Georgia Water/Best Practices/Public Participation
Best practices in public participation are described here, with links to current examples where these exist.
Goal of Public Participation
Public Participation Program
Design of the Public Participation Program
Level of Public Participation
- A Ladder of Citizen Participation - describes levels of allowed citizen involvement in the decision process.
- Citizen Juries - "A citizens' jury brings together a group of 16 or so randomly chosen citizens as jurors and provides a forum in which the jurors can consider how best to deal with an issue of public importance. ....jurors are given detailed, balanced information about the issue, hear a wide range of views from witnesses, and are able to question these witnesses as well as seek out any additional information they might want."
Notification of Meetings
- The State maintains a website which is "a central point for meeting notices for all state government boards, commissions and task forces. People who are interested in any of the boards can sign up with the secretary of state to be notified by e-mail when the boards are meeting." 
- Example - Alabama Open Meetings Law
- The State requires each state government board, commission and task force to post on the website the following information (as a condition for its continued authorization):
- Name of board, commission or task force
- Authorization for its creation and continuation
- Statement of duties
- List of members, their organizations, how appointed, and terms of appointment
- Officers of the organization, how selected, and terms of office
- List of all meetings, with dates and locations
- Minutes for each meeting
- Schedule for future meetings, with dates and locations
- Contact information with telephone, email address and postal address
- How to be added to the mailing lists.
Enabling Participation in Planning Steps
Review and Comment on Draft Documents
- Website which allows readers to post comments online for all to see. Good example: Georgia Department of Community Affairs, comments on draft water conservation program.
- Website which allows readers to record their approval/disapproval for list of proposed changes. Note that even better approach is to allow readers to define the proposed changes to be included on the online survey form. Example: Georgia Department of Community Affairs website to gather public response to proposed program changes.
- List of public participation techniques (not necessarily best methods), Georgia Department of Community Affairs
- Arnstein, Sherry R. "A Ladder of Citizen Participation," JAIP, Vol. 35, No. 4, July 1969, pp. 216-224.
- Reconciling Citizen, Analyst, and Manager Roles in Democratic Governance: Public Involvement Challenges in the 1990s, by Hanna J. Cortner for the National Drought Study (extensive and high quality list of pre-1994 references)