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Learning and Improving: Public Participation

The purpose of this website is to share information about public participation approaches and evaluation methods in an effort to support a community dialogue about what we can learn from each experience and improve for future public participation efforts.

Case-by-Case Evaluation of Public Participation Approaches

The Chapel Hill 2020 process experimented with a wide range of community information and engagement methods.  Following that process, we continued to experiment with different public participation methods to match the needs and qualities of each project.  To evaluate the public participation methods, we used our own surveys and surveys designed by the School of Government (SOG).   A selection of these efforts are listed below along with the status of their evaluation. 

 

Project

Public Participation Approach

Evaluation Method

Chapel Hill 2020

Large scale, high turnout public meetings supported by targeted committee and stakeholder meetings.

SOG Evaluation entitled, “Chapel Hill 2020: An Assessment of Public Participation.”

Future Focus Area

Central West: Committees, public charrettes, and community workshops.

Offered participants the opportunity to take a Public Participation Evaluation Survey designed by the SOG. Results can be found here.

Future Focus Area

Ephesus Fordham Rezoning: targeted stakeholder meetings and public hearing meetings with the Council.

We plan to offer the SOG Public Participation Evaluation Survey to participants in this project. Results are pending.

Advisory Board Review

Created an employee facilitation team to facilitate a series of community conversations.

Offered participants the opportunity to take a Public Participation Evaluation Survey designed by the SOG. Results can be found here.

LUMO Update

Electronic surveys with targeted stakeholders, held a kick-off event with a Conference Exhibition setup where attendees could walk from table to table and discuss topics with subject matter expert staff members.

Surveys administered by the Town. Survey results can be found here:

Citizens Police Academy Changed the format of the program to one evening weeknight and a 1 weekend day to increase participation.

Surveys administered by the Town.  Survey results can be found here:

North South Corridor Study

Taking meetings to strategic locations (student union), using infographics and online efforts including a mindmixer site with interactive budget activity and message space.

Project is ongoing.  Reports on participation efforts are included below.

We plan to offer a Town survey or the SOG Public Participation Evaluation Survey to participants in this project.  Results are pending.

Future Focus Area

Rosemary Imagined: Partnered with Downtown Partnership to engage targeted stakeholders. Used video and an iterative participation process that built on feedback to diagrams and plans from each session.

Project is ongoing.  We plan to offer the SOG Public Participation Evaluation Survey to participants in this project. Results are pending.

Rogers Road Sewer Service Extension

Council interest in public feedback was met by a local non-profit who performed intensive door-to-door outreach in the Rogers Road Community.

Marian Cheek Jackson Center Report on Extensive Community Engagement Findings

 

Next Steps

  • Case-by-case evaluation: Staff will administer a Town designed survey or the SOG Public Participation Evaluation Survey to participants in three projects:Ephesus-Fordham Rezoning, Downtown Imagined, and the North-South Corridor Study.  The results will be posted on this website.
  • Establish broad participation goals:  To be able to review public participation efforts in the context of broad participation goals, a staff group has launched an internal project that will propose a definition of public participation goals,  performance measures, and a plan for achieving those performance measures.  More information will be provided about this effort in Spring, 2014.

Join the conversation!

This site will be updated as more evaluation information is created.  We will also update this website when there are meetings or events associated with this project.  If you have feedback or if you would like to be added to a mailing list about this topic, please email Rae Buckley at rbuckley@townofchapelhill.org.

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