The Collaborative Edge
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The Edge in Brief
Martin Luther King, Jr. Mahatma Gandhi. George W. Bush. Osama Bin Ladin. For good or ill, leaders often use religious values to motivate social and political action. In the second part of our two-part series on religion and conflict resolution, Dr. Mohammed Abu-Nimer of American University explores Islamic values of peace, justice, inclusivity, universal human dignity, and more that can be applied in solving social and political problems in a Muslim context. Link to Dr. Abu-Nimer's article here. In the first part of this series, The Power of Peacemaking: Seven Biblical Principles for Dealing with Conflict in an Angry World, mediator Greg Bourne of the Center for Collaborative Policy discussed how his beliefs and faith as a Christian guide his work as a mediator and peacemaker. We hope this pair of articles will be useful to our readers in their work in communities with strong Muslim or Christian values, and in the discussion we are all part of surrounding the war and rebuilding in Iraq.
Que dice? Qu'est-ce qui se passe? いかに言うか。? In this article, Edge editor Laura Kaplan offers practical guidance and tips for public servants who need to integrate non-English language needs into a public participation process, often on a slim budget and with little experience or assistance.
Is public participation failing? In this article, David Booher of the Center for Collaborative Policy and Judith Innes of the University of California, Berkeley argue that public participation is too often shoe-horned into existing methods of planning in order to gain public support for agency decisions. They compare and contrast what they view as two fundamentally different models of public participation: the “public support machine” approach, and a collaborative involvement system. They maintain there is a need for fundamentally different institutions of planning. Read on here.
This article was originally published in Planning Theory & Practice, Vol. 6, No. 3, 431-435, September 2005, and is republished with permission. http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/14649357.asp
Citizen juries. Deliberative opinion polls. Study circles. 21st Century electronically-enabled Town Hall meetings. Televotes. Methods like these abound for getting ordinary people engaged in civic life…getting them informed and talking about the important issues facing politicians and policy-makers. What are these methods, and how can they be used to enrich democracy in the US and abroad? In this edition of the Edge, David Kahane of the University of Alberta, Canada provides an insightful review of the Deliberative Democracy Handbook, which he calls, “a must-have volume for researchers and practitioners of public deliberation and dialogue…[Its] succinct descriptions of particular methods, its comparative analyses, and its assessments of the challenges facing the field will be useful to a range of audiences, including those setting up and facilitating public dialogues, agencies and organizations considering the adoption of deliberative forums in their work, and researchers from a range of theoretical and applied disciplines.” Read David's review by clicking here.
Find out about upcoming conferences, training, and events of interest to the collaborative policy community. Link to the Edge News by clicking here.
In this section of the Edge, you'll find links to publications and websites newly added to our resources archive. We hope these articles, manuals, case study databases, contacts, tools, tips, models, and more can be of use to you in planning and conducting your own collaborative efforts. Visit the Edge Resources Section.
The Resources Archive is a compilation of online Resources from all issues of the Collaborative Edge. Resources are sorted into three categories.
- Community and Organizations: Focused on the issues and methods of primary interest to communities and organizations, including citizens, non-profits, and businesses. This category includes resources on civic engagement, deliberative democracy, environmental justice, building leadership capacity, and forming collaborative partnerships.
- Public Agencies and Government: Targeted to people who have some authority over public resources, and who are working collaboratively with their stakeholders to solve problems. This category includes public policy consensus-building, public participation, and understanding policy conflict.
- General Toolbox: Focused on practical tips and tools for those working in any sector on mediation, facilitation, dialogue, and collaborative process design.
Full Text Articles
By Mohammed Abu-Nimer, Ph.D.
The potential to address current social and political problems in Muslim communities through Islam is yet to be fully realized. Both Islamic religion and tradition have enough teachings and practices which promote strategies and frameworks for peacebuilding and development. Therefore, the search in Islamic primary texts is important to Muslims, particularly that the Qur'an (Islam's holy book), the Prophet Mohammed's tradition (Hadith), and the early Islamic period are indispensable for understanding Islam. It should be noted that by relying on the Qur'an, Hadith, and early Muslim period (first Caliphate-constitutional period) this article intends to illustrate the ideals rather than explain the current economic, political, and social reality which influences the applications of these ideals in a Muslim community.
The peaceful nature and message of Islam has been emphasized by many Muslim and non-Muslim scholars. Values and principles identified by these scholars include: Tawhid (unity), Muhabbat (service, faith and love), Adl (justice), Ihsan (benevolence), Rahman (compassion and mercy) and Hikmah (wisdom). These principles are the foundations of such ideals as social justice, brotherhood, equality of humankind (abolishment of slavery and racial and ethnic barriers), tolerance, submission to god and recognition of the “other's” rights. Below, we lay out key concepts and values of peacebuilding within Islam.
Islam: Basic definition and meaning
Islam is the submission to the will of God, the creator. It means a complete surrender to God and the recognition that Muhammad, the Prophet, is His messenger. In its ethical sense Islam signifies “striving after the Ideal.” Islam and Muslim are derived from the same Arabic word, salam (peace). To become a Muslim one needs only to profess, “There is no god but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God.” There is a code of ethics conveyed to all Muslims through the Qur'an, which a Muslim is expected to follow. The essence of Islam is not in ritualistic or ceremonial practices, but lies more deeply in righteous behaviors. A Muslim gains his / her salvation through righteous behaviors and good deeds, and the fulfillment of other obligations (helping the needy and orphans, charity, keeping promises, and being patient in difficult times).
Islam offers hope for salvation to the righteous and God-fearing of all religions. Muslims believe in the Divine Revelations of many Prophets including Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, but do not believe that God (Allah) assumed a human form. The Qur'an, Muslims believe, is God's Word and Final Revelation to the Prophet Muhammad. Revealed over a period of twenty-five years, the Qur'an was compiled and distributed to distant lands within twenty-five years of the Prophet's death in 632 A.D. This is the only Qur'an recognized by the Muslims, comprising laws, moral precept, and narratives. The Qur'an's timeless text remains an inspiration and guide for Muslims. Together with the Qur'an, Muslims lives are guided by the examples and sayings of the Prophet (Hadith). Thousands of sayings have been attributed to the Prophet. Some are accepted as authentic; some are traced to the Prophet's companions; and some are the subject of debate. Islamic law is based upon the Qur'an, examples and sayings of the Prophet, consensus among the learned, and individual reasoning.
