Public Involvement Techniques

Foreward  |   Table of Contents
Chapter 1  |   Chapter 2  |   Chapter 3  |   Chapter 4  |   Index of Techniques

1. Informing People Through Outreach and Organizationskip page navigation

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1.B - Bringing a Core Participation Group Together
1.B.a - Community-Based Organizations
1.B.b - Civic Advisory Committees
1.B.c - Citizens on Decision and Policy Boards
1.B.d - Collaborative Task Forces

1. Introduction

1.B - Bringing a Core Participating Group Together

People want to have a voice in transportation decision-making for their communities, and agencies must have public involvement to create a successful planning or project development process. But where does an agency begin? One approach is to start with a core group of participants—people the agency knows are likely to have a strong interest—and then broaden the public involvement program based on work with the core group. This section presents three different approaches to establishing a core group of participants:

  • Community-based organizations;
  • Civic advisory committees;
  • Citizens on decision and policy bodies; and
  • Collaborative task forces.

Agencies form core groups for either a limited or an extended period of time, depending on the issues at hand. Core groups usually meet regularly and are sometimes assigned the tasks of reaching out and informing others who may want to participate. Membership of a core group should reflect the range of affected interests. To encourage people to participate, it is sometimes essential to provide support to offset out-of-pocket expenses or training to improve people’s communication and problem-solving skills and enhance their knowledge of planning methods and terms.

A core group helps agencies establish a working relationship with the community and take its pulse as a plan or project moves forward. Agencies often use core groups as key participants in decision-making; for example, in selecting evaluation criteria or narrowing a set of possible alternatives.

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