Making the citizen connection
We have helped clients such as Governor Christine Gregoire, State Auditor Brian Sonntag, The City of Bellevue, and Sound Transit to open an ongoing, two-way conversation with their publics.
Each client project is customized, drawing from our major areas of expertise.
Organizations that do research and call it the end result are squandering an opportunity. They could be opening an ongoing feedback loop with their stakeholders.
[Ask-do-check Diagram here] Focus groups, surveys and interviews are just the starting point. Once research-driven action is underway, smart organizations share the results and inquire: Are we on track? Did we hear you correctly? What has changed?
Characteristics of Involvement Research
Systematic—methods are rigorous and disciplined
Integrated—each method works together
Transparent – we share what we learn
Demonstrate utility- the input made a difference
Iterative –the cycle continues to evolve and improve
Interactive Citizen Engagement
Public input is vital to shaping policy, but conventional methods fall short:
Public hearings hear mostly from the loudest voices.
Traditional town halls are typically glorified public hearings. They are Q&A sessions with little or no real discussion.
Surveys elicit input from a representative sample of citizens, but do not allow for interaction or discussion.
Focus groups hear only from a few dozen citizens.
Websites get input only from the motivated.
We use a variety of different tools to help governments and citizens not just participate in forums, but be heard.
Electronic town hall meetings
Design charettes with real-time visualization
Televised teleforums (patent pending)
Telephone town halls
Live, interactive, in-room polling
Inclusive Performance Measurement
Citizens don’t measure performance in the same way that government measures itself.
This disconnect can lead to a vicious circle of mutual distrust. Follow that with diminished funding and public support.
Performance measures can be an effective tool to communicate with citizens and build trust, but only if they can be understood. We can design measurement and performance auditing programs, and actively include the public in understanding what’s being measured, and how it affects them.