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Participatory Policy Making

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Participatory Policy Making by Lucas Cioffi of Online Townhalls

Participatory Policy Making by Lucas Cioffi of Online Townhalls

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  • 1. Participatory Policy-Making Case Studies and Effective Practices Lucas Cioffi [email_address]
  • 2. Table of Contents
    • Regulations.Gov
      • Alex Moll 202.566.0452, Twitter: @RegulationsGOV
    • Student-led public policy planning
      • Rebecca M. Townsend, Ph.D. [email_address]
    • Citizens’ Initiative Review
      • Tyrone Reitman [email_address]
    • Online Community Deliberations
      • Lucas Cioffi [email_address]
    • Public Engagement on Transportation Policy with Facebook
      • Susanna Haas Lyons [email_address]
    • Innovations in Philadelphia, PA
      • Iwanka Kultschyckyj [email_address]
    Note: Slides in this presentation are filled with a large amount of text so that the online audience can understand them without an in-person presenter.
  • 3. Source: AthenaBridge.Org The Key: Fit the tools to your purpose .
  • 4. Use divergent thinking, then use convergent thinking, and iterate!
  • 5. Suggested Phases for Online Deliberation
  • 6. Ladder of Participation Learning increases with engagement. Design with incentives in mind to move participants up the ladder of participation.
  • 7. Source: http://thelongtail.com/the_long_tail/about.html Many citizens making small contributions can have a tremendous impact. Design for many varying (low to high) levels of commitment to the engagement process. The “Long Tail” of Participation
  • 8. Purpose & Objectives
    • eRulemaking Program is a Federal-wide program and consists of two components: Regulations.gov & FDMS.
    • Regulations.gov is a single portal for citizens to view and comment on U.S. Federal rules and notices.
    • Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) is an advanced “back-end” docket management system that provides Department and Agency staff with improved internal docket management functionality and the ability to publicly post all relevant documents on Regulations.gov.
    • Objectives of the program aim to expand public understanding of the rulemaking process; increase the amount, diversity, ease, and quality of citizen access and participation in rulemaking ; and improve the quality of Federal rulemaking decisions and the rulemaking process.
    Case Study #1: Regulations.Gov
  • 9. Results
    • Docket Management. The program has increased access to the full lifecycle of Federal regulatory content.
    • Data Standardization . Program staff continue to work with agencies to build a common taxonomy and protocols for managing dockets and regulatory documents.
    •  
    • Gov-to-Citizen Communications . Launched in June 2009, Regulations.gov Exchange enables agencies to host formal on-line discussions forums and collect public feedback and consideration. Social media enables informal discussion forums.
    • Public Input . ForeSee American Customer Satisfaction Index allows the Regulations.gov technical team to ask specific questions targeting user experience and suggestions for improvements in web functionality.
    • Web Design . Next iteration of website to include increased navigation and tracking of public comments, comment-on-comment features , comment status updates , improved search, and educational tools.
    Case Study #1: Regulations.Gov
  • 10. Best Practices
    • Program staff published the publicly accessible document, “Improving Electronic Dockets on Regulations.gov and the Federal Docket Management System – Best Practices for Federal Agencies,” which outlines strategic goals and best practices for Federal agencies in support of the President’s Open Government Directive.
    • This document represents the combined efforts of the eRulemaking Program, its partner agencies, and stakeholders to support the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Memorandum for the President’s Management Council, “Increasing Openness in the Rulemaking Process – Improving Electronic Dockets” (May 28, 2010).
    • Download the publication here .
    Case Study #1: Regulations.Gov
  • 11. Specific Example
    • The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration received thousands of oral and written comments regarding regulations that protect killer whales from marine vessels under the Endangered Species Act.
    • Rule writers grouped comments and responded with reasoned, thoughtful explanations (see  final rule ). They acknowledged the efficacy of public participation :
      • “ Public comments on the no-go zone raised several suggested alternatives that we had not fully analyzed in the draft EA [Environmental Assessment]. In addition, we recognize that to be effective, regulations must be understood by the public and have a degree of public acceptance . Because of the many alternatives suggested by the public, and because of the degree of public opposition, we have decided to gather additional information and conduct further analysis and public outreach on the concept of a no-go zone. Therefore, the final rule does not adopt a no-go zone.”
    POC: Alex Moll | (1) 202.566.0452 Twitter: @RegulationsGOV Case Study #1: Regulations.Gov
  • 12. Partnership for Inclusive, Cost-Effective Public Participation Student-led public policy planning Rebecca M. Townsend, Ph.D. Asst. Prof. of Communication Manchester Community College Great Path, PO Box 1046 Manchester, CT, USA 06045-1046 860-512-2685 [email_address] Funded by the Federal Transit Administration’s Public Transportation Participation Pilot Program Case Study #2
  • 13. Objectives
    • The Partnership for Inclusive, Cost-Effective Public Participation addresses the needs and commitments of many partners:
    • Planners- -to collaborate with people who tend to be hard-to-reach in typical public involvement work,
    • People traditionally under-heard- -having their needs heard by those who can make changes, and
    • Community colleges- -academic and service commitments and
    • Students- -to get to and from school and develop civic leadership capabilities.
