Chris Hartye was formally introduced to IAP2 in 2008 shortly after joining the City of Hillsboro and being asked to update the Hillsboro 2020 Vision & Action Plan. Adopted in 2000, the 2020 plan was a 2002 IAP2 Core Values Award winner. The City of Hillsboro has most recently been recognized as the 2016 Organization of the Year Core Values Award winner for North America, due in large part to development of the Hillsboro 2035 Community Plan, which renewed the vision and action plan that guides the city. Hillsboro is a full service city with a population of 99,000.
With a background in strategic planning and stakeholder engagement from a business/economic development perspective, Chris recognized the IAP2 Core Values and Code of Ethics as largely “second nature” in the Pacific Northwest. It seemed a natural extension to conduct the City’s next generation planning efforts using the IAP2 P2 framework.
Chris gets the most satisfaction from hearing about what people are passionate about, “I love to hear firsthand what people care about, especially community members that don’t often voice their opinions, who aren’t always a part of decision-making processes. To directly hear their voice, passion, ideas, and dreams … to me, there’s really no substitute.”
Chris and his team made a point to go where people already are whether it be the farmer’s market, grocery store, or elsewhere. “When we meet people where they’re at, I find that they’re much more forthcoming as opposed to if you host a public forum, for example. People are often more candid, and more passionate, about the things that are important when they’re in their own environment. These are the conversations that carry with me as opposed to anything I’ve seen online or maybe heard at a public forum.”
“Face to face allows for more robust conversation, and the opportunity to discover not only people’s passions, but their talents, resources and the skills they bring to the table. It’s often through P2 that we recruit our volunteers; you wouldn’t know or discover these talents if you weren’t out there doing P2. It helps you discover the human capacity in your city. And then to try to empower that as best you can – find opportunities to involve folks in what they’re good at; what they’re skilled at.”
#1 Challenge – Truly and authentically reach diverse audiences
The biggest barriers to authentic engagement are often language and cultural barriers. “It’s an ongoing, day-to-day thing; a box you never check.”
Hillsboro has communities of “new arrivals”, new residents that often haven’t formed formal organizations, so it’s challenging to reach out to them but the process can be fairly straightforward. From the first awareness a new group is emerging, a few of the first steps are:
- Awareness and identification – Understanding the demographics, the numbers, the geography of where folks are settling; what languages are spoken by the community;
- Finding community leaders – Whether they come through the faith community, are in the nonprofit realm, the business community, or affiliated through the schools;
- Engaging and listening to those leaders – But not by asking them to speak for everybody. “It’s not: we’ve talked with these leaders, so we’re covered; it’s about allowing them to inform you – local government – on the best way to go about engagement.”
“We try to be deliberate with community leaders in clarifying that we’re not here to ask them to be representative or make decisions on behalf of their communities; rather, we’re here to learn how to best engage with the community. And in the end, it’s that “little bit at a time” that moves us forward to creating new futures together by allowing P2 to help grow relationships and capacity.”
Chris has shared his story about the City of Hillsboro’s Community Visioning Process as a Core Values Award winner with IAP2 in the December 2016 webinar, as well as at the 2015 ICMA Annual Conference in Seattle with City Manager Michael Brown, and he looks forward to getting more involved in the IAP2 USA Cascade Chapter. To learn more, visit our 2016 Core Values Awards page.
Did you know that engaging the public is a long-term commitment, rather than a short-term condition? Or that one in 4 Americans is affected by a doctor “missing the boat” with a diagnosis? Or that people in British Columbia who receive health services are regarded as “partners” rather than “patients”?
Those were themes in our IAP2 Learning Webinar on November 8, 2016, which featured the Core Values Award winners for Organization of the Year in Canada and the USA, and Research Project of the Year from the United States.
IAP2 USA Organization of the Year: City of Hillsboro, Oregon
The City of Hillsboro, Oregon, is no stranger to the Core Values Awards. The fast-growing community 30 km west of Portland won Project of the Year in 2002 for its long-term visioning exercise to develop “Hillsboro 2020”. In fact, its updated version, “Hillsboro 2035” was initially entered in the Project of the Year category, but the IAP2 USA judges moved it to Organization of the Year because of the way P2 has become ingrained in the city’s fabric.
Hillsboro has seen a 40% increase in its population since 2000 – up to 97,000 as of 2015 and on-track to reach 116,600 by 2035. The demographic is changing, with an increasing Latino population, along with immigrants settling there from India and Korea. The daytime population also shifts since 70% of the residents go elsewhere to work during the day, while 70% of the workforce at businesses and industries (the tech sector is a major employer there) comes from other towns.
