Monthly Newsletter: December 2014

White House, Learning Webinars, Surveys, & Christmas Volunteerism 
Dear IAP2 USA members, We are excited to share some news with you about what's happened in the last month in IAP2 USA! Remember you, too, can be a part of what is shared in this newsletter. So get up, vocalize your thoughts, and participate with us here at IAP2 USA this holiday season! Sincerely, IAP2 USA

President’s Message:

At times, some of those in our field bemoan the speed of progress. Rare are instances, they say, when we see ground-breaking changes in public involvement approaches or organizational cultures. More often, we see slow progress and small tweaks. 

Sometimes it can be a bit discouraging when our initiatives take longer to implement than we hope, when changes come slowly. But there is hope and change is on the horizon.  Read more...


White House Open Government- US Public Participation Playbook

This is your opportunity to comment on the National Action Plans for Public Participation.  The IAP2 USA Board, working with the Strategic Alliance Committee, will be providing feedback but we want to ensure that all members and friends take the time to read and individually respond to this important initiative as well.

An excerpt from the White House blog “Help Shape Public Participation”:

Public participation undefined where citizens help shape and implement government programs undefined is a foundation of open, transparent, and engaging government services. From emergency management and regulatory development to science and education, better and more meaningful engagement with those who use public services can measurably improve government for everyone.

A team across the government is now working side-by-side with civil society organizations to deliver the first U.S. Public Participation Playbook, dedicated to providing best practices for how agencies can better design public participation programs, and suggested performance metrics for evaluating their effectiveness.

In developing this new resource, the team has been reaching out to more than a dozen civil society organizations and stakeholders, asking them to contribute as the Playbook is created. The team would like your input as well! Over the next month, contribute your ideas to the playbook  using Madison, an easy-to-use, open source platform that allows for accountable review of each contribution.

  Read more here

IAP2 Certification Taskforce
Needs YOU

The IAP2 Certification Task Force is still open for input into the draft Core Competencies document. You can have your say up till Wednesday, Dec. 3.   Find out more here. 

Are the Core Competencies Right?

The November Learning Webinar focused on the work of the Certification Task Force, the proposed certification process and getting the Core Competencies right.  Please click here to view the webinar.

This diagram helps to conceptualize the thinking of the Task Force, click here for more details.

So what do you think?  We are eager to learn if you think that we are on the right path.  Please submit your reactions to the draft core competencies via this link by December 3, 2014 or send an email to certification@iap2usa.org.

  Read more here

A THANK-YOU to our committee volunteers

Have you ever wondered what IAP2 USA was doing?  Have you ever wanted to help out?  The following is an insight from some of the Committee Chairs/Members into the work that is underway.   We will provide more on our other committees in 2015.  THANK-YOU to the many people that put in countless hours to support and grow IAP2 USA. 

Read more here about the committees...

2015 North American Conference Committee

If you want more information or to join our team, please contact Jeanna Hall at jeannamhall@gmail.com or Tim Hall at Tim.Hall@portlandoregon.gov

Communications committee

If you want more information or to join our team, please contact me at lance.robertson@eweb.org. 

Membership Services Committee

If you want more information or want to join the team, please contact Theresa Gunn, Chair, tgunn@gciaz.com .

Training/Professional Development Committee

If you want more information or want to join the team, please contact Anne Carroll for more information: carrfran@gmail.com or 651-690-9162




Darren Brabham, Assistant Professor, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California and author of Crowdsourcing (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013) was one of the keynote presenters at the 2013 North American conference.  Darren defines crowdsourcing as when an organization poses a specific challenge to an online community (or crowd), the crowd responds to the challenge, and the organization benefits from the crowd’s labor.  His presentation summarized recent examples of using crowdsourcing in support of public involvement in government decisions.  He described how crowdsourcing can be used to address four types of problems, provided examples of each, and outlined considerations for identifying appropriate opportunities for using crowdsourcing. 


