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Archive for the ‘Core Services’ Category

Train from anywhere – IAP2 USA offers NEW online courses!

June 22, 2017 Leave a comment

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Summer is here and we are excited about these upcoming courses. We have three new courses just for YOU! You can expect that every one of these courses will give you real, usable tools and techniques apply in REAL WORLD situations. Topics include Participatory Budgeting, Social Media, Evaluation, and Tools & Techniques selection. There is a course to fit every p2 professional no matter your experience level or area of discipline. Read more…

How to Hit the P2 Sweet Spot

June 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Core Values 3 4 Banner

“It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settling a question without debating it.” – Joseph Joubert

Let’s see if we can’t do both. In order to successfully debate a question and settle it we need Core Values 3 and 4, which tell us to include everyone who may be impacted by the decision and to use their input to reach a sustainable decision. To fully explain the role these Core Values play, I’ll be sharing three stories that were told to me when I interviewed Susanna Haas Lyons, Wendy Lowe, and Doug Sarno.

Core Value 3: Public participation promotes sustainable decisions by recognizing and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision makers.

Core Value 4: Public participation seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision.

In explaining how these Core Values operate, Wendy described a venn diagram that is used in the IAP2 training manual illustrating the attributes of potential solutions during a decision-making process. Once circle includes options that are affordable, the second includes ones that are technically sound, and the third options that are publicly acceptable. “What we as P2 practitioners are trying to do is to find the sweet spot.”

The Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project

The US Department of Energy was dealing with a volume of waste in Idaho that was hazardous and radioactive. The DOE prepared an environmental impact statement to find the most appropriate, affordable, and technically sound. They engaged the public throughout Idaho and, four years and lots of money later, decided that an incinerator would be the best way to proceed.

However, when they went to get their permit to build the incinerator, they had to check in with the Department of Environmental Quality who asked the DOE which way the wind would blow. That was the moment when the DOE realized they’d more or less forgotten a category of stakeholders: the State of Wyoming. Specifically Jackson, Wyoming where the citizens would be bearing the brunt of the environmental externality. Jackson held a public meeting attended by 500 people that raised $500,000 and killed the incinerator overnight.

This story demonstrates how when you leave out one of the affected parties you cannot know what options are in the publicly acceptable bubble, and can reach solutions that are unable to sustain themselves.

Interestingly, the phrase “including decision makers” wasn’t added to Core Value #3 until 2005 when the Core Values were reviewed. This was one of few substantive changes, but the committee doing the review felt that without this wording the deck would be stacked in favor of the stakeholders. Decision makers are important because they hold the institutional knowledge that populates the options in the bubbles of what is affordable and what is technically sound.

HEALTH CARE REFORM

In 2007, California was undergoing health care reform under Governor Schwarzenegger. Susanna, working for America Speaks, helped convene a statewide forum in which over 300,000 people participated, including many undocumented immigrants. The forum looked at two proposals for reforming health care, what they offered, and the major choices that had to make when deciding between the two. This forum enabled legislators (the decision makers in this instance) to see what their constituents supported and make more informed decisions.

The next step in the process is reaching a sustainable decision. Doug said to me, “Making decisions is pretty easy, implementing them and making those decisions work is where the hard part comes in.” A sustainable decision is the difference between getting public buy-in versus public ownership.

THE FERNALD CLOSURE PROJECT

A former uranium processing facility needed to be closed and its waste disposed in Ohio. There was a huge waste site with wastes that were more or less hazardous scattered throughout. The local community had felt pretty firmly that they did not want this to remain in their backyard. One member of the community in particular, Lisa, was quite vocal about this. And when a workshop was held that used chips for participants to allocate to on- or off- site disposal, Lisa swept all the chips off the board. “I don’t want any of it to stay here.”

Doug told her that was an option, but now it was time to run the math. The facilitators had programs set up that would calculate the number of expected truck trips, traffic accidents, greenhouse gas emissions, etc. that would result from moving all of the waste from Ohio to Nevada. As Lisa watched the numbers populate she turned to Doug and said, “We can’t do this.”

In the end about 90% of the waste by volume remained in an on-site disposal facility. Most of the more hazardous material was moved off-site. The area is now a 900-acre wildlife preserve and education center. There is also a history museum on site that includes a description of this notable public participation process.

Doug described this as “the most fundamental aha moment I’ve had in my career” watching the public participation process move a participant from a “them” to a “we” mentality. This is the full expression of all three circles of the venn diagram. It hits the sweet spot and reaches a sustainable solution that the community not only accepts, it owns.