The City began developing “Hillsboro 2020” in 1997, recognizing the need to engage as much of the community as possible, and as more and more of the targets were achieved well ahead of plan, “Hillsboro 2035” was begun, working with Jason Robertson of J. Robertson and Co.
By then, the culture of P2 had become the way of life in Hillsboro. More than two dozen community organizations led the projects and a citizens’ Implementation Committee was overseeing the Action Plan. The Plan became a “living document”, being updated every five years, to prevent what city project manager Chris Hartye calls the “plan on a shelf” syndrome.
The engagement was accomplished through a combination of online and “traditional” tools. “There’s no substitute for face-to-face engagement,” says Hartye, as regular community events and presentations keep the connections and input flowing. He also points out that staff and supervisors get regular refreshers in P2, the city leaders have provided ongoing support and reasonable metrics help keep expectations in line.
IAP2 USA Research Project of the Year: “Clearing the Error”, Jefferson Center and the Maxwell School for Public Affairs at Syracuse University
Engaging patients in the health care process was also a key in “Clearing the Error”, which won Research Project of the Year from both IAP2 USA and the entire IAP2 Federation. The Jefferson Center and the Maxwell School for Public Affairs at Syracuse University teamed up with the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality to look closely at the issue of diagnostic error.
It’s estimated that one in four Americans will, at some time in their lives, be affected by a problem with a medical diagnosis. It could be through mis-diagnosis (getting it wrong or incomplete the first time) or a missed diagnosis (not spotting the problem at all) or a mis-communication; any of which creates an avoidable delay in providing the right treatment. In fact, diagnostic error crops up in 10% of medical cases. What to do about it?
The research team used a variety of surveys and engagement tools and techniques, including Citizens’ Juries (check out the IAP2 webinar from 2015), to engage patients and healthcare consumers. Participants in the project identified roles patients might play to improve diagnostic quality and limit errors.
The research team found that deliberation had significant impacts on patient activation, health literacy, and other important measures. They also found that a majority of everyday citizens understood the recommendations and believed the recommendations were easy to use and would have a positive impact on diagnosis. The research team is currently working to assess the perceived quality of the recommendations created through deliberation as compared to recommendations made by non-deliberating bodies, including those made by a professional medical group. In the future, the team hopes to test the efficacy of the recommendations for improving the diagnostic process and diagnostic quality in clinical settings.
Organization of the YEAR: IAP2 Canada: British Columbia Ministry of Health
The British Columbia Ministry of Health was recognized for its “Patients as Partners Program”, which has been around less than 10-years (and counting) to give patients and their families a greater voice, choice and representation to improve healthcare at the individual, community and system level.
Shannon Holms, the program director, explained how the “old” approach to health care, structured around the needs of hospitals and healthcare providers, with medical staff regarded as experts and patients as recipients of information and instruction was no longer unsustainable. Costs were rising, taxpayers’ dollars were limited, the population was getting older and patients were demanding more input into their care.
In 2007, the British Columbia provincial government endorsed a new approach, which involved a common language, common tools and a common approach to involving patients and health care providers to foster their collaboration to improve healthcare in British Columbia. Holms explained that the IAP2 Core Values provided a “north star” for the Ministry and Delaney and Associates provided training for some 800 health care workers resulting in 40,000 engagements with patients.
Some of the results tailored for individual regions in BC include:
- The Vancouver Island Health Authority developed a program to prepare patients before surgery.
- The Interior Health Region engaged patient and family partners in the Interior Health Eating Disorder Regional Planning Day to foster engagement and collaboration and to gather information to be considered in the development of the Interior Health Eating Disorder Strategy.
- Northern Health engaged patient volunteers to streamline the process for transferring patients from hospitals to community care – condensing 24 forms down to one.
- Providence Health in Vancouver included patient partners on the committee to hire a new respiratory therapist.
- In Ridge Meadows, just east of Vancouver, patient volunteers were invited to work with general practitioners and radiologists to help improve communications and imaging results.
Among the lessons-learned, Holms says, is to maintain good relations with patient-partners and to keep leaders informed, involved and engaged.
Click here for additional resources from the webinar.
This is an exciting time to be a member of IAP2 USA. The US affiliate recently surpassed in membership the total amount of international members that existed before our organizational restructuring in 2010. We now have over 850 members, and we’re continuing to grow. We’re branching out from an organization founded by P2 practitioners to an organization that serves a variety of people in roles that touch P2. This poses some great advantages for all of our members and gives us the opportunity to provide a more robust level of P2 in a variety of processes throughout our country.
We strive to promote best practices in P2. As more members join us from a variety of disciplines we can enhance our knowledge base by including additional applications, processes and projects that affect Americans in their daily lives. We have a wonderful opportunity to learn more from members and friends who are doing P2 across the spectrum of engagement. As members, it is our responsibility to ensure our Core Values are reflected in these opportunities to engage.
