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Public Opinion and It’s Effect on Project Planning

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  1. Public Opinion and It’s Effect on Project Planning A Systems Approach

  2. Presenters Anjali Patil Mike Dean W. Alex Beaver

  3. Agenda • Introduction • Theories & Practices • The Factors of Public Opinion • The Public Opinion Model • Conclusion • Round Table Discussion • Questions

  4. Introduction • Project- A specific, finite task to be accomplished Meredith and Mantel • Today's public is better informed and better educated • Laws and regulations now mandate that the public be given opportunities to become involved in the planning process

  5. Introduction • Public involvement is a task all planners will have to participate in • Skills in communication, facilitation and partnering

  6. Introduction • Project planners must take the public’s opinion into account during project planning and implementation • Not accounting for public opinion could have drastic results, including cost over runs or project failure

  7. Public Participation • Describes integrating the public’s ideas within the implementation of projects, programs, plans and policies • At a minimum- seeks to inform and consult those affected

  8. Public Participation • Public Participation venues are also valuable data gathering tools for planners to assess the publics overall stance on the project, program, plan or policy

  9. Participation Types • Information Disclosure • Public Consultation • Functional Participation • Interactive Participation • Self Mobilization Adapted from Petty (1995)

  10. Why Consult The Public? • Raise awareness of project impacts • Reach agreement on management and technical approaches • Maximize benefit • Reduce negative consequences- i.e. delay

  11. Who’s Involved? • Public- can be directly or indirectly involved or affected • All can influence the project outcome • Individuals • Families • Public officials • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) • All are referred to as “Stakeholders”

  12. Project affected people- Individuals, Families Indigenous groups Private sector- Financiers, Local Business, Industry associations Public sector- Local, State and National Governments Stake-holders Advocacy groups NGOs Universities Research Centers

  13. Private Sector Disclosure • Often constrained by various political and commercial factors

  14. Political Factors • Government may determine the: • Type • Duration • Site of the project • Government may remain involved during or after project completion

  15. Commercial Factors • Competitive Sensitivity • Financial Accountability • Budget may not account for Public Participation • Time horizon may differ between stakeholders

  16. Good Business Sense • Public participation can generate positive financial and commercial benefits for the project sponsor

  17. Benefits of Participation • Reduced financial risk • Reduced direct cost • Increased market share • Enhanced social benefits

  18. Public consultation to improve public image ease negotiations with government Public consultation employed to avoid conflict Public consultation employed to optimize project design Future projects in country and internationally Reduce risks (particularly from delays) Cost effective mitigation and operational measures Increased market share Costs avoided Lower continual costs Increased Revenue Reduced Costs Increased Profits PROJECT SPONSOR

  19. Time Project teams will have to devote planning time in order to develop PP plans, hold public hearings, interpret data, and integrate comments into the project design Time The time devoted to planning Public Participation may pay for itself in the amount of time saved in delays propagated from public outrage and poor design concept Public ParticipationHas a Price Cost Benefit

  20. Money The previously mentioned planning time and staff will have associated costs Money Not developing an adequate participation plan and integrating it into the project design can have catastrophic monetary consequences or project failure Public ParticipationHas a Price Cost Benefit

  21. Political Costs Stakeholders may not embrace the project Organizations will not reap social benefits Political Benefits Stakeholders embrace the project Organizations benefit from positive public opinion and outlook Public ParticipationHas a Price Cost Benefit

  22. Participation is the Law • NEPA (1969) • CERCLA (1980) • Forest Practices Act • Local Planning and Zoning

  23. Environment Budget Interagency coordination Lawsuits* Local controversy* Culturally sensitive* Politically sensitive Poor design Inexperienced employees Complexity Regulatory limitations Design change Weather The Causes of Delay The list is limitless!

  24. Discovered during scoping meetings? Was the public involved? Were their concerns addressed?

  25. 1987 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 Project Inception Funds appropriated by Alaska legislature. Project to be operational by the late 1990s. GVEA begins permitting and engineering planning Project begins to receive criticism from various groups. GVEA proposes 8th possible route in response to criticisms BLM issues d aft report for the acceptance of the Intertie project. BLM provides EIS for the new project. GVEA Intertie Project

  26. 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 Environmental group files an administrative appeal regarding proposed Intertie route Fairbanks judge rules against administrative appeal. Alaska Supreme Court grants a stay on construction. GVEA states one years delay=$3.6M Alaska Supreme Court requires the state to conduct additional studies. Federal courts uphold the BLMs EIS, ruling against the 1998 appeal. GVEA has now been seeking approval to begin construction for 6 years Construction begins Current projected costs for the project= $81M GVEA Intertie Project

  27. Earliest Start w/ Current Delays With the current 6 calendar quarters worth of delays, this $250M project will not start commercial production until 4th quarter, 2005 at the earliest Scheduled Finish Using GVEA numbers, this 1.5 year delay ~$18.75M`

  28. Pappas 2003

  29. Pappas 2003

  30. Theories • Many people have developed theories and methods for dealing and/or communicating with the public • All come down to three principles • Communicate • Coordinate • Cooperate • Implementation is the challenge

  31. Theories • Bleiker • Susskind and Cruikshank • Sandman • Risk= Hazard+Outrage

  32. Chronic Voluntary Not dreaded Natural Familiar Not Memorable Knowable Trustworthy Catastrophic Coerced Dreaded Industrial Not familiar Memorable Unknowable Untrustworthy Sandman’s Factors of Outrage SAFE RISKY

  33. Economic Environmental Project Risk Safety Quality of Life Aesthetics Convenience Public Health Government Involvement NIMBY Land Acquisition The Factors of Public Opinion

  34. Systems Dynamics • We are all part of many systems • Phone system • Water system • Traffic System • Many systems are intertwined

  35. Systems Dynamics • The key is to identify the models key concept such as a population, amount of an item or volume • This central concept is known as “The Stock” • The hydraulic metaphor

  36. The Hydraulic Metaphor INFLOW OUTFLOW STOCK Reproduced from Sterman

  37. The Hydraulic Metaphor • From the hydraulic metaphor, we can see that there are several parts of the system • As the stock changes it can affect some or all of the other variables

  38. Systems Notation Source Sink

  39. Systems Dynamics • Attempts to predict the behavior of a system and the variables within that system • More specifically, SD attempts to quantify change in the system over time

  40. Viewing Opinion as a Stock • Stocks do not have to be tangible • Memories and beliefs persist over time, generating inertia and continuity in our attitudes • The restaurant example

  41. Radiation Chemical Environment Value Convenience Safety Buzzwords “Bad” “Good”

  42. Examples • Radiation and Power Lines • This same aspect of “bad” vs. “good” can be applied to the Factors of Public Opinion • As the public forms it’s opinions, there will ultimately be an overall public opinion

  43. Sterman, 2000

  44. The Public Opinion Model • Simple, linear model • Accounts for the applicable Factors of Public Opinion as identified by the project planner

  45. The Public Opinion Model

  46. Rules • All factors deal with the public’s perception, whether the facts are right or wrong • Each factor is independent • Each factor is scored on a scale from 0 to 1

  47. North Pole Annexation • The city of North Pole distributed surveys to citizens of the FNSB to determine their desire to be annexed into the city of North Pole • Surveys were returned to the city with comments