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Inland Central CA Collaborative Planning Assessment Project
One of the most valuable preliminary steps in a collaborative planning process is to undertake a capacity assessment.
Among other things, an initial collaborative planning capacity assessment can:
- Identify the key parties of interest and their level of receptivity to the project and potential outcomes.
- Determine the key issues and how they are perceived by and overlap among the stakeholders.
- Outline the political and social dynamics among stakeholders.
- Identify resources within the planning area that can be used or augmented in support of the collaborative planning process.
- Analyze potential collaborative approaches and determine their likelihood for success.
- Provide guidance on how to best frame the initial stakeholder meetings.
The Inland Central California Collaborative Planning Assessment Project was undertaken by the interagency group known as the Tri-Agency Partnership. The Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency (BT&H), the Resources Agency, and the California Environmental Protection Agency formed the Tri-Agency Partnership in 2001 to improve coordination and expedite transportation project delivery while protecting the environment.
The Tri-Agency Partnership saw the need to provide state leadership to support local efforts to address growth, economic development, and environmental protection. They chose to look at the feasibility of fostering collaborative planning in the Central Valley of California because the region faces enormous growth that will impact environmentally sensitive lands, agricultural heritage, inadequate transportation infrastructure, and housing.
To assess the interest of stakeholders in the region and the issues most significant to them, the project focused on 12 counties that make up “Inland Central California” (Amador, Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne Counties). The assessment involved interviews of 160 people in the 12-county study area.