As we look forward to the 2016 North American Conference in Montreal and the 2017 skills symposium, I’d like to encourage you to consider promoting the benefits of IAP2 membership to your clients, colleagues and peers. Participation in these events can allow peripheral P2 practitioners to learn the value of IAP2 membership, network with practitioner – members, and enhance their tool boxes with new skills. My practice has certainly benefitted from participation in IAP2 events and trainings, as well as by networking with others at all levels of the field. Help us expand our knowledge base and reach by inviting others to learn more about what we stand for. Let’s truly support our Core Values by making P2 valuable and accessible across the country.
I look forward to meeting many of you in Montreal.
I was always told that it was not polite to talk about politics with anyone except family, and even that can be questionable. But, to me elections and voting have always seemed to be the most fundamental processes by which Americans participate in our Democracy (or not).
Given the tenor of recent GOP debates and political rallies, I can only say that the need for well-planned and executed public participation opportunities are growing at an exponential rate. The American public feels entitled to share their opinions on just about any topic and via any platform. Today you can find videos, memes, and posts voicing just about any stance you could think of. But how do we make sense of this information? How does it become more than noise? I firmly believe that IAP2 members have the skills and passion to lead more meaningful conversations about issues that affect people.
I am pleased to be a member of this organization, which can and is helping people lead better processes to build community. We can be the leaders of processes that bring civility back into public discourse and help to unify communities. There are so many new opportunities for public participation across our nation, not just in politics but in the way we interact with others in our communities. Now is a time to reflect inwards in order to build together.
There is no better time to recognize best practices in our field, celebrate and learn from one another. The Core Values Awards committee recently announced new project categories and a new application process. Let’s build on our practice together. Please consider submitting a successful process you have led or been affiliated with for a Core Values Award by June 10. (Applicant Kit)
If you have ideas or suggestions for the Board don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, it is that time of year again. It is time to APPLY for the IAP2 USA Core Value Awards: Celebrating the Best in Public Participation.
IAP2 USA’s premier Core Values Awards recognize and encourage projects and organizations that are at the forefront of public participation. The Awards were created to promote excellence, quality and innovation in public participation. Embedding the IAP2 Core Values in organizations and projects that demonstrate leading practice is a key focus for the Awards.
We are pleased to be able to announce that we have some new categories for 2016 thanks to the feedback we received from you. So please consider applying for the :
2016 Core Values Awards: Categories
- Project of the Year
- General Project
- Project exemplifying attention to Diversity, Culture and Inclusion – New in 2016
- Project demonstrating Creativity and Innovation – New in 2016
- Research in Public Participation
- Organization Exemplifying Participation
We are always amazed at the caliber of the work that is done both here in the U.S. and around the world. Learn more about the 2015 U.S. winners and check out the international 2015 Showcase. THIS COULD BE YOU IN 2016!
Winners will be announced at the Core Values Awards Gala at the North American Conference in Montreal, Canada, September 29, 2016.
So not only do we have some new award categories but, we are also shaking up the process of applying. We have heard from several of you that BEFORE you put in the time and energy to fill in the application you would like to know if your project would be eligible. So if you are wondering about this we encourage you to send us a short LETTER OF INTENT.
However, you are also welcome to skip this process and go directly to the Applicant’s Kit.
Letter of Intent
Please submit a short Letter of Intent (approximately 1 page/450 words) outlining the information below to: IAP2 USA Executive Manager, Amelia Shaw – email@example.com
Deadline for Letter of Intent submissions is – Thursday, April 28th at 4 pm Pacific
By May 11 you will be notified if you have been invited to submit a full application for consideration. The Full Application will be due by Friday, June 10th. Information on the final application is contained in the Applicant’s Kit.
What is required in the Letter of Intent?
- Please describe your public participation project and/or your team/organization*. What were the topics or issues under consideration? Who was involved in planning, implementation and evaluation? What were the primary outcomes and how did you measure success? (250 words max)
- The primary goal of the Core Values Awards is to recognize excellence in projects that clearly demonstrate and advance all of the IAP2 (USA) Core Values in public participation. For this letter, please select two of the Core Values and describe how your project/team/organization exemplified these values. (200 words max) (Please keep in mind, if invited to submit a full application you will need to address all of the Core Values).
* Project and team/organization for project based awards and team/organization for the organizational award.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration is now open for the 2016 IAP2 North American Conference! The Conference will take place September 28-30, 2016, at the Sofitel in Montréal. As anyone who has been to previous Conferences (Halifax, Salt Lake City, Winnipeg, and Portland) can tell you, it’s an invaluable opportunity to learn from one another, meet old friends, make new ones and applaud the best in the business at the Core Values Awards.