Online engagement is clearly an emerging trend for P2 practitioners. Online tools hold the promise of attracting more participants and engaging a broader demographic. So what does it take to really engage people online? Dave Biggs’s IAP2 Talks presentation at the 2013 conference shared what he has learned about how to use online engagement to attract the involvement of the public, by making involvement fast, fun, easy, relevant, informative, and meaningful. 




… our next two webinars. On Tuesday, Dec. 9, “Engage the Systems of the Whole City” looks at ways of bringing together the many and varied “voices” in a city system to ensure all get a say in decision-making. Beth Sanders of Populus Community Solutions and Ryan Henderson of the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will share their experiences. Click here for more information and to register. 

On Tuesday, January 13, we get to hear from two more Core Values Award winners on how their projects sparkled and caught the attention of the judging panels in Canada and the USA. Both were honoured in the Research Project category. Dr. Julia Abelson has been working with health-care agencies across Canada to come up with a way of evaluating the success of patient-engagement initiatives. Dr. John Poynton spearheaded a project to give parents a more meaningful role in public education in the St Vrain Valley School District in Colorado. He’ll be joined by one of the parents, Laura McDonald. The St Vrain project was recently awarded “Research Project of the Year” by the IAP2 Federation. To get more information and register, click here

As always, these webinars are free for IAP2 members and only $50 for non-members.

The Journal of Public Deliberation (JPD) Wants to Hear from You

Last month, we released the latest issue of JPD, which is supported by IAP2 and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium. This special issue features a collection of essays by leading innovators and scholars who share a commitment to citizen participation in public discourse, problem solving, and policy making. You can find it here.

This issue is the first to be produced by the new editorial team, who are eager to hear new ideas for improving the journal. Please send your questions, comments, and suggestions to Laura at blackl1@ohio.edu.


Elevating Public Participation

by Board Member Marijoan Bull 

Every planner knows public participation is fundamental to our workundefinedit is in our code of ethics, our academic training, and our laws. And we have all heard the warning stories of projects that have failed for lack of critical stakeholder involvement or knowledge. Yet often our practice of participation is shallow and perfunctory, or even completely ineffective.

As planners we need to elevate our practice of and commitment to public participation For many of our projects, the demands are great and the funds are low. We believe in public participation, but it is just one piece of the complex planning projects we manage. We are scrupulous about the legally mandated requirements, but it is well documented that routine public hearings are not conducive to community dialogue and problem solving.   

Copyright 2014 by the American Planning Association.  Reprinted by permission of Planning magazine.

  Read more here

The City of Fort Lauderdale & the Neighbor Volunteer Office 

by Ryan Henderson

In late 2009, I made the decision that my first year after college was going to be spent volunteering. The idea came to me my senior year after reading a biography on Robert Kennedy. My burgeoning admiration for Robert Kennedy, and the causes he fought for, solidified my desire to embark on a career in public service. His later-life commitment to the poor and their communities inspired me towards emulation. After toying with the idea of traveling to a far off country for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I decided to stay stateside and leave the biggest mark I could by becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA. The year was perhaps the most profound of my life, as I volunteered in a rural, remote place in West Virginia. 

My experience furthered my love of public service and commitment to community. I spent the year not just volunteering hard for my organization, the Pocahontas County Communications Cooperative, but I also created life-long relationships with others who shared similar passions for volunteering. My volunteer experience made me realize that the country was being changed by those who made sacrifices for their community.   

Read more here...

Tips to Craft Social Media Shareable & Likeable Content  

[Source: PR News]

When posting content on social media, it's important to remember that each platform has its own set of rules, limitations, audiences and expectations. One thing all these platforms do have in common is that their audiences are always engaged by dynamic content. Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram or any other network, content that is entertaining, informative and conversational will draw attention to your brand.

Don’t make it all about you.

Think visually. 

Write it so your mom can understand it.

Read more here...


IAP2 Federation – Position Description

Title: Administrative Assistant - Training

Reports to: Executive Manager

Direct Reports: None

Term: Part-time contract basis, 20 hours per week, through June 30, 2015

Location: Virtual Office

Pay Rate: $15 – 20 per hour (USD), commensurate with experience

Link to the full job description

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