IAP2 Recap: Better Decisions Made Together

This past month over 250 public participation professionals came together in Charlotte at The IAP2 North America Conference to learn best practices and share their success stories.

We heard many of those success stories specifically at the Better Together Lemonade Stand, which PublicInput.com hosted along with IAP2. We heard what good public participation means to you and why building trust is important at the local level. Stay tuned to IAP2 and follow us on Twitter to see the videos as they are released.

“Good public participation is when we have representative feedback from the broad community and all members of the community feel welcome to participate and share their input — and that their input is truly making a difference in the outcome.”

— Kayla Coleman, Community Engagement Specialist at City of Ann Arbor, Michigan

“Public participation for me is an inclusive process and one that addresses the systemic barriers that have often excluded people from participating in the first place. Growing up as a woman of color in the South, I often saw groups of people being marginalized. I grew up volunteering with my family to ensure that everyone’s voice was heard. And so I’m excited and thrilled to have that passion that I grew up with and that life purpose now being my profession.”

— Dannielle Crowe, Alliance Strategies in College Point, GA

“Public trust is important in the work that we do as public participation practitioners because that is the only way that we’ll be able to get really meaningful feedback from a range and diversity of communities that we’re trying to learn from, so that we can impact our outcomes that will shape our cities.”

— Francesca Patricolo,  Transportation Planner at City of Portland Bureau of Transportation

Welcome Reception Text Survey: Instant feedback and data capture via SMS

At the welcome reception, attendees engaged with IAP2 and one another via text, instantly populating a map to show where everyone was joining from:

iPhone - IAP2 text

We also asked you to describe good public participation in 10 words or less:

Comment tagging was used to see the big picture ideas.

Considering these results along with our conversations at the lemonade stand, it is clear that a key factor in good P2 is working together with the public to make better decisions.

How can we ensure the public is included in a meaningful way?

The best way to make sure we are including the public and getting more equitable feedback is by meeting people where they are through a mixed-mode strategy of outreach using both virtual and traditional methods. There are a number of tactics for reaching and engaging the public, and adopting a new tool or service for each tactic only adds more work without getting better outcomes. By integrating all your public participation and communication into one place, we can start to fully understand the reach, impact, and results of our efforts.

This is best summed up by focusing on the public participation process itself:

To learn more about how public participation software aligns with IAP2 spectrum, check out this recent blog post. You can also set up an intro call for a specific time with our team or fill out the form below:

See it live

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