Islam places a strong emphasis on establishing a just social reality. The evaluation of any act or statement should be measured according to whether, how, and when it will contribute to a just social reality. It is the Muslim's duty to work for justice and reject oppression and injustice on interpersonal and structural (societal / governance) levels, as upheld in the following Qur'anic passages:
Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and he forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion (16:90). O ye who believe, stand out firmly for God, as witness to justice and let not enmity of others make you swerve from the path of justice. Be just: that is next to righteousness, and fear God. Indeed, God is well acquainted with all that you do (5:8)
The Qur'an not only encourages, but commands believers to pursue and practice justice (5:8; 57:25; 16:90, 4:58; 42:15). The connection of peacebuilding with justice is never far from the surface in Islam. Peace is the product of order and justice. One must strive for peace through the pursuit of justice. This is the obligation of the believer as well as the ruler and it is a natural obligation of all humanity. Within the pursuit of justice there is a consistent message to resist and correct conditions of injustice, which can be accomplished through activism and third-party intervention as well as through divine intervention. Additionally, the Prophet has called Muslims to mobilize and be steadfast against injustice, even if the injustice is originated by a Muslim. Justice and peace are interconnected and interdependent.
Social Empowerment through Doing Good (Khayr and Ihsan)
Struggling against Zulum (oppression), assisting the poor, and pursuing equality among all humans are core religious values emphasized throughout the Qur'an and Hadith. Social justice (both in its retributive form, when the emphasis is on compensations and punishment; and in its restorative form when the emphasis is on restoring relationships and reconciliation among the disputants) and empowerment are realized through teachings, rules, and institutions. For example, the value of Zakat (alms-giving) and Sadaqah (voluntary charity), which relate to both the individual and the collective responsibility, are essential aspects of Islamic faith and practice.
For Muslims, justice must be pursued in all actions and interactions with others, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. Activists can utilize Muslims' need to pursue justice (and the values that ensure its realization) in organizing collective movements (political and social). This can be a mobilization for solidarity and sympathy among Muslims both on national and local levels (for example, appealing to the Islamic value of justice to organize solidarity with persecuted minorities around the world). The value of justice also directly relates to social and economic development in general and peacebuilding in particular. Thus when development and peace workers implement their programs in the context of Muslim community it is important to link their project design and implementation with such values.
Inclusivity and Participatory Process
Peacebuilding strategies in modern secular practice are typically based on assisting parties in joint interest-based negotiation, through the use of third parties and needs-based analysis and intervention. The Muslim tradition of mutual consultation (Shura) and its governing process illustrate and provide a foundation for these approaches. First, Shura is inclusive, in that members of the Ummah (community of the faithful) have the opportunity to provide input into the decision-making process – it is not a consultation by rulers only. (In the Western sense of the word “consultation,” a person may ask for consultation yet he / she is not obliged to follow the advice. However, in the Muslim tradition it is the duty of the ruler to follow and accept the Shura.) Governance is for the Ummah – the community's consent and approval is required for a ruler's continuation. Thus, the legitimacy for governance is based on the Ummah's satisfaction and approval rather than the Caliph. Moreover, the community is responsible and obligated to pursue religion, build a good life, and look after public interests – it is not the responsibility of the rulers only. Nevertheless, rulers should not be oppressors or deny people their freedom. According to Islamic principles, freedom is a right for all. By acknowledging one's loyalty to God only, a person is free from all others. All people are equal in their origin; all humans are born of one father and created from the same soul (49:13). Oppression is prohibited and opposing it is a duty. Zulum (unjust treatment) is one of the most prohibited acts.
Universality and Dignity of Humans
Universal humanity is a central value in Islam. This principle is conveyed through a Muslim's belief in equal origin, equal rights and solidarity among all people. In Islam, every person has human sacredness and is under protection and sacrosanct until a person violates his/her own sanctuary (e.g. suicide or other action that violates human dignity). With this dignity, Islam protects its enemies, as well as its children and elders. This dignity is the basis for all human relationships.
In Islam, there is no privilege based on gender, race, ethnicity, or tribal association. The only criteria to be deployed are those of faith (Iman) and good deed (Aml al-salih). Muslims are asked to remember that there is no difference in the treatment of people of different religions except in their faith and deed (3:113-114, 2:62, 5:68). Nevertheless, Muslims are instructed clearly by their faith not to impose their belief and each individual can find their faith on their own (no compulsion in religion). The Qur'an calls on people and religions to abandon fighting, to live and coexist beside each other as different religions. Such sayings are often cited by traditional mediators and arbitrators as a recommendation or a call for brotherhood and harmony. Islamic teaching can thus be viewed as one emphasizing an approach of peacebuilding and restoring harmonious relationships within the community, rather than an interest-based settlement approach to conflict.
The Quest for Peace
Peace in Islam is a state of physical, mental, spiritual and social harmony. Living at peace with God through submission and living at peace with fellow beings by avoiding mischief are essential to Islam. Peace is viewed as an outcome and goal of life to be achieved only after one's full submission to the will of God. Thus, peace has an internal, personal, as well as social application, and God is the source and sustainer of such peace. In Islam, the goal and nature of humans is to live in peace.
Economic, social, and political development are necessary parts of building peace in any community experiencing conflict. Muslim and non-Muslim peacebuilders aiming to assist Muslim communities today must first seek to identify obstacles which are preventing economic, social, and political development, as they would do in any situation of conflict. Effective peacebuilding strategies and interventions, able to overcome such obstacles in an Islamic context, can then be designed within the above framework of Islamic values and principles.
1 'successor, vicegerent'. Rulers who govern the Muslims after the death of the Prophet. The Mongol removed the last Caliph in Baghdad in 1258. After 1258 and until 1924 (especially during the Ottoman Empire) there have been several Caliphs, but all of these have had only limited authority.