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This article is the first in a series of articles about the Core Values. Keep an eye out for the next article in upcoming newsletters.

Do you have a Core Values story to share? Please tell us about it here!

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Learn more about IAP2’s Core Values

Lauren Wirtis

By: Lauren Wirtis
IAP2 USA Intern

Show Your Support for the Greater Good!

June 21, 2017 Leave a comment

GetToGiving - brandedIAP2 USA and IAP2 Canada are coming together for the second time to help raise funds for our new student scholarship program! The student scholarships help support research in the field, build relationships with universities, and foster the next generation of public engagement leaders.

A Silent Auction will take place on location at the 2017 IAP2 North American Conference in Denver, Colorado Sept. 6 – 8. The theme, “Pursuing the greater good: P2 for a changing world” has already inspired donations of baskets of goodies illustrating the diversity, talents and innovation of our supporters far and wide. Your donation doesn’t have to connect to the conference theme and we welcome all creativity! Read more…

Do you have what it takes to be a certified Public Participation Professional?

June 7, 2017 Leave a comment

201706 EB Certification brandedAs many of you are aware you can apply for the IAP2 USA Certification Program at any time of the year and this is welcomed. This communication is to let you know that IAP2 USA will be hosting an Assessment Center on November 17th and 18th for CP3 applicants, location to be confirmed. So if you are planning on becoming certified in 2017 and want to attend please get your application into us by July 28, 2017.

Ask yourself – Do I know how to:

  • work with a sponsor to understand the decision to be made
  • define clear objectives and design a P2 process
  • identify who should be involved in the P2 process and how to engage them
  • pick the right tools and techniques and know how to use them
  • spot potential for conflict and decide how to manage it
  • communicate effectively — orally and in writing
  • work successfully with the public

If you answered YES! to these questions, then you may have the Core Competencies of the P2 profession and it’s time to step up to the next level and become a Certified Public Participation Professional!

Certification is the way to show the world that you know your stuff — the same way architects, engineers and other professionals are expected to meet a global standard — and that when someone hires you, they’re getting a professional who will deliver a true P2 process.

So plan to apply. The deadline for the November 17/18 Assessment Center is August 11, 2017!

How to apply?

  • Make sure you’ve completed the “Foundations” course (formerly known as the “Certificate course”) and that you are an IAP2 member.
  • Download the Information Kit and Frequently Asked Questions
  • Attend the informational webinar to learn details about completing the application

 The Certification Process has been developed over the past three years by your own P2 colleagues in Canada, the USA and Southern Africa, using input gathered from IAP2 members.

Visit the Certification web page to find out more.

We’re looking forward to your taking part!

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UPDATE: You can now watch the recorded version of the June 20th informational Webinar

 

Show North America how we pursue the greater good!

May 31, 2017 Leave a comment

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IAP2 USA and IAP2 Canada are pleased to announce our second joint fundraiser to benefit our new student scholarship programs! The fundraiser will be held at the 2017 IAP2 North American Conference in Denver, Colorado Sept. 6-8 as a silent auction of items donated by chapters, businesses, trainers, board members, and generous attendees like you.

Supporting students encourages student membership, relationships with universities, research in the field, and the ongoing vitality and sustainability of our organization. Thank you for considering supporting this great cause.

The theme, “Pursuing the greater good: P2 for a changing world” has already inspired donations of baskets of goodies illustrating what makes our world good for the unique communities near and far that our contributors hail from. Your donation could be related to the conference theme or anything at all. Having a variety of items for conference attendees to bid on will help make the conference more fun and the fundraiser more of a success. Perhaps your company would like to put something together to gain a little marketing benefit as well. Or perhaps your chapter would like to show North America something special about your area’s culture.

Ready to help? All you need to do is bring your silent auction donation with you to the conference!

But if you want to let us drum up more support and interest, please allow us to give you a shout-out of thanks on our social media! Email a fun photo, info about what you’ll be donating, your social media tags and company logo to Anneliese Apel and we’ll be sure to give you our appreciation!

Thank you so much for your help, we need all of it we can get and truly hope you will bring something to contribute!

Kindest regards,

Francesca Patricolo, IAP2 USA Membership Services Committee

Annie Bierbower, IAP2 Intermountain Chapter

Questions? Contact annelieseIAP2@gmail.com

Participatory Budgeting: “The greatest wave of democracy coming to the United States”

May 31, 2017 Leave a comment

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It has been called “the greatest wave of democracy coming to the United States”. What started in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1989 has started to make an impact around the world being implemented in over 1,500 communities around the globe. These communities are experimenting with and implementing a new budgeting practice called Participatory Budgeting.

