UNCG: News from the Network — Fall 2010

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Save the Date for UNCG 2011 - June 26-28

Portland State University

Save the date! We will be meeting in Portland, Oregon, June 26-28 for our 2011 annual meeting. Special thanks go to our local area hosts: Portland State University’s Oregon Solutions and Oregon Consensus, University of Oregon’s Appropriate Dispute Resolution Center, and Washington State University / University of Washington’s William D. Ruckleshaus Center. The meeting will take place June 26 – 28, 2011, at Portland State University. Stayed tuned for further details as the Program Committee develops a theme and panel topics.

June 26 – June 28, 2011

Portland State University, Hatfield School of Government - Portland, OR


Program Planning Committee:

Pepperdine University Creates Davenport Institute of Public Engagement and Civic Leadership

We welcome UNCG’s newest member – and a brand new collaborative governance institute – the Davenport Institute of Public Engagement and Civic Leadership.  Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy (SPP) and non-profit organization Common Sense California have joined together to create the new Davenport Institute.

Founded, in part, with the support of Pepperdine's SPP in 2006, Common Sense California, has been supporting and promoting public engagement at the city and regional level as a means of discovering “common sense” solutions to local policy challenges. Partnering Common Sense California with the Davenport Institute, the new Institute has emerged to offer current and future public leaders an important institution. The “new normal” is training, educating, researching and promoting this new leadership skill: how to engage the greater public – along with and beyond “stakeholders”. Through continued coursework and work-study opportunities, the Davenport Institute provides current SPP students with the skills, experience, and relationships they will need to work towards common sense answers to today’s difficult policy problems.

The Davenport Institute will seek to answer the most fundamental public policy question in a democratic republic: How can our governing institutions and the citizens they represent work together to solve public problems - practicing effective governance while engendering self governance?

“We are extremely excited about the new public engagement training and consulting opportunities open to us through the creation of this new institute," said Pete Peterson, Executive Director of the Davenport Institute. He continued, "If these last few years have taught us anything, it is that local and regional leaders throughout California are confronting more and more difficult policy decisions in new and creative ways, reaching out to their residents for ideas and actual participation in 'common sense' solutions. Through the new Davenport Institute we will continue to support them as they lead in the 'new normal' of tight budgets and tough land use decisions."

UNCG Principles for Accountability and Ethical Practice

Over the past several months, UNCG has been working on a set of principles for centers operating collaborative governance programs. They were presented at the March 2010 annual conference where the participants found them helpful and substantive. There is now a discussion guide for UNCG members to dig into the principles for understanding and possible revision. This guide was developed by the committee of Chris Carlson, PCI; Jill Purdy, William D. Ruckelshaus Center (WSU/UW); Susan Jeghelian, MODR (UMass Boston); Elaine Hallmark, Oregon Consensus (PSU); Kem Lowry, Matsunaga Institute (Univ of Hawaii); and Rob McDaniel, William D. Ruckelshaus Center (WSU / UW).

FEEDBACK by December 1st

We are asking that by December 1st you use the discussion guide and conduct a discussion with your staff, associates of your center, and governing/advisory boards (as appropriate). Please address the principles; how they relate to your program; and what edits, amendments or other key documents/principles are relevant to your center adopting the principles.

REASONS for your participation and feedback:

  1. Building our connections in UNCG depends on affirming our common values, and commit to principles of practice relevant to centers, not just individual practitioners.
  2. The goal is to adopt principles at the next UNCG annual meeting, which will be held in Portland in June 2011.

Will you please hold these discussions this fall - between September 1 and December 1 – and give the Steering Committee your feedback? Please return feedback to Sarah Giles for compilation.

At the 2011 conference we will take these intra-center discussions, add further commentary, and move toward adoption of the principles as a Network.

UNCG Special Projects Updates

PCI has continued to work on developing Network-wide initiatives, including seeking opportunities in states to support the Sustainable Communities Partnership and Regional Environmental and Natural Resources Forums.

Livable Communities Consortium

In June 2009, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Transportation (DOT), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined together to form the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

PCI has been working with federal and state agencies and local governments to disseminate information, assess needs, and coordinate efforts related to the implementation of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities. These efforts have focused on how to facilitate the inter-agency coordination and collaboration that will be necessary to develop and implement projects under this federal initiative, and also how to ensure that communities are prepared to access new opportunities that may be available through the Partnership to promote sustainable development.