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Dr. Mohammed Abu-Nimer is an associate professor at the American University's School of International Service in International Peace and Conflict Resolution in Washington, DC, and Director of Peacebuilding and Development Institute. His research is on conflict resolution and dialogue for peace among Palestinians and Israelis; Islamic conflict resolution models; interfaith dialogue; and evaluation of conflict resolution programs. As a practitioner, he has been intervening and conducting conflict resolution training workshops in many conflict areas around the world, including: Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Philippines (Mindanao), Sri Lanka, U.S., and other areas. Dr. Abu-Nimer is the co-founder and co-editor of the new Journal of Peacebuilding and Development. http://www.american.edu/manimer/bio/bio.html
Dr. Abu-Nimer’s extended treatment of this article’s subject matter can be found in either of the following sources: “A Framework for Nonviolence and Peacebuilding in Islam.” Journal of Law and Religion. (Vol. 15 no 1 and 2, 2001); and Nonviolence and Peacebuilding in Islamic: Theory and Practice. Gainesville, FL.: University Press of Florida, 2003.
By Laura Kaplan, Center for Collaborative Policy
I was just out of grad school, eager for my first job working with public policy issues. They needed a facilitator who could speak Spanish and work cheap. It was a match. They tasked me with organizing and facilitating a collaborative group working on day laborer issues in a small but growing Virginia town, and I quickly found myself in a situation that is all too familiar to many public servants: I was in charge of a process that needed to be bilingual, and we had to piece together translation and interpretation as best we could on a shoestring budget.
Fortunately, not all public servants in the United States find themselves adrift when the need arises for translation or interpretation. Some agencies have established procedures or are working to establish procedures for working with low English proficiency communities. (See “Why do it?” below). Some agencies have identified in-house bilingual staff available to assist in public processes, or can provide resources to contract with professional translators and interpreters. Some public processes now use wireless headsets and receivers to relay real-time interpretation to and from participants in multiple languages, as I observed at the Washington DC Citizens' Summit. These systems of course are not perfect, however, they are a boon for those working with the public in increasingly language-diverse communities.
This article is written for public servants in the US who need to integrate other languages than English into their work with the public, but do not have an established roadmap or abundant resources. My intention is to offer practical guidance and tips gained through my own experience working with other language communities in Virginia and California, and the good advice and strategies I have learned from others. I am especially grateful to the staff of the California Water Boards, for whom I helped to conduct a public participation needs assessment and who shared their stories with me, including tales of multi-lingual public participation gone right or wrong. This article is adapted from guidance I wrote for the forthcoming California Water Boards Public Participation Manual and Resource Guide.
Translation generally refers to written communication.
Interpretation refers to oral communication.
You may need to find a translator for written documents or an interpreter when you are speaking to a group or meeting with individuals.
Why do it?
Fundamentally, every public servant has a duty to ensure that information is available to all members of the public about what you are doing, and you must be able to take their input. In a growing number of US communities, giving information, taking comment, and trying to collaborate only in one language would exclude interested and affected parties.
In addition to simply being the right thing to do, creating an inclusive process is mandated by a number of state and federal laws. Federal agencies in particular are obliged to comply with Executive Order 13166 "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency," signed August 11, 2000. (See http://www.lep.gov/govt.html for a listing of existing agency guidance under this order).
Translation and interpretation are also intrinsically part of implementing environmental justice, which is mandated at the federal level and by many states. For example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency's environmental justice policy reads,
“Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. EPA has this goal for all communities and persons across this Nation. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.”
Ensuring fair treatment, meaningful involvement, and equal access to the decision making process for all communities and persons in the United States is a weighty and complicated charge. While the there is no universal agreement on what it takes to “do” environmental justice correctly when it comes to public participation, a cluster of practices are gaining currency in the public sector. These practices include adjusting meeting times and locations to meet the needs of community participants; providing additional training or “capacity-building” as needed; providing child care and / or other forms of support or compensation to participants; and providing translation of documents and interpretation at public meetings.
How do I know when I need translation and / or interpretation?
The rule of thumb when planning public participation is to plan what you would do in a public participation situation “as if” all people involved spoke English, then adapt if they don't. If everyone spoke English, who would you notify, and how? What options would the public have for giving feedback and / or getting involved in a collaborative group? How would you let them know the results of their participation and the project outcomes? Adapt to provide translation and interpretation as needed in order to ensure equal access and fair treatment for all concerned members of the public.
What are my resources?
$$$$$. In many public agencies, decisions about allocating funds and staff time for translation and interpretation are made at a local level, often on a project by project basis. If you do not know how this is done in your agency or office, talk with your supervisor.
Your colleagues. Once you know what language needs you have, check around your office to see if you have a colleague who speaks that language. Staff in some agencies, such as the California Water Boards, have been able to develop flexibility in their job duties to be able to assist in situations where their language skills are sorely needed. Still, many public agencies do not yet have a system for utilizing and sharing staff language skills. You might need to problem-solve with your management and colleagues about how to meet your project's language needs.
The community. It is a good idea to make contacts with bilingual leaders in the community you need to work with, and talk with those people in advance about how to communicate with the community. Bilingual community leaders can help you understand not only the mechanics of how to contact the community and what their interpretation / translation needs might be; they can also often help you understand community politics that might affect your work. In the day laborer case I worked on, a local Hispanic activist and a prominent Hispanic businessman were able to provide helpful advice about such things as where to post flyers and notices in order to reach the Spanish-speaking community, and they also helped me to understand the different intra-group politics and tensions regarding the day laborer issue we were dealing with.
Bilingual community members in general can be a great resource for you, especially if you are in a one-on-one or small group situation that requires interpretation. People who do not speak English will often have a bilingual friend or child that can help out as an ad hoc or volunteer interpreter in one-on-one contacts or phone calls. Chances are that if you have language needs, the schools, courts, and hospitals in your area already regularly provide services in multiple languages—you might contact them to see what resources they have or could point you to. Other potential bilingual community resources include churches and other religious institutions, local service agencies, and local language schools or universities. Through these channels, you might be able to find a volunteer from the community who cares about the issue you need to address and would be happy to help out with translation of documents or interpretation at small meetings. You could also try posting a call for bilingual volunteers on your website or to your mailing list.
But don't I need a professional?
