WORP Outreach Reflections

This PDF is a case study of an “outside mediation boundaries” project in Oregon, the 2.7 million acre Western Oregon Plan Revisions. This graphic-rich report is less a “we did this, and then we did that” than a reflection on what happens when one tries to design approaches that will be more empowering than traditional outreach yet can include more people than traditional public policy mediation.

Section I. Introduction

Section II. Ethics of Web Design Analyzes what is gained and lost outside the mediation crucible, the challenges and practical benefits of creating a neutral web forum absent such a crucible, and the design implications of working without the counterpoise offered by diverse stakeholders.

Section III. Rethinking “Inform” is a discussion of types of outreach approaches: podium (talking at) and adult learning learning (talking with and supporting citizen-selection of focus areas). The Web is (and will increasingly be) suited to adult learning. When should agencies use an adult learning mode, and how deep does the culture shift have to be for them to accomplish it?

Secion IV. BLM and Us describes the not-quite-consultant, not-quite-neutral relationship our team had with BLM, the importance of agency buy-in, and the consequences of lack of role clarity.

Section V. Traditional Facilitation relates our experiences within this project using traditional face-to-face techniques in conjunction with web design.

Section VII. Cypepioneering, the longest section, describes our innovative interactive web approaches, such as online map commenting and multi-criteria decision support.

Section VIII. Comment Analysis draws attention to the importance of the comment –analysis-report cycle in public participation. As a system, it tends to teach people and agencies how to communicate less effectively.

The report is written by Carie Fox, formerly a mediator CEO of Fox Mediation, with Philip Murphy, a decision scientist and CEO of InfoHarvest.

Here is the complete PDF report.

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Carie Fox

Carie Fox: A former soil scientist and lawyer, I now have a private mediation and facilitation practice based in Portland, Oregon.  I specialize in public policy work—usually large, complex, multi-party issues.  I also mediate workplace disputes.  I have taught a graduate-level class at Portland State University and give workshops around… MORE >

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