Public participation efforts support decision-making when they provide timely information at key decision points. Knowing what information should flow to maintain dialogue to the level promised is a significant challenge.
A decision-maker needs to consider:
- the milestones or key decision points of the project;
- the objectives to be achieved for each milestone; and
- the process of participating with the public.
The following table illustrates the links between the steps of a generic decision-making process, the public participation objective for each and possible tools to support each milestone.
|Steps in Decision Making Process||Objectives of Participation||Examples of Participation Tools|
|Identify the problem and decision needed||To understand background and decision to be made||Press release, website announcement|
|Undertake research||To receive information about issues to be addressed||Issue paper, presentation|
|Establish decision parameters/performance objectives||To understand decision parameters and performance objectives||Open house, public meeting|
|Develop options||To discuss issues and concerns about contribute to potential solutions||Workshops, online forums|
|Evaluate options||To receive feedback on options||Survey, telephone interviews|
|Decide||To communicate decision and how participation inputs were used||Letter, website announcement|
Source: International Association of Public Participation