Since translation and interpretation are complicated arts, professionals can be extremely helpful, especially for translation work that would be tedious and time-consuming or for large or contentious meetings. However, using professional translators and interpreters is not ideal in every situation, especially real-time interpretation. A professional might not be trusted by the community you are working with, or they might not be able to understand and accurately convey scientific, technical, or policy information as well as a staff person could. Nor is it always practical from a budget perspective to hire professionals for every language task. Complicating matters further, unlike other countries such as Australia (see http://www.naati.com.au/accreditation.htm), the United States has no national system or examination for translation or interpretation professionals. If you choose to hire a professional, look for experience, formal training in translation or interpretation (not just formal training in the language), and accreditation by a professional organization such as the American Translators Association, http://www.atanet.org/
The table below compares a few of the important advantages and drawbacks of the types of translators and interpreters you could use. Of course, the categories do not have rigid boundaries and the chart relies on generalizations, but it can be useful as a starting point. Knowing which of the factors discussed are most important in your case--cost, trust by community members, strength of language skills, reliability to perform work on time, potential for bias, potential for error due to lack of understanding--will help you to choose which type of interpreter or translator to bring into your project.
Comparison of Types of Translators and Interpreters
Professional translator / interpreter
Multi-lingual agency staff colleague
Volunteer member of the community (bilingual friend, child, religious leader, etc.)
Bilingual social service provider (associated with health services, schools, courts, etc.)
University or language school volunteer
Try to avoid relying upon a single source for translation or interpretation. Although it is more taxing on your time and resources to find more than one bilingual person to assist in each task, you will find that it can prevent problems that might sabotage your work with other language communities. It is especially important to use the fundamental principle of checks and balances (below) in situations where trust is low and risk is high.
The Fundamental Principle of Checks and Balances
If at all possible, you should have more than one bilingual person in the room for interpretation or looking over your translated documents. This can help correct for any intentional or unintentional biases, especially if the two bilingual people do not know each other or come from the same interest group. It can also correct for plain misunderstandings, gaps in one person's vocabulary, or lapses of attention.
Example combinations: a bilingual staff person from your agency plus a bilingual community member, or a community social service provider plus a university language department volunteer.Note: Use of headsets and receivers to convey real-time, unobtrusive interpretation directly to individuals can inhibit the ability of others in the room to monitor the interpretation for accuracy.
Practical Tips for Public Participation Involving Other Language Communities
Determining the Language Needs of the General Public
Use current demographic information from City or County websites or the Census to get an idea of what languages are spoken in a certain area.
- Ground test! Double-check with people in the area, such as community leaders or business owners, to make sure you got the right language(s) before putting resources into translation or interpretation. Local social service agencies and religious organizations can also be helpful in this regard. Beware of assumptions: For example, an immigrant group from some parts of Mexico might speak Quechua instead of Spanish.
Working with an Interpreter (Professional or Volunteer) in a Large Group or Public Meeting
Before the meeting:
- Be aware that is easiest to interpret into your native language, e.g. if you need to communicate with Russian-speakers, ideally your interpreter should speak Russian as their first language.
- Give your interpreter(s) a good sense of the issue that staff will be addressing. If there is complicated scientific, technical, or policy information involved, make sure they understand it.
- Give them advance notice of any unusual vocabulary that they might need to look up.
- Tell your interpreter what you are trying to accomplish with the day.
- Establish whether you can expect simultaneous translation (i.e. the meeting runs normally as in English, and the interpreter provides concurrent interpretation) or consecutive translation (i.e. the interpreter listens to a few sentences or concepts in English, then English-speaking participants provide a pause for the interpretation). A common mistake is to expect simultaneous interpretation from an amateur or volunteer who cannot keep up, which creates frustration and confusion for everyone. When using consecutive translation, plan your agenda to go slower than in an English-only meeting, but it need not be cut exactly in half—participants will typically adjust to the slower pace by being more organized and to the point with their comments, or opting not to speak unless it is important.
- Plan how you and your interpreter(s) will be positioned in the room. Will you both be up front? Will the interpreter be located in a designated section for speakers of that language? How will you communicate with each other? Will you use flash cards or special signals to indicate if there is a problem or the interpreter needs a break?
- Encourage the interpreter to ask you any questions she or he has before the meeting is underway.
- Try to find out if your interpreters have opinions on the issue you will be addressing! In the day laborer case I mentioned above, chatting with my main interpreter revealed that she had strong feelings about illegal immigrants, a category which included many of the day laborers in her town. Due to staffing and resource constraints, I could not replace her with a different interpreter. We discussed the potential problem, and she agreed to be as professional as she could be in interpreting accurately. I also did my best to listen as she interpreted and make polite corrections as needed.
- Ask your interpreters to stay as close as possible to the words of those they are interpreting. They should let the facilitator (or chair, or whoever is running the meeting) know if there are questions or if something needs to be clarified, rather than trying to do that clarification personally.
During the meeting:
- Introduce your interpreters and their role, and allow them to say a few words if they like. It will help the meeting participants feel more comfortable if they know who the interpreters are as a people, and what to expect in terms of interpretation protocol.
- The facilitator / chair needs to be aware and monitor for problems with the interpretation. Understand that interpretation is mentally demanding work that requires enormous focus and concentration, especially if your interpreter does not do it regularly. You might need to slow down so they can catch up, or take a break if they are confused, distracted, or exhausted.
- You will probably need to interact with your interpreters periodically to ensure you are meeting your goals and bringing everyone along. Interpreters should be able to stop the action and speak up if there is a problem.
After the meeting:
- Follow up with your interpreters to check your impressions and get a general sense of how things went. An interpreter may have insights based on the body language, tone of voice, phrasing, hallway conversations, etc. of the members of the public.
- Thank them sincerely, even if you think they made errors. (They probably did, and the errors probably weren't fatal.)
Working with a Translator
- It is easier for a translator to translate into his or her native language, rather than from a native language to another language. In other words, your translator should be a native speaker of the language they are translating into, rather than a native English speaker with additional language proficiency.
- Determine if you need full text translation or a summary. If a summary, your staff should do the cutting of extraneous text or summarizing ahead of time.
- Offer to discuss and explain any complicated technical or scientific content to your translator.
- Always have at least one other bilingual person double-check the translation before it is finalized. A bilingual staff person can help to ensure that the content is correctly conveyed, and a bilingual community member can help to ensure that it is understandable for the public.
- If you know you have multiple language needs for your project, be aware of the different types of written products you might need to translate. This includes flipchart recorded comments (potentially translated real-time in a meeting) as well as reports and agendas, website content, and Power Point slides.