    • Community college students used their existing social networks with community groups consisting of youth, minority, and people with low incomes to conduct transit needs assessment discussions, with results shared with Regional Planning Agencies.
    • People in the “hard-to-reach” populations are the most crucial for transportation planners to collaborate with, since they tend to be transit-dependent.
    Case Study #2: Partnership for Inclusive, Cost-Effective Public Participation
  • 14. Methods & Results
    • Methods: Students in Communication courses learned about group discussion facilitation and dynamics, transportation planning basics and conducted culturally sensitive , low-key discussions held within participants’ own organizations’ activities and languages; students used social media to assist with their planning; helped participants complete written questionnaires; held large-scale community forums; shared food over discussions; presented findings at student-community group-planner symposia.
    • Results & Lessons Learned:
    • Created a model of public participation for other CCs to adapt
    • Permanent partnerships forged for traditionally under-heard groups’ voices to help shape the region’s plans
    • 95 facilitators abided by the IAP2’s Core Values and Code of Ethics
    • 29 “hard-to-reach” groups participated
    • Collaborated with 87% of people who had never before participated in transportation planning.
    • “ Trust gap” between ordinary citizens and government officials was bridged through the use of students’ social networks (Churches, clubs, places of employment, etc)
    • Planners modified their public participation strategies
    • Replication has begun with collaborations at different CCs
    • Public participation is more deliberative & inclusive
    • Groups’ interest and involvement with planning increased while costs were reduced
    • Student leadership capabilities and civic involvement increased.
    • Final Report available January 1, 2012 via http://www.mcc.commnet.edu/academic/public-transit.php
    Case Study #2: Partnership for Inclusive, Cost-Effective Public Participation
  • 15. The Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR)
    • The Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) is an innovative way of publicly evaluating measures or propositions on the ballot for a popular vote, so voters have easy access to clear, useful, and trustworthy information at election time. The purpose of the Citizens’ Initiative Review is to provide a direct counter-weight to the influence of political spin in ballot measure debates and provide high-quality information to voters during measure elections.
    • The CIR was officially ‘piloted’ in Oregon during the 2010 election, and the process was evaluated by a research team funded by the National Science Foundation. The results showed that the CIR was a huge success.
    • In June, 2011, the Oregon Legislature adopted the CIR into law to make it a function of state government and an ongoing resource to voters. The CIR in Oregon is a national first, and a landmark victory for the fields of civic engagement and deliberative democracy.
    Case Study #3
  • 16.
    • How the Citizens’ Initiative Review works:
    • During the Citizens’ Initiative Review, a panel of 24 randomly-selected and demographically-balanced voters is brought together from across the state to fairly evaluate a ballot measure / proposition.   The panel hears directly from campaigns for and against the measure and calls upon policy experts during the multi-day public review. For each measure reviewed, a new panel is convened.
    • At the conclusion of the in-depth review, the panel then drafts a ‘Citizens’ Statement’ highlighting the most important findings about the measure.  Each ‘Citizens’ Statement’ is published as a prominent page in the voters’ pamphlet as a new and easily accessible resource for voters to use at election time.
    • See www.healthydemocracyoregon.org for more information.
    Case Study #3: The Citizens’ Initiative Review
  • 17.
    • Lessons Learned
    • A team of nationally recognized researchers, backed by funding from the National Science Foundation, evaluated the 2010 CIR ‘pilot’ and confirmed that the Reviews were high-quality, fair and of great use to voters. In addition, the media paid close attention to the CIR pilot and it was widely regarded as a huge success. The research team’s study concluded that:
    • A majority of Oregon voters who read the Citizens’ Statements found the Statements to be helpful, gained new information or arguments, and became more knowledgeable about the measures.
    • Voters reported spending considerably more time reading the Citizens’ Statements compared to other parts of the voter’s pamphlet.
    • Voters who read the Citizens’ Statements were much less likely to support either measure reviewed. The result was narrowing the margin of passage for one measure and increasing the opposition of another from a small to a larger majority of voters.
    • Links: Research team’s summary and full report .
    • You can also watch a video about the report here .
    Case Study #3: The Citizens’ Initiative Review
  • 18. The Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR)
    • In 2012 the Commission to oversee the CIR will be developed, and in August 2012 future Reviews will be run in Oregon.
    • For an introduction the CIR process and how it is integrated into Oregon’s election process, please see the Citizens’ Initiative Review 2011 Legislative Video (please note, the bill referenced in this video passed in June, 2011).
    • The Citizens’ Initiative Review is a project of Healthy Democracy Oregon and the Healthy Democracy Fund . The CIR process can be applied to a wide array of policy questions in addition to those on the ballot. To learn more about the CIR, or to lend your support, please contact either organization listed above, or email: [email_address]
    Case Study #3: The Citizens’ Initiative Review
  • 19. Community Deliberation Prior to Policy Making
    • In Michigan, residents of the Bloomfield Hills School District were divided over what to do about combining two high schools due to a reduced student population.