In April 2010, the regional offices of these federal agencies asked the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) to organize a one day event to provide an opportunity for the HUD, DOT, and EPA regional administrators to meet with transportation, housing, and environmental leaders in Oregon. OTREC partnered with the National Policy Consensus Center (NPCC) to develop the meeting content, materials, and facilitation for the event.

The Oregon Community Dialogue for the Partnership for Sustainable Communities was held on June 30, 2010. The purpose of the event was to increase awareness and understanding of the Partnership, to receive input from state, regional, and local participants about opportunities and needs to inform the initiative, and to catalyze an enhanced level of participation throughout Oregon. Approximately 150 participants attended the event, which was held at Willamette University. At the request of the federal agencies, another UNCG member, the William D. Ruckelshaus Center, was asked by the University of Washington Runstad Center to facilitate a similar event for Washington on July 21. Final reports for both community dialogues will be available soon.

Additionally, one of the “tools” that NPCC has completed is an MOU between Oregon state agencies, with the purpose of creating a consortium for them to coordinate efforts on sustainability initiatives, provide support for local/regional entities pursuing federal funds for sustainability projects, and to show the federal agencies that the state is committed to working collaboratively towards livability goals. There is discussion of expanding the scope and partners signed on to the MOU as we better understand the needs and interests for collaboration related to the Partnership.

NW Regional Environment and Natural Resources Forum Pilot

The Interim Steering Committee for the Northwest Regional Environment and Natural Resources Forum met on June 2, 2010, and was well attended by federal, state, local and tribal government leaders from Oregon and Washington, including the Ruckelshaus Center. This meeting was an opportunity to better understand the need for a high level collaborative process for addressing environmental issues in the region and to discuss the potential structure and functions of the proposed Forum. Outcomes of the meeting included agreement to move forward with the creation of the Northwest Regional Environment and Natural Resources Forum and the proposed process.

The group also identified a topic that people felt would benefit from greater attention through a collaborative process: renewable energy siting/ transmission issues. We are in the process of conducting an assessment of this issue for the first full Forum meeting to be scheduled for the fall of 2010. The assessment will include an overview of policies, regulations, processes and responsibilities related to renewable energy and transmission siting in the region. Currently, PCI and the U.S.Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution are working with UNCG partners in other regions to gauge interest and capacity in conducting additional REFs.

Collaborative Governance Competencies

The Network has continued to track and catalogue what kinds of trainings members offer.  Under the leadership of Kirk Emerson, University of Arizona, and Steve Smutko, Ruckelshaus Institute at the University of Wyoming, UNCG is also developing a set of management and public engagement skills that public managers and planners need for the practice of collaborative governance.  PCI's Wendy Willis moderated a panel on this topic at the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution’s 2010 meeting with Steve, Elena Gonzalez of the Department of the Interior's Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR), and Bob Jones of Florida State University's FCRC Consensus Center. Public agency officials and practitioners packed the room to join in on the discussion.


Five member centers were also part of a grant proposal to the federal Agency for Health Research and Quality, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, to carry out a nationwide series of citizen forums. The team UNCG was a part of did not receive the grant but our proposal ranked second out of the finalists.

Events: National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation Regional Meetings

In 2010, NCDD is coming to you! Rather than holding a single National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation, NCDD is organizing regional one-day events in 5 cities across the country. NPCC, UMass Boston’s Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration, Colorado State's Center for Public Deliberation, and the University of Texas Austin's Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution are planning the meetings in their respective regions (Cascadia, New England, Denver, and Central Texas).

NCDD is also planning to hold a follow-up event in Washington DC in early 2011, focusing on lessons learned at the fall events and next steps for NCDD.

In addition to tapping into local knowledge and innovations, the NCDD regional events will build on what we learned in the past year and a half from our involvement in the White House's Open Government Initiative, and through efforts like the creation of the Core Principles for Public Engagement. With the increase in national and local attention to open government and public engagement, members of the dialogue and deliberation community are focusing in on three critical topic areas:

The events will focus on connecting practitioners, community leaders and public managers locally to help build knowledge and capacity around these three topics. Register for the event in your region.


Please send comments and suggestions.