American Translators Association http://www.atanet.org/
ATA's directory of translation and interpretation professionals http://www.americantranslators.org/tsd_listings/
Interpretation skills and types: http://www.ata-spd.org/Departamentos/Interpreting/InterpretersFAQ.htm
Interpretation and translation services in the public sector: Findings summary from the HARP social inclusion research programme, University of East London. http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/ind/en/home/0/reports
Guidance for written translation http://www.atanet.org/Getting_it_right.pdf
1 I was unable to find a good source for comparing and pricing interpretation equipment; however, googling “interpretation equipment” turned up dozens of companies offering equipment sales and services. Prices depend on the type and quality of equipment and the number of people using it, and range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars for a complete system.
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Laura Kaplan is a mediator, facilitator, researcher, trainer, editor, and anything else they need of her at the Center for Collaborative Policy (CCP). She edits the Collaborative Edge. She would like to thank John Folk-Williams and David E. Booher of CCP for their peer review and insightful suggestions for this article. Any deficiencies that remain are hers alone.
Planning Theory & Practice, Vol. 6, No. 3, 431–435, September 2005
Public participation methods and practices are evolving in response to new understandings of society, new conditions and new demands from a greater array of interests than ever. In particular, this evolution involves the development of interactive and collaborative methods for joint learning rather than simply the formal back and forth of public hearings and review and comment. Unfortunately, these new methods continue to be embedded in old institutions designed for earlier, simpler times. The old norms and practices hamper the effectiveness of the new approaches as collaborative methods coexist uneasily with bureaucratic decision making. The traditional institutions are powerful in framing action and nderstandings so efforts to act in new ways continue to be understood in the old framework. It is hard for planners and the public not to see new approaches as simply minor modifications of the old way or to absorb the newer models into the existing institutions, never really acknowledging the tension between them. Thus not only do the new methods not accomplish what was intended by the designers of these approaches, reflective scholars and practitioners cannot step back to see the larger picture and the need and potential for fundamentally different institutions in planning.
Two Cases in Point Illustrate the Problem
Planners in a large California city recently decided to take advantage of the emerging methods for community dialogue in the process of revising the city’s General Plan. They had decided that the plan should incorporate the latest strategies for achieving ‘smart growth’ and sustainable development, and they concluded they could get more support using community forums than just the traditional notice, comment and hearing methods. However, after the forums they did not have more support. Rather, the citizens accused the planners of using more sophisticated methods to manipulate them. The mistrust between the planners and public continues.
A California regional planning agency developed a regional spatial strategy. They then issued a request for proposals from public participation experts in which they made explicit that the key deliverables would be public support for the new strategy and public recognition of the work of the agency.
The idea that public participation is an obstacle planners have to overcome is not a new one. DAD, the well-known acronym in the US, refers to the practice of Decide, Announce, Defend. More recently, as this has become more difficult, planners have added another step, often drawing on new methods. Critics describe it as Decide on a policy based on planners’ expertise, Educate the public about the need for the new policy, Announce the decision and Defend the decision. The acronym for this is aptly enough: DEAD.
Johan Woltjer in his commentary on our paper (see Vol. 6 No. 2) and in his earlier work (Woltjer, 2002) appears to subscribe to the DEAD school of thought. His critique of our paper (Innes & Booher, 2005) suggests that he endorses the traditional institutions and wants to strengthen them by using participation to support what planners have already decided. Like a suspicious dweller in Nietzsche’s house, he complains about our critique and insists that the approach of the existing institution is fine.
However, in our view the existing approach he defends is a great mistake. The effort to use participation in this way can only backfire. It will result in an increasingly unsupportive public and increasingly dysfunctional planning institutions. It fails to achieve most of the seven basic purposes of participation as we laid them out in our earlier paper—most notably improving decisions by incorporating local knowledge, advancing fairness and justice to address the exclusion of many groups from decision-making, and building a civil society with an adaptive and self-organizing polity capable of jointly addressing wicked problems.
Woltjer's view is built on a fundamentally different belief system from ours. These world views are not commensurable and one cannot just adapt some ideas from our view to modify the traditional institutions. We contend that public participation should be reframed as an undertaking based on the whole system of interactions in the community, rather than as an interaction between government and individual citizens. It should be understood as an interactive mutual learning process rather than a one-way educational effort. It should be framed within the idea of society as an organism and not as machine. It should be viewed as source of creativity rather than a source of support. Ultimately participation should be viewed as a way of building civic capacity rather than just harnessing it.
These two competing belief systems vary along nine dimensions, as shown in Table 1: the underlying world view metaphor, dominant reasoning practice, goal for public participation, basis for democratic legitimacy, role of interaction tools, choice of interaction tools, leadership style, approach to information and role of the planner.
As implied from the title of Woltjer’s earlier article (Woltjer, 2002), the underlying metaphor for the world is a machine where order and control are the desired state. In this view planners work to figure out what is broken and then to design a ‘fix’ to solve the problem. The perspectives of the public are just one element of the design problem for planners to take into consideration in deciding on the best fix. In the collaborative involvement view the world is like an organism. Change is too rapid and every part of the system is too interconnected and too interdependent for a particular fix to be effective. Instead this view recognizes the complexity of the system. Its agents, including planners, engage in practices that are self-organizing, utilizing all the wisdom of all the agents to learn and enhance the sustainability of the system as a whole (Booher & Innes, 2002; Capra, 2002).
Instrumental rationality prevails in the public support machine. That is, planners identify the objectives and the policies based on their analysis of what the community needs. They rely on their own and others’ expertise to develop these, as did the California planners in choosing a smart growth strategy. They then take action designed to achieve these ends, including educating the public as to why they need to support these proposals. In the collaborative involvement view of participation the rationality is communicative, in the spirit of Habermas. That is, a ‘rational’ action is one that is the result of undistorted dialogue among diverse interests, who can and do challenge assumptions and the status quo, and who are all able to make use of the highest quality information.
In the public support machine the goal for public participation is to obtain public support of agency decisions. Since planners have already decided on the best ‘fix’ for the problem, the public is only needed to support it. In the collaborative involvement view the goal is to facilitate a social learning system in the community so that the community as a whole can address the problem and develop the capacity to address future problems together.
