Citizen Participation by Objectives
CPO is a 3-day hands-on management course, that picks up where SDIC leaves off, so SDIC is a prerequisite. In this is a hands-on management workshop, you will roll up your sleeves and apply the Bleiker Methodology that you learned in SDIC to an actual project. You will learn how to assess the project’s Citizen Participation Needs, and how to address those needs so that the project is successfully and efficiently implemented.
What kind of project?
An actual project, plan, or proposal that you, or another student are or will be working on. One that is likely to be very controversial (such as locating a new hazardous waste site, implementing a new regulation, changing the health benefits within an organization, etc…)
Once you’ve had this training, you will never look at your work, or the public the same!
This course walks you through the steps of what it takes to be an Implementation Genius.
What is CPO all about?
Once you have the solid understanding of:
- What Informed Consent is
- How Implementation Geniuses develop Informed Consent
- How unaware public agencies often develop Informed Consent, and even create “Over-my-Dead-Body” attitudes among their publics
- . . . then you are ready to become more intimate with the nitty-gritty Citizen Participation tools that are at your disposal for engineering Informed Consent.
We will cover several Citizen Participation Techniques, and how to execute them
You will spend about half of your time in this course rummaging through the tool-box of CP Techniques. You’ll become intimately familiar with the 15 – 25 CP Techniques that are most relevant to you and the other course participants. Course participants help pick the CP Techniques that will be covered, such as:
- Meetings, Advisory Committees, and the Media
Although agencies tend to over-use Meetings, they are a group of techniques we can’t afford to ignore. You’ll learn the “DOs” and “DON’Ts” of several of the most relevant types of Meetings that you’ll likely be using your job. You’ll learn about brilliant things people have come up with for making Meetings work better, and dumb things we are likely to do — but don’t need to do, if we use our heads — in Meetings.
You’ll discover that, although most public officials find Meetings frustratingly ineffective, it does not have to be that way!
Once you change your citizen participation approach to one where Meetings – as well all the other CP Techniques – are simply tools. You will see Meetings as tools for accomplishing specific objectives, tools that have specific strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll find that meetings can be very effective and constructive!
The same goes for Advisory Committees, and the Media. You’ll discover that these are not inherently frustrating mechanisms. They only frustrate you because you try to use them for things they were never intended for in the first place, or because you use them poorly.
Most agencies who create and use Advisory Committees find a few years into it that – in spite of nothing but the best of intentions all around – often everyone winds up angry with each other. You’ll discover that it doesn’t have to be that way at all!
Advisory Committees have the potential – provided you use them strictly as objectives-driven tools – to be among the richest, most productive, constructive CP Techniques.
In spite of all the bad experiences you may have had with the Media, you’ll learn that you can use the media as a powerful communications tool. You’ll discover that the Media can be a fantastic, virtually indispensable communications tool! That is, provided you’re will to stop bad-mouthing them long enough to take a new look at them and what they can do for you as a Consent-Building tool.
You’ll learn to look at Meetings and Advisory Committees in ways you had never before. And, you’ll discover the Media, and your relationship to them need not be at all what you have been experiencing.
What other techniques am I misusing?
A Sampling of Other CP Techniques
In the CPO course, we will also expose you to a variety of other CP Techniques that you may never have thought of as tools in your Consent-Building efforts. This includes such techniques as:
- Making the Most of Existing Mechanisms . . . (instead of doing everything yourself)
- Fish-Bowl Planning . . . (we also call it “Pay-as-You-go” Consent-Building)
- the Listening Log / Responsiveness Summary
- the Napoleon’s Idiot
- the Art and Science of being a Participant Observer
- You’ll get exposed to enough of a variety of fundamentally different, innovative CP Techniques, where you’ll start to get your sea-legs.
Rather quickly, you will realize that:
- You have lots of CP tools at your disposal
- You can tailor some of these tools to your own needs
- You can even create your own tools
- There’s a lot more Citizen Participation than Meetings and Advisory Committees
“Hands-On” CP-Program Design
The other half of the time of the CPO course, you’ll spend designing doing hands-on exercises to design a Citizen Participation program for an actual project that you and/or your course participants are currently working on. You will learn a systematic, step-by-step process for assessing your project’s CP Needs, and then design a CP Program that’s tailored to meet those specific needs. For this hands-on part, you should have a project candidate in mind when you arrive for the course. The best candidate projects, for the purposes of the hands-on exercise, are projects that are both:
- Very important
- Very difficult to implement because of their inherent controversy
The systematic, step-by-step process for creating your own tailor-made CP Program has you do the following:
You learn how to assess your project’s “Citizen Participation Needs.” In other words, you assess “what needs fixing” in order to get this project to implementation.
This has you examine your project’s current status, via check-lists of leading questions, in terms of:
- Five Legitimacy Objectives
- Five Responsiveness Objectives
- Five Effectiveness Objectives
At the conclusion of this step, you will have identified virtually all of the pitfalls, hurdles, land mines, political ambushes, etc. that are strewn along your project’s path (i.e. all the “CP Needs”). But, you’ll also have done more than this! You will also have learned how to go about identifying all these potential CP pitfalls for any project or program. You will have learned a process, a methodology for doing so!Next, you learn how to prioritize those CP Needs so that you’ll not waste scarce CP resources on trying to fix relatively unimportant CP needs.
Finally, you learn to design a CP program that’s tailored to your project’s particular high-priority CP Needs.
This final design step, itself, consists of several steps, which are all aimed at turning the potentially overwhelming task of “Developing the Informed Consent” of all your Potentially Affected Interests (PAIs) into a straight-forward, common sense, step-by-step process that takes no more than a few hours!
In a matter of a mere 3 days, you can have a tailored plan to get your project to final implementation!
In this CPO workshop, you can accomplish this regardless of:
- How big your public is
- How complex the project is
- How controversial the issues are
- How “Over-my-Dead-Body” some Potentially Affected Interests’ are and claim to be
This course is the recipe to legitimate, responsible, professional success!