Public Outreach Planner
Client: Idaho Transportation Department – Statewide
Idaho Transportation Department's Public Outreach Planner (POP)
Determining the appropriate budget, staffing needs, tools and techniques to execute an effective public involvement process as part of early transportation decision making is a goal shared by most transportation professionals. How to make those determinations, often with little to no background in the public involvement field, can be a challenge to agency professionals. The Langdon Group (TLG), in cooperation with the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), customized and expanded on a process originally developed by TLG for the Utah Department of Transportation that allows ITD staff to quickly and easily quantify a recommended level of public involvement for a range of transportation impacts. Through a series of customized multiple-choice questions, the Public Outreach Planner (POP) guides the user to a POP Level of 1 through 5. Each level provides recommended budget estimates, staffing needs and appropriate tools and techniques for various types of transportation impacts.
The POP is an interactive online tool that has seamlessly integrated with existing ITD process, manuals and guides to help ensure that public involvement is considered and accounted for at all phases of a transportation decision making process. Through the POP, users can not only determine what public involvement methods and tools are the best fit for their project and budget, but they can learn more about how to effectively design, develop and execute them.
Every transportation impact has its own unique community and stakeholders that need to be communicated with in a way that produces constructive public involvement and builds understanding about the need for transportation funding. The POP prompts users to reflect on their targeted public and make determinations about what communication techniques will be the most effective.
POP tracks, questions, budget estimates and outreach techniques were conceptualized and fine-tuned organically through a combination of internal expert knowledge and outreach workshops with ITD staff in all six ITD district offices.
The “Live” POP lives entirely online and allows the user to quickly and easily navigate from the homepage to the appropriate worksheet, through the supporting documents and ultimately the ITD Guide to Public Involvement where they can learn more about the various tools and techniques suggested for their level of effort.