Register now and get a SERIOUS discount on the regular price: until July 1, members (including international members) pay $550.00 while non-members pay $700. After July 1, those rates go up to $700 and $850, respectively. Full-time students pay $300 any time. PLEASE NOTE: All prices are in Canadian dollars – a significant savings given the strength of the US dollar. As well, you will need a special code to register as a member so please contact email@example.com for that code.
Your registration includes:
- Welcome Reception, Wed. Sept. 28
- All sessions, continental breakfast and lunch, Sept. 29 & 30
- Core Values Awards Gala Dinner, Thursday, Sept. 29
You also qualify for the special Conference rate at Sofitel: CDN$189/night, which can also be applied to an extended stay, so you can enjoy even more time in Montréal!
As that famous P2 consultant, Amy Grant, once sang, “It takes a little time to turn the Titanic around”. The co-presenters in our January Learning Webinar both had to turn some pretty heavy ships around in promoting a culture of engagement where there had been none before.
The City of Victoria and the St. Vrain Valley School District (Colorado) were named Organizations of the Year for Canada and the USA, respectively, at the 2015 IAP2 Core Values Awards last fall in Portland. Both have had to overcome internal trepidation and external cynicism to achieve that status, and the results can be seen in ways ranging from increased involvement in engagement processes to support for public-spending initiatives.
St. Vrain Valley Schools also had to let go of “control” over issues in order to improve its public engagement. Laura McDonald, a mother of two girls in the system, got involved when she realized that a $10 – 14 million budget shortfall declared before her children started school had not been addressed by the time they were of school age. She heard all the doom-and-gloom talk about the shortfall, but more ominously, also about the skepticism.
According to the District’s Communications Director, Damon Brown, conflict-driven media, polarization and a history of “announce and defend” decision-making led to a wide mistrust of decision-makers; that led to a mill levy override, which would have provided for teachers’ salaries and instructional programs, being voted down in 2005. In 2008, 85 teachers were laid off and the District had no supplementary funding.
Shortly after that, a new superintendent came on the scene. Dr. Don Haddad seized on the concepts of P2 – particularly the Core Values – and launched an aggressive campaign of his own to engage with the people. In a relatively short time, he and other district staff members built trust relationships. “Leadership St. Vrain”* was launched, bringing parents and members of the community not directly involved with the school system into the mix, educating them on the “Know-How” (the business of education) and “Know-Who” (the key decision-makers) of the district.
In the process, the District, its administrators and teachers – many of whom are seasoned educators with a measure of bias against letting non-experts help make decisions – released ownership of the problems they faced.
The result: A $189-million bond measure and a $16.5-million mill levy override both passed in 2008. Another $14.8-million mill levy override passed in 2012.
The increased P2 capacity is credited with other results, especially academic achievement. Damon Brown says there has been an upward trend in standardized test scores, increases in the graduation rate and the number of scholarships awarded; and a decline in the dropout rate.
Not incidentally, St. Vrain Valley Schools was also named 2015 Organization of the Year by the entire IAP2 Federation.
Turning that big ship around, Damon Brown points out, takes more than legislation: It takes a change in thinking and habits. Both St. Vrain Valley Schools and the City of Victoria have not only accomplished that on the inside of their organizations, but the results are palpable on the outside.
Katie Hamilton, City of Victoria Director of Citizen Engagement, arrived at City Hall 10 years ago to find there was no policy or template governing public participation and that any “engagement” was an after-thought. Public input did not guide the projects, and citizens were often surprised when a major project was announced. There were customer-service barriers and, despite Victoria’s growing reputation as a high-tech center, the website was out-dated. What’s more, discussions tended to focus on the cost of something, rather than its value.
That led to the public becoming skeptical to the point of hostility when decisions were made or projects were announced. But over the past decade, city staff have grown to “embrace the clunky” – that is, step into the difficult discussions, become the facilitator for these conversations and let go of “control” over issues. City departments are also working closer together as a unit, rather than in silos, independent of one another. “Great ideas sessions” are regular occurrences.
Some of the tactics include “going to where the people are”. Information and input facilities regarding parks issues were set up in the parks themselves; a pop-up open house was set up on a bicycle trailer, going to fairs, markets, furniture stores, coffee shops, new mothers’ clubs, you name it. In City budget mail-outs at tax time, infographics have replaced pie charts to indicate how one’s money is spent.
Can you measure a shift in culture? Here’s one indicator: Attendance at City budget meetings has gone from a group of 30 highly-interested people to over 1,500, with amenities like food provided by local growers creating a lighter atmosphere.
* Winner, IAP2 USA Research Project of the Year, 2014 Core Values Awards