Democratic legitimacy is derived from representative democracy in the public support machine. Voters elect representatives who decide on the ends of policy. Agencies then carry out the dictates of the elected representatives by choosing the most appropriate means to achieve those ends. The collaborative involvement view recognizes that ends are seldom clear from the decisions of elected representatives, and that the best means to achieve those ends are often contested. Hence practices of agencies should provide a platform for deliberative democracy to engage the public and stakeholders in a joint exploration with the agencies of the best way to proceed (Bohman, 1996; Richardson, 2002).
In the public support machine the role of interactive tools is to convince and/or coopt the public. In the collaborative involvement view the role of interaction tools is to help achieve the co-evolution of agency leaders, stakeholders and the public (Innes & Gruber, 2005).
The choice of interactive tools follows from these contrasting roles. In the public support machine the choice is dictated by the method in the specific context that will best work to obtain the public’s support. In the collaborative involvement view the choice is based upon deciding which tools will nurture mutual learning, trust, creativity and joint action about the problem at hand.
Directive leadership is the preferred leadership style in the public support machine. Directive leaders focus on maintaining order and control. They avoid questions that might force a re-examination of current methods and priorities. Since change disrupts orderly operations, they minimize it whenever possible. Generative leadership is preferred in the collaborative involvement view. Generative leaders search for ways to reconcile competing expectations. They help people find policies that would enable them to resolve the underlying dilemmas inherent in most planning issues. They promote generative learning that develops the public’s capacity to create new solutions (Roberts, 1997).
In the public support machine experts decide what information is valid and relevant to the policy at hand. They use their technical expertise to collect and analyze the data, and decide on what the data mean for the policy options. In the collaborative involvement view experts, stakeholders, and the public jointly engage in fact finding and decide what information is valid and what it means for the options. Local knowledge is just as valid as technical information in understanding the problem and evaluating the possible options.
The role of the planner in the public support machine is to develop the plan and then orchestrate the presentation of information to educate the public about the need for the plan. The planner organizes the information in a persuasive way and presents it to the public, identifying public interaction tools designed to get public support for the plan. In the collaborative involvement view the role of the planner is to facilitate social learning so that they, stakeholders, and the public can jointly decide how to move forward, and so that the decision helps generate a more adaptive community for the future. The planner provides access to technical information and presents it in a way that is understandable to the public. The planner listens to local knowledge and helps integrate it with technical information in a way that helps the community have a dialogue about what that information means for the problem and how to move forward in addressing it.
The United States and Europe are experiencing a trend toward increasing disaffection by the public with government decision making. For example, in 1998 only 39 per cent of Americans trusted the government to do what is right, compared with 66 per cent in 1964. Likewise in 1998 63 per cent of Americans agreed that the government is more or less run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, compared to 29 per cent in 1964. The basic trend in Europe also is one of growing disillusionment with government (Phan & Putnam, 2000).
We contend that a significant contributor to this trend of disaffection is the failure of public participation.We argue that planners and planning scholars should take note of the failure of the conventional practices to build engagement by the public in community problem solving and develop public trust of planning and planners.We do agree with Woltjer that planners have choices. He envisions a future in which planners become more skilled in using public interactions methods to build the public support machine. We envision a future in which planners become more skilled in bringing people together to participate in the decisions of their democratic institutions and to nurture a robust civil society.
Booher, D.E. & Innes, J.E. (2002) Network power in collaborative planning, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 21(3), pp. 221–236.
Bohman, J. (1996) Public Deliberation: Pluralism, Complexity, and Democracy (Cambridge, MA, MIT Press).
Capra, F. (2002) The Hidden Connections: Integrating the Biological, Cognitive, and Social Dimensions of Life into a Science of Sustainability (New York, Doubleday).
Innes, J.E.& Booher, D.E. (2004) Reframing public participation: strategies for the 21st Century, Planning Theory & Practice, 5(4), pp. 419–436.
Innes, J.E & Gruber, J. (2005) Planning styles in conflict: the metropolitan transportation commission, Journal of the American Planning Association, 71(2), pp. 177–188.
Nietzsche, F. (1986) Human All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits (translated by Marion Faber & Stephen Lehmann) (Vol. I, Section 8, No. 466) (Lincoln, NB, University of Nebraska Press).
Phan, S.J. & Putnam, R. D. (2000) Disaffected Democracies: What’s Troubling the Trilateral Countries (Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press).
Richardson, H.S. (2002) Democratic Autonomy: Public Reasoning about the Ends of Policy (Oxford, Oxford University Press).
Roberts, N. (1997) Public deliberation: an alternative approach to crafting policy and setting direction, Public Administration Review, 57(2), pp. 124–132.
Woltjer, J. (2002) The ‘public support machine’: notions of the function of participatory planning by Dutch infrastructure planners, Planning Practice and Research, 17(4), pp. 437–453.
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Judith E. Innes is Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California Berkeley. She has done extensive research on collaborative planning processes.
David E. Booher, FAICP, is Senior Policy Advisor to the Center for Collaborative Policy; adjunct faculty, California State University, Sacramento; and Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Urban and Regional Development at U.C. Berkeley.
This article was originally published in Planning Theory & Practice, Vol. 6, No. 3, 431-435, September 2005, and is republished with permission. http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/14649357.asp
Gastil, John and Peter Levine. 2005. The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civil Engagement in the 21st Century. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Reviewed by David Kahane
“Deliberative democracy” describes a family of approaches to public dialogue and decision-making, in which citizens interact in structured ways that allow them to learn about the diversity of positions on contested issues, critically assess options, and reach decisions based on a careful exchange of perspectives and reasons. The field includes a wide range of methods for structuring public engagement, and also a vision of civic life in which ordinary citizens are more robustly involved in political discussion and decision-making than is the case in most contemporary democracies. The Deliberative Democracy Handbook offers an overview of the wide range of dialogue and decision-making practices that come under this label: it will be valuable to those new to the field, to those experienced with particular methodologies but wanting to evaluate these alongside the full palette of alternatives, and to researchers wanting to see how theoretical understandings of democratic deliberation play out on the ground. The volume's succinct descriptions of particular methods, its comparative analyses, and its assessments of the challenges facing the field will be useful to a range of audiences, including those setting up and facilitating public dialogues, agencies and organizations considering the adoption of deliberative forums in their work, and researchers from a range of theoretical and applied disciplines.
