Public participation is a political principle or practice, and may also recognised as a right (right to public participation). The terms public participation may be used interchangeably with the concept or practice of stakeholder engagement and/or popular participation.Generally public participation seeks and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision.
The principle of public participation holds that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process. Public participation implies that the public's contribution will influence the decision.Public participation is part of “people centred” or "human centric" principles, which have emerged in Western culture over the last thirty years, and has had some bearings of education, business, public policy and international relief and development programs.Public participation may be regarded as a way of empowerment and as vital part of democratic governance.
An Overall Change StrategyThis is usually a long-term plan that embodies our vision and reflects where we are, where we want to go and how we can get there.A CampaignThis is a medium-term plan with activities aimed at influencing the policy environment and public opinion. The activities are intended to achieve some of your advocacy strategyObjectives.
Tactics, Actions, or ActivitiesThese are usually short-term activities within a larger change strategy, designed for a specific moment and opportunity. They could include research and media work to shape the campaign and capture the attention of people in power in relation to issue. These activities are often referred to as strategies as well.Impact AssessmentThis involves monitoring your impact so we can change our strategy, campaign, and activities as necessary.
If a community plans for a citizen participation event, say a public educational session, but fails to encourage participation, the event will not likely draw a large crowd.Likewise, encouraging people to participate without developing opportunities for their involvement will likely increase public confusion and lead to less participation.Many citizens do not possess the skills necessary to act effectively on their own—they need training.A series of educational sessions prior to the start of the comprehensive planning effort can provide orientation, build trust and develop a common level of understanding among the roader public related to planning and public involvement topics. This capacity building will help prepare citizens for the more rigorous and diffrent public involvement methods.
First, the audience. Whom we are trying to reach? What are common traits and characteristics does the audience share?2. Next, message. What is the message we want to send to our target audience? When crafting our message, be direct. know our audience. Be respectful intone and content. Be informative and communicate value. Be creative in delivering your message—make it interesting and easy to look at.The primary purpose of this method is to create public awareness. A secondary purpose is to provide education.
Direct mail works best when you have a simple message and an easily identifiable target audience. It doesn’t work well with complicated messages and diverse target audiences.Direct mail requires little time commitment by Citizens. direct mail can reach or engage a large number of people. Direct mail requires a moderate to high resource commitment by local governments , depending on the number of people targeted and the material delivered.
News releases and mass media promote public awareness and education via media outlets in an effort to keep the public informed without relying entirely on the initiative of reporters to get the word out.Always put the information in its proper context—make the meaning of the message clear by giving adequate background information. Be concise. Send a few short messages, rather than a big, complex message.
News releases and use of mass media works best to announce developments and decisions.News releases and use of mass media require little time commitment by citizens.News releases and use of mass media can reach or engage a large number of people. News releases and use of mass media require a low resource commitment by local governments.
Shopping centers, vacant storefronts, fairs, libraries and municipal centers are all good places for displays and exhibits.Another effective way to convey a message to the public is by setting up a booth staffed by individuals knowledgeable about the topic or issue. Staffed displays and exhibits give the public an opportunity to ask specific questions and share their concerns or reactions regarding the information presented.
Characteristics1. Displays and exhibits are most effective when used in coordination with other citizen participation techniques, such as open houses, visioning processes, or charettes.2. They are often set up in a place that the public is at for other purposes so that people don’t have to go out of their way to participate.
1. Purpose – What the public is involved to do and when.2. People – People involved in participation.3. Methods – The methods or tools used to engage the public.4. Evaluation – Procedures for documenting and evaluating participation activities.
Participation is challenging, but is necessary to help planners make better decisions and a more thoughtful community plan. The Public Participation Plan can make the most effective use of limited public budgets and the public’s valuable participation time. The Four Cornerstones provide the framework to pack the PPP with necessary information, so local planning officials can engage the public effectively to reach desired outcomes. The PPP must also include provisions to identify whether public participation is reaching desired goals by documenting and evaluating activities. In summary, participation conducted concurrently to the planning process, with a broad array of relevant stakeholders, using a variety of methods to achieve various tasks, and by evaluating the results, participation can be both functional for planning and meaningful to the public.
IN URBAN AND REGIONAL
• Political principle or practice, and
may also recognised as a right.
• Practice of stakeholder
engagement and popular
• Seeks and facilitates the
involvement of those potentially
affected by or interested in a
•The people affected by a decision
have a right to be involved in the
•The public's contribution will
influence the decision.
