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The Public Participation Handbook: Making Better Decisions Through Citizen Involvement

ISBN: 978-0-7879-7963-8
304 pages
March 2005, Jossey-Bass
The Public Participation Handbook: Making Better Decisions Through Citizen Involvement (0787979635) cover image
Internationally renowned facilitator and public participation consultant James L. Creighton offers a practical guide to designing and facilitating public participation of the public in environmental and public policy decision making. Written for government officials, public and community leaders, and professional facilitators, The Public Participation Handbook is a toolkit for designing a participation process, selecting techniques to encourage participation, facilitating successful public meetings, working with the media, and evaluating the program.  The book is also filled with practical advice, checklists, worksheets, and illustrative examples.
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Tables, Figures, Exhibits, and Worksheets xiii

Preface xv

The Author xix

Introduction 1

PART ONE: OVERVIEW OF PUBLIC PARTICIPATION 5

2 The Rationale for Public Participation 14

PART TWO: DESIGNING A PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROGRAM 27

3 Decision Analysis 29

4 Process Planning 45

5 Implementation Planning 78

PART THREE: PUBLIC PARTICIPATION TOOL KIT 85

6 Techniques for Getting Information to the Public 89

7 Techniques for Getting Information from the Public 102

PART FOUR: PUBLIC MEETING TOOLS 139

8 Designing Public Meetings 143

9 Developing Interactive Meetings 149

10 Facilitating Public Meetings 166

11 Determining Meeting Logistics 173

PART FIVE: GENERAL-PURPOSE TOOLS 181

12 Working with Advisory Groups 183

13 Conducting Interviews 190

14 Working with the Media 196

15 Analyzing Public Comment 205

16 Evaluating Public Participation 214

17 Using Public Participation Consultants 223

PART SIX: PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN ACTION 227

18 Public Participation Cases 229

Conclusion 243

An Example: Sunny Glen Landfill Siting Public Participation Plan 247

Index 255

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James L. Creighton is president of Creighton & Creighton, Inc., in Los Gatos, California, at www.publicparticipation.com. He has been an independent consultant in the public participation field since 1972 and has designed or conducted more than three hundred public participation programs. He is the founding president of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2), an international organization of professionals and people interested in the public participation field.
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"The Public Participation Handbook is a practical, essential, and thorough guide for practitioners, public and private sector managers, NGOs, civic groups, and citizens. It is written by one of the gurus of the field and is an essential work for all those concerned with practical issues of good governance."
--Jerome Delli Priscoli, editor in chief, Water Policy

"The public has a wisdom that government needs to understand before it can fulfill its mission. Creighton has cleared a path towards that wisdom."
--David Matthews, president, Kettering Foundation

"A very strong and accessible guide to public participation. The content is well-grounded in experience and the relevant research."
--Daniel J. Fiorino, adjunct professor, American University

"Finally, a book that provides specific insights and techniques for designing public participation strategies and programs. The Public Participation Handbook is just that—a how-to book for practitioners and decision-makers who must meaningfully incorporate the public's values into public and corporate decisions."
--Martha A. Rozelle, president, The Rozelle Group, Ltd., and past president, International Association for Public Participation

"The Public Participation Handbook clearly sets forth James L. Creighton’s profound mastery of the craft of public participation."
--Peter T. Johnson, former administrator, Bonneville Power Administration

"Jim Creighton is the master chef for successful public participation. In this handbook he divulges a lifetime of experience that every practitioner can tap into."
--William L. Robertson, chairman, Weston Solutions, Inc.

"Governmental agencies need to get information out to the public. They also need to find what the public wants and needs. The Public Participation Handbook offers the most comprehensive list of techniques for accomplishing these two objectives."
--Lawrence Susskind, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Most books either lay out the arguments for using public participation or concentrate on tools. This book provides a comprehensive approach including insights about real-world management and planning plus advice on how to do public participation from start to finish."
--Bojinka Bishop, associate professor and Sloan Professorship, College of Communication, Ohio University

"Creighton's handbook is equally useful for those new to the field of public participation and long-time practitioners. He's gathered wisdom collected from 30 years of experience between the covers of this volume. Every practitioner and decision-maker should own a copy to this handbook and refer to it frequently."
--LaVerne Kyriss, president, International Association for Public Participation

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