Sandbox Environment

Using the Learn panels to inform

  1. Using Learn to inform

    Using the Learn panels to inform Effective public comment requires knowing about the issues, the process, and the context. Knowledge-building can start here.

People who participate in public comment/discussion events often have strong views--but they may have also significant gaps in their knowledge of the factual background, scientific or technical data (if relevant), and the competing interests that are involved. Moreover, they often do not understand: the decisionmaking process of which the public comment/discussion is a part; the role of the sponsor of the discussion; or any legal or regulatory context that controls what can or must happen.

Here are some ideas for informative Learn panels:

  • What's going on here -- explaining the process in which the public comment/discussion is occurring, including the steps going forward and any significant legal or other constraints on possible outcomes
  • Who's sponsoring this discussion -- explaining the role, powers, and perspective of the agency or other entity hosting the public participation event in the process
  • What's happened up till now -- explaining relevant factual or legal background for the discussion such as, for example, earlier steps that have paved the way for the current discussion, or passage of a statute that requires the sponsor to accomplish a goal that includes public comment along the way

More information on these questions can presented in the Topic posts, and participants may be able to go into greater detail by reading materials included in the Helpful Documents section of the site. But the Learn slides can quickly provide people with information that situates them more knowledgeably in the discussion from the outset. For an example, see NYCSmartParticipation.