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ERIC Number: ED547339
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 310
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-4364-9
Connecting Neighborhood Councils and City Agencies--Evaluation of the Learning and Design Forums and Role of the University as a Mediating Institution
Kathi, Pradeep Chandra
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Southern California
The School of Planning Policy and Development at the University of Southern California brought together representatives of neighborhood councils and city agencies of the city of Los Angeles together in an action research program. This action research program called the Collaborative Learning Project developed a collaboration process called the Learning and Design Forum process that facilitated these deliberations, aimed at neighborhood council input into how the city agencies delivered their services in the neighborhood council areas. Each set of deliberations resulted in different outcomes--the first led to an MOU that was signed, the second did not result in an MOU and the third resulted in an OU that was prepared but was not signed. This dissertation asks two questions--first, is the University an appropriate mediating institution to bring together and facilitate deliberation between neighborhood councils and city agencies; and second--is the Learning and Design Forum process an effective collaboration process. To answer the first question, a comprehensive literature review was conducted to examine the historical role of mediating institutions in deliberative democracy. Then the role of educational institutions in collaborations with other organizations, specifically in the field of agriculture and industry was reviewed. It was established that universities had played a very critical mediating role in transferring technology from the lab to the land and the lab to the factory. Since the 1980s, universities also emerged as mediators in deliberative democracy and citizen participation in governance. In the recent decade, the number of universities and educational institutions collaborating with citizen groups and acting as mediating institutions between citizens and government agencies in the delivery of government services has increased tremendously. The collaborative model developed by the Collaborative Learning Project of the SPPD of USC was then compared with elements of mediating institutions generated out of the review and it was determined that the University is an appropriate mediating institution to facilitate citizen participation in governance leading to collaboration between local government and citizen groups. To answer the second question, the process elements of an established collaboration process--the 21st Century Town Hall model of AmericaSpeaks were identified. The outcome elements in the model proposed by Innes and Booher--renowned scholars in the subject of collaboration in the Planning field were used to evaluate the outcomes of the Learning and Design Forum process. Data from the Learning and Design Forum notes and semi-structured interviews was analyzed and participant statements reflecting the process elements and outcome elements were identified. The results showed that the Learning and Design Forum collaboration process substantially met the process element requirements and the first order outcome elements of an effective collaboration process. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California