    • Potentially the community’s taxes were set to increase by $97 million in order to build a new school.
    • Local blogs hosted discussion on this issue, but it was often heated, disrespectful, and unproductive.
    • The architectural firm FNI blended in-person forums with an online townhall to increase the quality of discussion.
    Case Study #4
  • 20. Lessons Learned
    • Using conversation mapping, a large online discussion on a divisive issue can be civil and productive.
    • The online conversation made the in-person forums more efficient by getting issues on the table sooner.
    • Anonymity was permitted. Usernames and email addresses had to be managed by the OnlineTownhalls rather than the school administrators to maintain trust of the community.
    Case Study #4: Community Deliberation Prior to Policy Making Lucas Cioffi Principal, OnlineTownhalls [email_address] 917-528-1831
  • 21. Public Engagement on Transportation Policy with Facebook www.gcc.ubc.ca Susanna Haas Lyons Researcher, University of British Columbia Public Engagement Specialist, Engaging.ly [email_address] @zannalyons www.engaging.ly Case Study #5
  • 22. Case Study #5: Public Engagement on Transportation Policy with Facebook
  • 23.
    • Project Purpose
    • Provide residents and commuters an opportunity to hear and share different points of view about transportation in Vancouver
    • Identify key concerns and transportation priorities for consideration in the City of Vancouver’s long term Transportation Plan
    • Pilot a new methodology for engaging the public on city-wide issues
    • Results:
    • 537 registrants, 27% active
    • 19 Recommendations on cycling, land use, public space, transit and walking
    • City responded to each idea in a written report
    • These and other public ideas heard in spring 2011 are being considered for draft Transportation Plan, expected in early 2012
    • Innovative Public Engagement Tool
    • In-depth social media public engagement:
      • Discuss key issues in small private groups
      • Evaluate strategies and propose directions for the City’s Transportation Plan
      • Share and promote top ideas in public
    • Facebook app, rather than native tools, to ensure control over functionality and look
    • 80% participants recommend using this type of Facebook event for other public discussions
    Case Study #5: Public Engagement on Transportation Policy with Facebook
  • 24.
    • Phase I: 2.5 weeks
    • In small private discussion groups, with a facilitator, participants:
      • Shared how they get around Vancouver
      • Explored key transportation issues
      • Brainstormed and responded to transportation strategies
      • Voted for their top three transportation strategies
    • Phase II: 10 days
    • 19 ideas for Vancouver’s transportation future emerged from Phase One
    • These Ideas presented, discussed, liked, shared on public FB page
    • Existing and new participants
    • Opportunity to add your own idea
    Case Study #5: Public Engagement on Transportation Policy with Facebook
  • 25. Lessons Learned
    • Mix of online and face-to-face strategies accommodates trend of young people overrepresented in online methods and older people overrepresented at public meetings
    • Those who participate in Facebook environment are not concerned with privacy of their contributions; event proceedings appearing in news feed is valued
    • Not everyone is on Facebook, important to provide other online and in-person engagement opportunities
    • Storytelling is an easier task for most people than policy conversations
    • Allowing an app to access to Facebook account is a high bar for some people. For those who choose ‘don’t allow’, provide additional information about how access will be used and another opportunity to ‘allow’ app access
    • Make it easy to engage with background materials by posting in the discussions, promote in emails and on Facebook event page
    • Visually demonstrate event progression
    • Technology is always buggy!
    Case Study #5: Public Engagement on Transportation Policy with Facebook
  • 26. Innovations in Philadelphia, PA
    • The following five concurrent projects include objectives and discussion groups online.
    • OpenDataPhilly
      • Objective: Opens Data, Imagery to the Public containing authoritative regional information on a wide variety of topics to encourage citizens and web developers to leverage local info on over 100 free datasets, applications, APIs
      • Discussion Group http://groups.google.com/group/opendataphilly
    • Code For America [NCDD PARTICIPATION]
      • Objective: Citizen engagement application opportunity for crowd-funding projects to facilitate implementation and/or creation of a Request for Proposal (RFP) wizard for community groups to collectively contract with business.
      • Discussion Group http://groups.google.com/group/code-for-america-philadelphia
    • Project Open Voice [NCDD PARTICIPATION]
      • Objective: Video-on-demand folders and a new video-centric & social-centric website will be released by October 28 and November 21, respectively. 
      • Discussion Group http://groups.google.com/group/project-open-voice
    • Freedom Rings
      • Objective: Support for digital inclusion and the specific computer labs in community centers 
      • Discussion Group http://groups.google.com/group/freedom-rings
    • Outreach & Connections
      • Objective: Introduces new people, groups and initiatives, establish and manage public
      • site, connect the projects and organize conference/unconference dedicated to Civic Fusion
      • on October 28, 2011
      • Discussion Group http://groups.google.com/group/oapcivicfusion
    Case Study #6: Innovations in Philadelphia, PA

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