•Part of “people centred” or
"human centric" principles.
•Way of empowerment and as vital
part of democratic governance.
Advocacy planning is about the
• An Overall Change Strategy
long-term plan that embodies vision and
reflects where we are, where we want to go
and how we can get there.
• A Campaign
medium-term plan with activities aimed at
influencing the policy environment and
• Tactics, Actions, or Activities
short-term activities within a larger change
strategy, designed for a specific moment and
Advocacy planning is a continual
process. If some groups have not been
involved in the initial stages of
planning, they can be included later
when plans are being reviewed and
METHODS FOR INVOLVING
• Citizens must be given the
opportunity and encouragement to
• Many citizens do not possess the skills
necessary to act effectively on their
Commonly used Methods
• Direct Mail
• News releases and mass media.
• Displays and exhibits.
• Open houses.
• Public hearing.
• Opinion survey.
• Citizen advisory committee.
Two basic components-
1. An audience
2. A message
• Direct mail works best when you
have a simple message and an easily
identifiable target audience.
• Direct mail requires little time
commitment by citizens.
• Direct mail can reach or engage a
large number of people.
• Requires a moderate to high
resource commitment by local
Use in the planning process-
Direct mail can be used throughout
the planning process, but will be
most effective early in the process
when a large number of people can
be reached. An effective early
message is key to improving
awareness of the planning project
News releases and mass
• It promotes public awareness and
education via media outlets.
• Craft the message that you wish to
communicate and determine the best
media to convey the message.
• Be concise.
3. Reaches to larger population.
• Works best to announce
developments and decisions.
• Require little time commitment by
• Can reach or engage a large number
• Require a low resource commitment
by local governments.
Use in the planning process-
News releases and use of mass media
is appropriate throughout the
planning process. In fact, it may be
one of the most effective ways to
keep the project in the public eye.
Displays and exhibits
• Shopping centres , vacant
storefronts, fairs, libraries and municipal
centres are all good places for displays and
• Setting up a booth staffed by individuals
knowledgeable about the topic or issue.
• Most effective when used in
coordination with other citizen
participation techniques, such as open
houses, visioning processes, or
• Purposes so that people don’t have to
go out of their way to participate.
Use in the planning process-
They can be used in the plan review
stage to provide information to citizens
regarding opportunities to participate in
Two main objectives of an open house:
• To expose citizens to information and
ideas that support the planning effort.
• To provide citizens with an opportunity
to ask questions, express concerns, and
react to information and ideas.
• Obtain Public feedback.
• Provide citizens an opportunity to ask
questions and voice their hopes and
concerns directly to elected officials.
• Require a moderate time commitment
• Potential to reach a moderate number of
people in the community.
• Use in the planning process
Identification and visioning step, the
strategy formulation step, and the plan
review step of the comprehensive
• A summary of why the hearing is being
• Alternative solutions , including any
recommended or preferred solutions to
an issue or issues.
• Public comments that react
to, support, or oppose the solutions being
considered. These comments become
part of the official record of the hearing.
• Present public with recommended
courses of action.
• Opportunity for public comment.
• Perfect setting for confrontation
• Involving citizens in the devlopment
Use in the planning process-
• A public hearing is part of the
minimum legal requirement for
comprehensive planning and citizen
• Any public hearing is greatly
improved with proper
knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, opini
ons, behaviour and other attributes
of citizens surveys can be
• Public input
• Opportunity for every household to
• Opinion surveys have the advantage of
systematically describing the views of a
large number of citizens.
• The citizen time commitment associated
with opinion surveys is moderate.
Use in the planning process-
• Opinion surveys can be used very
effectively during the issue identification
and visioning step of comprehensive
IMPORTANCE OF PUBLIC
• Opportunities for mutual education
of everyone involved.
• Decision makers, in a relatively
short amount of time, often can get
additional information, technical
expertise, creativity .
• Taking part in effective public
participation encourages civic and
community responsibility in
• In few countries public participation has
become a central principle of public policy
• Large-scale consultations, focus group
research, online discussion forums, or
deliberative citizens' juries.
• A tool, intended to inform
planning, organising or funding of
• In the USA proposed rules are subject to
public comment for a specified period of
• Statutes or agency policies may mandate
MERITS OF PUBLIC
• Improve qualities of decision.
• Minimizing cost and delays
• Increase ease of implementation.
• Avoiding worst case of