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Public Involvement

Rich Harwood on Engaging the Public

Rich Harwood is one of the major voices arguing for basic changes in the methods of engaging the public in policy questions. Through the Harwood Institute, which he established in the 1980s, he has published numerous studies and guides on how people relate to public issues, where they seek out trustworthy information and how they […]

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Consensus Building

Barriers to Dialogue and Consensus Building

There are many potential barriers to dialogue and consensus building. One is lack of familiar on the part of stakeholders with the meaning of dialogue and what it requires. (My working definition: the kind of honest talk that makes agreement possible. ) Related to that is the tendency of some participants to resort to strategies, […]

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Public Involvement

Community and Technical Knowledge in Public Involvement

Public involvement sometimes presents a stark contrast between community and technical knowledge. Often public agency representatives, with the best intentions of gathering information about local concerns, may arrive at a community meeting, make a presentation, but find itself facing a lot of frustrated and angry people. The meeting might end with members of the community […]

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