An important lesson learned over the past two years of implementing the DRAFT Place-based Planning Guidelines is that some pre-planning assessment work could be very helpful prior to undertaking a multi-year, multi-stakeholder, collaborative planning process. A best practice identified by collaboration practitioners such as Oregon Consensus and the Ruckelshaus Center is to conduct a “situation assessment” or “convening assessment” prior to initiating a collaborative effort. An early assessment could help to identify key drivers and issues for planning, obstacles and barriers to addressing the key issues, data and information needs, and the potential outcome of a “no action” alternative. It could provide insight into the appropriate scope and scale of the planning effort, identify stakeholders that should be invited and involved, make recommendations about who would be an appropriate convener, make observations about the overall readiness or “ripeness” for collaboration, and make process design suggestions.
A situation assessment or convening assessment was not conducted for any of the four planning groups. See the resources tab for assessments that have been completed for other water planning efforts in Oregon.
Example Convening or Situation Assessments