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9月份對話訊息: 你不可不知的【公眾參與】September Dialogue Newsletter "Public Engagement"

你不可不知的「公眾參與」

2014年IAF國際引導者協會亞洲年會的主題:<Crossroads-Facilitating Worlds in Change>「引導正在變革的世界」。IAF亞洲區代表陳英傑 Noel Tan先生在年會開場中開宗明義地指出:「亞洲是國際引導協會會員成長最快的區域。然而,我們應當思索,我們該如何運用引導專業──來協助面臨經濟快速成長,社會正義尚待努力的亞洲社會。」 也許是這個核心,我個人對於「公眾參與」(Public Engagement) 特別有深刻的學習,也是我期許自己與基金會未來要持續努力的方向。

近年來由於社會意識的高漲,民意逐漸受到重視,「公眾參與」已成為政府在公共政策擬定時,尋求合理性與合法性基礎的另一種新型模式。2014年9月6日由朝邦及IAF台灣分會所主辦的《引導公眾參與.啟動變革契機》工作坊邀請陳英傑引導師分享有關「公眾參與」的觀念,以及他參與《新加坡對話》(1) 的引導經驗。

什麼是「公眾參與」?

根據「國際公眾參與協會」的定義:「公眾參與」是一種流程,把人們聚在一起,針對他們共同重要的議題,解決共同的問題,促成正面的社會改變。

IAP2 – The International Association for Public Participation –

公眾參與強調所有會被決策影響到的人,都必須包含在決策的過程中。主張決策若要有永續性,必須提供參與者有足夠的資訊,讓他們的參與有意義,同時也得讓公眾了解他們的意見如何影響決策。

有效的「公眾參與」,則是邀請一般民眾對他們切身關心的議題來參與審議、對話以及行動。如此做,可以幫助領導者以及決策者更了解公眾的觀點、意見以及關心所在。這個過程帶來的好處:

  • 協助人們衡量不同的觀點以及傾聽別人的意見
  • 建立共同的瞭解,管理差異,對於複雜的議題找到可以前進的方向
  • 在公眾與領導者之間建立信任改善溝通
  • 為公眾創造參與、解決公共議題、做決策的新機會

「公眾參與」的目的、程度、對公眾的承諾以及使用的方式,依情況會有所不同。如果不能分辨每個階段的目的及能給參與民眾的承諾,往往只會讓公眾參與失去其原有的美意,甚至造成失去信任的反效果。

公眾影響力的提升

9月份的工作坊,我們思索:

  • 引導專業能夠為『公眾參與』帶來什麼價值?
  • 『公眾參與』能夠為引導專業帶來什麼價值?
  • 『公眾參與』的在地經驗
  • 『公眾參與』面臨的挑戰

用參與者的一句話來(其實是一言難盡)表達我們從9月份的工作坊的學習與收穫:

  • 公眾對話,就由身邊的人開始,再往外擴散,一步一腳印~朝益

  • 當要求人民為大我思考時,勿忘對人權的堅持~有恆

  • 回顧促進公眾參與的教育初衷,梳理群我工作的專業倫理,從對話中獲得自我更新的力量~雅慧

  • 这个课程为我的公民参与旅程注入力量,找到方向~意枚

  • 我自身可以從參與小的社群對話著手,培養經驗與熟悉引導公眾對話團隊動態的方法~Eric

  • 透過結構化、階段化的剖析,看到不同的引導技巧與方法如何串聯及引領公民參與,最重要的是如何發揮引導的精神去覺察社會、組織、團隊及個人的需求~Jackie

  • 公眾參與,一趟學習之旅,喚起我(引導師)的社會責任~Jorie

  • 台灣的引導社群對社會狀況了解清晰,對國家有熱情,需要的是如何和有權力的人開始對話,讓他們看到價值~Noel

台灣對於<公眾參與>並非全然陌生,從社區改造的計畫到二代健保的決策都有不同的呈現。我們預計在未來的<對話新訊息>陸續分享在地的<公眾參與>實務經驗,也歡迎您加入學習與分享的行列!