Deliberative democracy is a vibrant and diverse movement in both theory and practice. Theories of deliberative democracy are thick on the ground, from Habermas' influential work of the 1970's to a plethora of contemporary currents of scholarship. On the side of practice, the examples are legion, from Deliberative Opinion Polls (in which a statistically representative group of citizens participate in highly structured, facilitated discussion and are polled on their views before and after), to 21st Century Town Halls (which gather hundreds or thousands of citizens in a single space to discuss a particular issue, with deliberation in small groups conveyed to the assembly using computer technologies), to Citizens' Juries (which allow small groups to deliberate over an extended period on a policy issue). These theory and practice communities have tended to work in relative isolation from one another: theorists have worked at a high level of abstraction, without testing their accounts against the wealth of practical democratic experiments; and practitioners are not always attentive to the assumptions and choices underlying their methods, or to how theoretical reflection can reveal values that underlie particular decisions about process design. What's more, even within the domain of practice, experts in different methodologies have not tended to systematically evaluate their own processes against the range of available alternatives.
The Deliberative Democracy Handbook is a valuable resource for bridging these gaps between theory and practice, and between different practice methodologies. In thirteen concise central chapters, prominent practitioners of democratic deliberation each offer an illustration of their distinctive method, describe the origins and purposes of their approach, outline key details of their design (modes of recruitment, how many people they typically involve, facilitation techniques, connections to decision-makers, and so on), and reflect on challenges faced by their method. These articulations of different deliberative practices are prefaced by chapters on the history of public deliberation in the United States and on common challenges faced by the diverse models; and followed by two chapters on of civic mobilization and one on conflict and consensus in deliberation.
The short and punchy chapters, most of which follow a uniform sequence of exposition, are easy to dip into and compare. Being brief, the practice chapters provide something less than a toolkit—you'd be hard pressed to implement these methods based on the quick descriptions—but provide enough to allow comparisons and assessments. With the exception of a couple of chapters toward the end of the volume, this work of comparison and assessment is left up to the reader, and I regretted that more space wasn't devoted to the interplay between models, and to critical comparisons and evaluations. But this is to wish for another volume: the strength of the Handbook is in arraying such a richness of approaches.
Let me turn to some of the specific nuggets that I found valuable. The second chapter, by Button and Ryfe, makes several important points about the field of public deliberation. They point out that practitioners tend to be advocates for deliberation, tailoring their own models to the pragmatic needs of particular contexts; as a result, practitioners can make process choices without necessarily being aware of the more general values and assumptions reflected by these choices. (I would want to add that at least some practitioners are entrepreneurial advocates for their own methods, and so are more oriented toward selling their particular brand than toward publicly dwelling on its internal tensions and limitations). Button and Ryfe also highlight the temptation, faced by both theorists and practitioners, to justify public deliberation in instrumental terms—as producing better, wiser, more legitimate public policies. The authors note that these benefits are not only difficult to establish empirically, but draw attention away from intrinsically valuable aspects of deliberative democracy experiences, especially in a political context where citizens tend to be alienated and demobilized. Button and Ryfe argue that “[T]he kind of benchmarks that we might employ to assess relative degrees of success… would include feelings of personal and political efficacy; reports of changes in attitudes concerning social or political responsibility; changes in degrees of social trust and empathy; and rates of long-term social and political involvement.” 
Melville, Wilingham, and Dedrick's chapter on National Issues Forums brings out the importance of ‘naming and framing' to the success of public deliberations: participants need to be actively involved in the process of describing the problem to be solved. The authors also provide a nuanced description of the goals of their mode of deliberation, which I will not attempt to duplicate here, but which describes a search not for consensus or agreement or even compromise, but a clarification of points of agreement and disagreement that allows the focus to “gradually shift away from ideological differences toward common values” that provide a basis for action. [46-47]
Hendriks' detailed chapter on Danish and German consensus conferences and planning cells is one of several contributions from outside of the US. Hendriks is astute in discussing the contexts and issues to which these methods best apply, and in reviewing objections that they encounter from political elites who doubt the ability of citizens to grasp complex issues of public policy, from policymakers who fear the relocation of power implicit in public deliberation, and from those who regard public opinion as an aggregate of static individual preferences, and resist deliberative democratic notions of collective will formation.
Another contribution from abroad is Carson and Hartz-Karp's illuminating discussion of how citizens' juries, televotes, deliberative polls, town halls, and other processes have been pragmatically combined in Australia. They lay out three criteria for a fully democratic process—influence, inclusion, and deliberation—that they argue are interrelated and interdependent: “For example, without an evident pathway from consultation to influence, it is difficult to attract a highly inclusive sample to engage in deliberation. Without a very inclusive sample, the process will lack credibility amongst those who should be influenced, and so on.”  This analysis is played out through three Australian case studies, which reveal a self-reinforcing cycle among the three criteria, and exponential gains when all three criteria are successfully met. They then suggest that achieving virtuous circles among these three dimensions of deliberation requires innovatively mixing and adapting models of public deliberation, rather than cleaving to any one model.
Lukensmeyer, Goldman, and Brigham offer a lucid discussion of the 21st Century Town Meetings developed by America Speaks. These meetings, involving thousands, combine small group discussions with electronically enabled plenary discussions, and have been staged on issues such as national Social Security reform, the budgeting process in Washington, DC, and the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site. The authors lay out goals of this process and the democratic deficits it seeks to remedy. They also explain the practicalities of deciding on the size of forums and the mechanics of inclusion. They then canvass challenges faced by their method: constituencies that are difficult to bring in even with targeted outreach (e.g. young people and those with low incomes); sustaining citizen involvement once 21st Century Town Meetings are over; and the high cost of these large-scale meetings.
Scully and McCoy's chapter on Study Circles—structured conversations between self-selecting citizens on controversial issues, organized around briefing books provided by a facilitating organization—brings out the distinct but interrelated roles of dialogue and deliberation in citizen forums, and the importance of narrative and storytelling as modes of dialogue that can bridge inter-group differences. They also show how Study Circles marry deliberative dialogue with attempts to foster citizen action and community organizing.
