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Collaborative Planning for Groundwater Management

The collaborative approach to water resource planning has been growing over the past 15 years, especially where urban, agricultural and environmental needs are straining the local supplies. Like many other public water managers, the Sonoma County (California) Water Agency faced a decline in groundwater supply throughout the Sonoma Valley as pumping steadily increased because of […]

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John Forester: <em>Dealing with Differences</em>

John Forester: Dealing with Differences

Many who spend their time trying to find agreement among adversaries have long been familiar with the work of John Forester. A professor of planning at Cornell, he’s always followed his own path directly into the realities of facilitative practice rather than the intricacies of theory. Dealing with Differences: Dramas of Mediating Public Disputes is […]

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Mediator Power & Collaborative Public Policy

Mediator Power & Collaborative Public Policy

What is mediator power and how does it operate in collaborative governance and public policy? I pose this question after reading the current issue of Conflict Resolution Quarterly (Vol. 26, No. 4). This collection of scholarly articles challenges basic concepts of mediation and calls for a searching reconsideration of its definition and practice. The contributions […]

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Power Differences, Consensus Building & Collaborative Networks

Power Differences, Consensus Building & Collaborative Networks

Power differences among members of a collaborative effort – whether conceived as a network or a consensus building process – have long been a major concern of observers and stakeholders alike. One of the basic characteristics of these groups is their voluntary, non-coercive nature and the equal voice accorded to each participant. The fear is […]

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Implementing Consensus Agreements - 1

Implementing Consensus Agreements – 1

Reaching agreement is the emotional high point of a consensus-seeking process. It often follows a period of difficult and intense negotiations and may represent a major breakthrough in relationships among long-warring groups. However, implementation is the real test of the effectiveness and durability of any agreement, and there are many potential obstacles that can frustrate […]

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Networks and Collaboration

Networks and Collaboration

Networks have been a hot topic for several years and with good reason. Their widespread and varied uses have the potential to change the way business gets done, and those changes are having an impact on governance as well. In fact, the term “governance” is coming to mean the networking among public, private and nonprofit […]

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