Evaluating the Use of Structured Decision Processes In Consultation In the Mining Industry, Andrew Thrift, Sustainability Working Group, Dept. of Mining Engineering University of British Columbia
Structured decision processes based on decision analysis provide a rigorous framework for public participation in decisions with a high degree of complexity and uncertainty. A study was conducted to evaluate a structured decision process initiated by a mining company in northern Canada. The results of this study will be of interest to practitioners and managers involved in decision-focused public participation in industrial contexts.

Content Analysis as an Evaluative Tool for Public Involvement, Kathy Hall, Communications Director, University of Washington
Content analysis is a well-established method of communication research that provides a useful way to investigate the content of print media, broadcast media, and other documents such as archival records in a systematic, objective, and quantitative manner. Content analysis can also be used qualitatively to examine emergent themes in public testimony or public comments, and to find areas of common ground.  Content analysis of general or specialized publications can give practitioners insight into public attitudes toward a topic, and can serve as a type of formative or evaluative research. This method also allows comparisons over time. This paper describes the method, refers practitioners to resources they can use, and describes a content analysis project that involved testimony on a proposed state regulation. Instead of using predetermined themes, this study used inductive analysis, which allows patterns, themes, and categories of analysis to emerge from the data, rather than being decided prior to data collection and analysis. This analysis uncovered three areas of common ground in the otherwise contentious testimony of labor and management representatives during a state rulemaking process.  Another phase of the study used ethnographic methods to analyze hearing transcripts as a means of freezing arguments in time, while deriving means and meanings that arose from various subcultures of the workplace.

At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to:

  • Understand the basic concepts of qualitative and quantitative content analysis.
  • Identify areas of the public participation process where content analysis would provide a useful evaluation tool.
  • Find the resources necessary to design and implement such a study. 

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