Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Oklahoma Partnership Engages Citizens

Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Oklahoma Partnership Engages Citizens

Article excerpt

Land-grant institutions have a role in creating engaged citizens, and public deliberation is a valuable tool to accomplish this mission. Meeting this challenge requires a network of institutions, agencies, organizations, and groups with similar missions working toward a common goal. The Oklahoma Partnership for Public Deliberation (OPPD) was established after conducting research to determine the capacity of a state to support the concept of citizen engagement through public deliberation.

Membership in the OPPD is open to any organization willing to work on fostering citizen engagement in public decision-making through public deliberative forums. The OPPD is an informal partnership, and member organizations may enter and leave the group at any time. At any given time, there are approximately a dozen organizations in the partnership. Each partner organization has identified at least one employee or member to represent the organization at OPPD meetings and support the work. The definition of partner is broad and flexible, allowing organizations and their representatives to participate in a variety of ways. Currently Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service-FCS Programs serves as the lead agency.

Strategic planning efforts began in 2001, and led to the adoption of a 5-year strategic plan in early 2002. The plan acknowledges the history of public deliberation in Oklahoma, as well as the context in which the OPPD is functioning in the state, such as the political and economic climate, external and internal trends, technological factors, citizen needs, and uncertainties. …

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