The last few chapters of the volume depart somewhat from the template of crisp description of a particular deliberative method. Two of these offer broad discussions of civic mobilization, in one case through organizations grouped under the heading of ‘Learning Democracy Centers', and in the other through diverse forms of activity in a Virginia town; the loose exposition and analysis in these chapters is somewhat less useful than the focused discussion in previous ones. On the other hand, Karpowitz and Mansbridge's chapter on the need for ‘dynamic updating' in public deliberation offers a degree of critical analysis that is less easily achieved when practitioners are spelling out the features of their own favored method. ‘Dynamic updating' refers to procedures that acknowledge and mark conflict, and divergences in interests, in deliberative contexts, as a way of avoiding the dangers of forced consensus and pseudo-consensus: “Unless conflict is structured into the deliberation…a deliberative group may well try to avoid difficult trade-offs altogether, preferring to find a consensus on the easily available common ground…. The unsettled question is the degree to which actual negotiations on conflicting interests can be structured into deliberations without undermining pursuit of the common good.” 
The volume wraps up with an insightful, wide-ranging conclusion by Levine, Fung, and Gastil, which pulls together threads from the diverse models discussed in the volume, and points out key research questions and practical challenges facing the field. They draw out three positive lessons: that people are willing to engage in serious, deep discussions about complex and contested public questions; that when deliberations are well organized people like participating; and that when the conditions are right, the products of deliberation are good. They also point to six features of successful public deliberation upon which they say the diverse authors of the chapters could agree: there need to be (1) realistic expectations about the process' influence; (2) a suitably inclusive process; (3) informed, substantive, and conscientious discussion aimed at finding common ground; and (4) a competent staff to facilitate discussion. The hope is that such deliberative processes will (5) earn broad public support for its recommendations, and (6) be sustainable. [273-274] Levine, Fung, and Gastil outline the challenges of increasing the social and political significance of public deliberation: it has to be scaled ‘out' (including many more participants, either directly or indirectly) and ‘up' (moving exercises from the local level where they currently flourish, to state, national, and international levels). And they consider ways to increase the influence of public deliberation, through ‘inside strategies' (forging relationships with policymakers, or enacting legal and administrative requirements for public administration in decision making) and ‘outside strategies' (building pressures, through media and otherwise, that force decision makers to respect the outcomes of public deliberations). Finally, Levine, Fung, and Gastil offer a concise, insightful agenda for both researchers and practitioners, around exploring relationships between dialogue and deliberation, using dialogue to illuminate intercultural conflicts (their example is of divergent perspectives on gun control), and using both dialogue and deliberation to achieve accommodation between cultures.
The Deliberative Democracy Handbook is a must-have volume for researchers and practitioners of public deliberation and dialogue. It offers a fascinating map of mechanisms of public deliberation in the US (and a bit beyond), bringing out common commitments as well as differences in approach and method. In addition to providing grist for the reader's own comparative mills, the volume contains analytical chapters that show what we have achieved and the work still to be done in consolidating and extending practices of dialogue and deliberation in local, national, and international contexts where these inclusive civic processes are so badly needed.
1 Benhabib, S. The Claims of Culture: Equality and Diversity in the Global Era. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002. Bohman, J. Public Deliberation: Pluralism, Complexity, and Democracy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996. Bohman, J. and W. Rehg, Eds. Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics. Cambridge, MIT Press, 1997. Calhoun, C., ed. Habermas and the Public Sphere. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992. Dryzek, J. Deliberative Democracy and Beyond. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Elster, J., Ed. Deliberative Democracy. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998. Fung, A. Empowered Participation. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 2004. Goodin, R. Reflective Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Habermas, J. Between Facts and Norms, trans. W. Rehg. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1996. Rehg, W., Ed. Insight and Solidarity: The Discourse Ethics of Jürgen Habermas. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1994. Young, I.M. Inclusion and Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
2 Archon Fung's work represents an important exception to this tendency; see esp. Fung, A. “Survey Article: Recipes for Public Spheres: Eight Institutional Design Choices and Their Consequences,” The Journal of Political Philosophy 11,3 (2003): 338-367. Available online at
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David Kahane is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alberta in Canada. His research is on deliberative democratic theory, and in particular on how differences of power and group membership play out in deliberative processes. http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/philosophy/kahane.cfm
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The Public Participation (P2) Knowledge Network has been launched by the International Association for Public Participation in partnership with Portland State University's Center for Public Participation. The P2 Knowledge Network is an interactive resource for academics and practitioners alike who are interested in sharing knowledge and research on public participation. The Network contains a database of over 300 books, articles and websites drawn from IAP2's original bibliographies, which were refined and updated in 2005. The P2 Knowledge Network also features an online forum to engage in discussion on your choice of topic, for example: opinions on current papers, new research initiatives, teaching materials, debating the “big questions”, etc. This is your space to explore ideas with other members of the P2 community.
Pamphlet: The ABCs of Open Government Laws. This handy pamphlet by the Institute for Local Government explains the key provisions of the Brown Act and the Public Records Act. It includes pointers on typical issues concerning closed sessions and the consequences of non-compliance.
Funding Open Space Acquisition Programs: A Guide for Local Agencies in California. Preserving open space is a critical challenge for local agencies in California. To help them meet this challenge, the Institute for Local Government has published Funding Open Space Acquisition Programs: A Guide for Local Agencies in California. Chapter 2, “Determining the Public's Interest” has instructions and checklists for conducting stakeholder assessments, polling, and various strategies of community engagement which includes consideration of when and how to best use deliberative forums. Available online free of charge due to support from the Resources Legacy Fund.
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Public Involvement Website: US Environmental Protection Agency's public involvement web pages have been expanded to include new materials and links to useful information about tools and techniques in use all over the world. The site also includes a new Feedback section with ready-to-use surveys for activities such as: hearings, meetings, listening sessions, FACA groups, community advisory groups, small group discussions and stakeholder negotiations. In addition, the Public Involvement Resources and Training (PIRT) database, previously on EPA's intranet, is now publicly available. Not only can you use the information it contains, you can suggest additional resources, conferences and trainings.
Manual for Legal Services and Pro Bono Mediation Programs. The Manual for Legal Services and Pro Bono Mediation Programs is designed to assist legal services and pro bono agencies in developing mediation programs. The manual provides governing boards, chief executives and mediation program administrators the tools to start new programs or to strengthen existing programs within pro bono community mediation and legal services agencies. It covers the benefits of mediation, the financial resources needed and where to find them, staffing the program, the recruitment of appropriate volunteer mediator service providers, the screening and processing of cases, sample forms and training tools, and ways to handle problems as they arise. It also lists books and other external resources that may be helpful in learning more about how to design a new program. Available at the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution website.
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