Independent Issue Assessment & Process Design

An important component of a successful collaborative process is often the analysis that proceeds convening a group or process. Evaluating issues, challenges, dynamics and context is often a critical step in designing an effective collaborative process especially if the complexity and sensitivity of the situation warrants.

Facilitated Solutions can provide independent assessments that help conveners identify appropriate stakeholders, understand the issues, dynamics, and contexts, and evaluate whether and how to proceed with a collaborative process. Reviewing pertinent information and conducting structured conversations with stakeholders helps to identify interests, concerns, needs, the sources of challenges and their willingness to participate in a collaborative process. The result of an assessment is a report with design recommendations on whether and how a collaborative process can create shared goals and support problem solving. In addition, assessments serve to build trust and credibility between stakeholders and the independent facilitator.

Project Examples of Independent Issue Assessment & Process Design:

FDACS Wood Destroying Organisms Facilitated Rule Development Process. February 2004 – January 2006. Working for the FCRC, Jeff Blair conducted a feasibility assessment regarding a proposed negotiated rulemaking process to amend the Department’s Wood Destroying Organism (WDO) reporting form. The assessment concluded that the seven key interest groups are willing to participate in a negotiation related to amending the rule, and the Department decided to conduct a facilitated rule development process starting in September of 2005. The process was iterative in design and the Consortium successfully worked with stakeholders to identify issues, evaluate options, and reach agreement on revisions to Rule 5E-14.142(2)(c).

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Negotiated Rulemaking. May – November 2002. Rulemaking to establish efficacy and performance standards for registering termiticides for use as a preventative treatment on new construction. The Project featured a viability assessment and eight meeting negotiation on rule language. Jeff Blair conducted assessment on viability of proceeding with negotiated rulemaking for establishing efficacy and performance standards for termiticides used in new construction, leading to convening a nine member negotiation committee. Facilitated committee representing international chemical companies, state and national pest control operators, state and national pest management companies, home builders, building officials, state agency (DACS), university scientist, and the insurance industry. Assisted committee to develop a unanimous recommendation on rule language culminating in the unchallenged adoption of a new state rule. In addition to session facilitation, negotiation, and conflict resolution, designed negotiation process, procedural guidelines and decision-making procedures, agenda packets, summary reports, and drafting of final rule language.

Port of Ft. Pierce Master Plan Update. July 2001 – February 2002. Port Master Plan Update requiring comprehensive plan amendment. Assessment and facilitation of public workshops and joint workshop between City and County Commissions. Designed and facilitated four public input meetings with stakeholders—including environmental, business, property owners, business owners, minority interests, and city and county government—to solicit input for the preparation and adoption of a comprehensive Deepwater Port Master Plan for the Port of Fort Pierce. Following development of the final draft by the FAU Joint Center, a facilitated joint workshop with the Fort Pierce City Commission and the St. Lucie County Board of County Commission was held and agreement was reached between the two boards on the Plan.