Public Policy Stakeholder Engagement


“No bad planning goes unpunished!” That maxim is especially true in public engagement. Well-intentioned public agencies that fail to completely think through the why, what, how and who questions, often end up spending thousands of dollars on public engagement efforts that only reinforce cynicism and distrust.

Spending time doing your homework before the public arrives is time well spent. Key preparation questions are shown in this document, created by Juli for the 2010 National Coalition on Dialogue and Deliberation Regional Workshop. PreparingforPublicEngagement

Juli has designed and facilitated several successful, high-profile collaborative processes in which stakeholders helped shape public policies affecting their lives. Using a collaborative process and consensus decision making, Juli was lead facilitator for the Lake Travis Recreation Management Stakeholder Group for the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA). This process won a Peacemaker Award from the Dispute Resolution Center in 2008.  She designed and led a similar process for the Water Quality Protection Lands Public Access Stakeholder Group for the City of Austin Water and Wastewater Utility. Ten years later, that stakeholder group continues to meet to plan improvements such as trails and to resolve problems. Recently Juli helped the Lake Austin Task Force find consensus on recommendations for managing that unique Austin resource and the Community Engagement Task Force make recommendations on how to improve community engagement in Austin.

In addition to these consensus-seeking groups, Juli has designed several other creative public input processes that helped shape LCRA policy. These processes collected input from hundreds of community members on the Integrated Resource Plan and the 50-year Water Resource Supply Plan. Recently Juli helped the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center by developing and facilitating a process to gain consensus on a City of Austin Invasive Species Management Plan.

Throughout these processes, Juli is guided by the Seven Core Principles for Public Engagement, developed by NCDD. She and Steven Fearing developed this visual to illustrate these principles.