~ 吳咨杏 寫/ 朝邦基金會

 

註1:

  1. <我們的新加坡對話> 簡介( 英文全文請參見附檔)
  2. 從2012年10月到2013年7月,由總理授權教育部部長召集,進行為期一年的民間對話,讓新加坡人們對共同未來暢所欲言、闡述想法。

  3. 通過這個過程收集到的意見和想法,總結出12 大主軸、五大願景引導社會發展: 讓社會充滿機遇、同心同聽殊途同歸、讓生活得到保障、互相扶持不離不棄、互信互中有所擔當。現已轉達相關的政府部門以供參考。

  4. 一年內進行了660場次對話,每場次3小時,共計1645 小時,47,000人來自社會各階層,踴躍參加對話。

  5. 由政府主導的活動,新加坡引導者協會協助引導流程的設計,提供引導志工, 圖像記錄員,總共動用了120名引導者(包括政府部門、協會以及自由工作的引導者。

Public Engagement

The  theme of 2014 IAF Asia Facilitators Conference  was “Crossroads: facilitating Worlds in Change”.  IAF Asia representative Mr. Noel Tan highlighted for conference attendees that “Asia is the International Association of Facilitator’s (IAF) fastest growing region.  However we should be thinking about how we can use our profession to help address issues related to the world’s rapid economic changes, social justice issues facing the Asian community.”  I personally experienced  profound learning in “Public Engagement” as an arena for me and the foundation to continue our efforts.

In recent years social awareness and public opinion has been gaining recognition, with public engagement already becoming a part of the government’s public policy development process and a new model for building legitimacy.  The workshop “Facilitating public participation”  co-hosted by CP Yen Foundation and the IAF-Taiwan Chapter, Mr. Noel Tan was invited to share his thoughts on public participation and his experience participating in the “ Our Singapore Conversations” event.

 

What is Public Engagement?

According to the International Association for Public Participation, public engagement is a process of bringing people together to deal with the issues that they feel are important, to solve shared problems and to bring about positive social change.

Public engagement emphasises decisions that will affect people - including the decision making process.  If you want the policies that you advocate for to be sustainable, you must provide participants enough information to allow them to contribute their different perspectives while also helping the public to understand more deeply how their opinions affect decisions.

Effective public engagement invites average citizens to get involved in deliberation, dialogue and action on public issues that they care about.  Likewise, public engagement helps leaders and decision makers better understand the perspectives, opinions and concerns of citizens and stakeholders.

When done well, public engagement goes far beyond the people who are normally engaged by including community members whose voices have traditionally been left out of political and policy debates.  Moreover it:

  • helps people weigh a variety of perspectives and listen to each other’s views;

  • builds common understanding, manages differences and establishes direction for moving ahead on tough issues;

  • builds trust and improves communication between the public and leaders;

  • creates new opportunities for citizens to become involved in public problem solving and decision making.

Public engagement’s goal, promise and techniques are different for each situation; and if one does not differentiate the level or the promise given, public engagement could become a misleading or manipulative tool. The chart below shows the goal, promise to the public and examples for different stages of public participation:

September’s workshop reflected on:

  • What value  the facilitation profession can bring to  public engagement

  • What  value can public engagement bring to the facilitation profession?

  • What are some local experiences of public engagement?

  • What challenges does public engagement face?

In the words of participants expressing our September workshop’s experience and take-aways:

  • “Public dialogue starts with the people around you and expands outward step-by- step.” - David

  • “When asking people to think about the collective, be sure to include human rights.” - Youheng

  • “The workshop helped me reflect and reorganise my opinions on my education on public engagement and on my work ethics. Dialogue gave me a sense of liberation  and renewed energy.” - Yahui

  • “This workshop injected a sense of direction into my journey to citizenship participation” - 意枚

  • “Starting from the community around me , I can start create experiences in the group dynamics of public dialogue.” - Eric

  • “Through structured and iterative analysis, we can see different facilitation techniques connecting with pubic participation and most importantly expressing the spirit of facilitation for understanding social, organisational, group and individual needs.” - Jackie

  • “Public participation was a learning journey that aroused a sense of social responsibility in me” - Jorie

  • “Taiwan’s facilitation community has a clear understanding of society and a passion for the nation, what’s needed now is how to have dialogue with  people who have power.” - Noel

Public engagement is not unfamiliar in Taiwan, from community planning to national health care reform, the manifestations are quite different.  We expect the future “dialogue newsletters” will gradually share local case studies of public participation and invites you to join our learning and sharing!

 

By Jorie Wu (吳咨杏),  CP Yen Foundation Director

Appendix 1:

  1. “Our Singapore Conversation” introduction (see the full English article attached)
  2. From October 2012 to July 2013, Minister Heng Swee Keat authorised the Ministry of Education to convene civic dialogues over one year for Singaporeans to dialogue dialogue about the common future of Singapore.
  3. The ideas and perspectives generated during this process emerged as 12 trends and 5 visions for the future development of Singapore: that the community is full of opportunities, social security, a shared aspiration for a shared Singaporean future, and an understanding by the government of these aspirations.
  4. In one year 660 dialogue events were held for three hours each and a total of 1,645 hours and 47,000 people from different social dimensions joined the dialogue.
  5. Thanks to government-led activities IAF- Singapore helped steer the design process, provided 120 volunteer facilitator volunteers  and graphic facilitators.

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