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Environmental Sustainability Division

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Evaluation of Public Involvement Programs for the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management (EM-22), 1995-2003

PNNL has conducted a series of evaluations of the effectiveness of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-Office of Environmental Management's (EM-22), public involvement activities. All studies were designed to increase understanding and improve program effectiveness both through the research process (i.e., interactions between the researchers and participants) and the research results. They are:

An evaluation was conducted of the overall scope and effectiveness of DOE public involvement strategy and activities at seven DOE field offices, including the role of the local Site-Specific (citizens') Advisory Boards (SSABs) in relation to the overall public involvement task (An Evaluation of DOE-EM Public Participation Programs, February 2003). Two surveys were conducted of members of the advisory boards established at 12 sites in the DOE complex. Before to administering the survey, PNNL worked with members of a steering group composed of DOE and SSAB representatives to develop a framework to clarify the goals of the evaluation from the perspectives of the key players and to establish criteria for evaluating the effectiveness and value of the SSAB initiative (Site-Specific Advisory Board Initiative: Evaluation Survey Results, 1996 and 1997).

An in-depth, qualitative study was undertaken of nine advisory boards, which was designed to gain a better understanding of the factors affecting board performance. PNNL assisted board members and DOE staff in gaining insight into the boards' strengths and weaknesses and learning from one another (An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Local Site-Specific Advisory Boards for U.S. Department of Energy Environmental Restoration Programs, 1999).

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