What is Participatory Budgeting(PB)? PB is “a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend a part of the public budget”. From start to finish this process puts the power into the people’s hands.

Never heard of it? It’s not widely talked about in the United States, however, PB has seen a lot of success and has been implemented in places such as Chicago, IL, New York, NY, and Vallejo, CA. These communities are comprised primarily of minority populations historically marginalized by local government who have become disenchanted with government and feel left behind and unheard.

“How does it work?” you might ask…

First… Community members and volunteers get together to brainstorm ideas. Do you want a community garden, a better park, or better public transit?

Second… Volunteers turn these ideas into real project proposals to present to their community complete with project descriptions and projected cost estimates.

Third… the community votes on where the money will be spent and validates community members’ involvement.

LAST… the projects with the most votes get funded. The projects are then implemented over the next few years. The following year, they do it all over again.

Address inequality, empower your community and transform your local democracy by bringing participatory budgeting to your neighborhood.

Are you interested in advocating for Participatory Budgeting in your community? Join IAP2 USA as we work in partnership with Maria Hadden of the Participatory Budgeting Project to bring you the LIVE ONLINE course Participatory Budgeting: Real Money, Real Engagement.

Our next course takes place July 17 – 28! Reserve your virtual seat today!

Register NOW! 

Categories: Press Release, Training

Congratulations to Victor Tran, the first recipient of the IAP2 USA Scholarship!

May 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Tran Victor quote

Victor Tran is currently in his first year of Portland State University’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. Motivated by his own family’s story of immigration to Alberta, Canada where he grew up, Victor was eager to learn more about how urban spaces can help reduce real and perceived barriers for different groups of people. How, in fact, the physical design of environments has direct outcomes on the health, sustainability, and overall quality of life for people.

Victor heard inklings of IAP2 when he was working with a business improvement district in Calgary, but as he dove into his planning studies this winter, IAP2’s connection with what he was learning and the work he hopes to do some day clicked. He joined the IAP2 Cascade Chapter and has been an active member since. He also looked around the PSU campus for opportunities to combine his passion for shaping the built environment and public engagement. What he found was a two-day intensive Public Interest Design (PID) course presented by Design Corps, the SEED Network, and the Center for Public Interest Design.

In order to make this happen, Victor sent in an application for the IAP2 USA scholarship in which he described his passion for public participation and the nexus between the goals of IAP2 and the endeavors of PID. The application evaluation panel called his narrative “a story of passion and commitment” said that his “resume shows growth in positions that he has taken starting from university level sustainability research, to designing education spaces [that] enmesh social justice and sustainability practices for youth… [and] most recently doing the leg work for two small community projects. This growth shows initiative, motivation, and passion.”

In April 2017, Victor attended the PID workshop and learned about all the ways in which design can “serve more than just an aesthetic purpose.” The workshop covered a wide scope of projects that demonstrate a truth that often gets missed: planning anything, whether it’s a park or a recycling facility or the place where the planning workshop is happening is a deeply personal endeavor. And it should be. These plans become physical environments that people interact with every day, and their “design should serve public interest.” Victor knows that what he learns through IAP2 can provide him with a wide variety of “tools for informing design strategies” and determining “how to measure and implement good public participation.”

“P2 is a form of democratizing the system so that ‘professionals’ can level the field and understand the people they’re serving. The goal is to remove as many layers of assumptions and biases as possible.”

Victor looks forward to challenging institutions that don’t do any P2 to really think about how their work is being done and the benefits their work is providing. He hopes that he can get them to think critically about how P2 could be integrated, how their constituency would be impacted by more P2, and what kinds of P2 would be possible. That being said, Victor thinks it’s “healthy to recognize that there’s rarely full consensus since everyone comes in the room with their own preferences and biases.” What’s most important is to “take time to listen and appreciate where everyone is coming from.” To him, “good P2 is being able to extend the conversation beyond the single event.”

Victor says the scholarship was a great opportunity and he is grateful to be able to participate. He enjoyed speaking with the panelists, and learned a lot from each panelists unique background and how they were personally involved with IAP2. He is happy to be able to stay connected with IAP2 panelists who are currently in Portland. He hopes to increase his engagement with IAP2 as time goes on. “The scholarship was a great launch into that world, and I have no doubt there are many more great resources that IAP2 has to provide.”