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Glossary of Processes



Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR):
Alternative dispute resolution is any method of dispute resolution other than the traditional methods of formal adjudication, such as court litigation or administrative adjudication. There is a spectrum of ADR processes ranging from preventive methods such as joint problem-solving or partnering, to imposed methods such as binding arbitration. ADR processes are generally voluntary, flexible and less adversarial. These processes may be used to prevent, manage and resolve many types of controversial problems or disputes, by matching the appropriate dispute resolution process to the situation. It is often said that the process must fit the problem.
Source: "DESIGNING CONFLICT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS" p. 33-41.

There are many ways to resolve conflicts - surrendering, running away, overpowering your opponent with violence, filing a lawsuit, etc. The movement toward Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), sometimes referred to simply as conflict resolution, grew out of the belief that there are better options than using violence or going to court. Today, the terms ADR and conflict resolution are used somewhat interchangeably and refer to a wide range of processes that encourage nonviolent dispute resolution outside of the traditional court system. Common forms of ADR include: negotiation, mediation, early neutral evaluation, and arbitration.
Source: ASSOCIATION FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION.

Collaborative Stewardship: Collaborative stewardship is a process of scientists, government, and citizens working together to agree upon and attain goals and objectives that are environmentally responsible, socially acceptable, and economically viable.
Source: USDA FOREST SERVICE.

Community Stewardship:
People working together, sharing knowledge and resources, to achieve desired outcomes for public lands and communities within statutory and regulatory frameworks.
Source: A DESKTOP REFERENCE GUIDE TO COLLABORATIVE, COMMUNITY-BASED PLANNING, BY BLM AND THE SONORAN INSTITUTE.

Collaborative Problem Solving:
In collaborative problem solving, parties work side by side to solve the problem together. Rather than negotiating from opposing positions, the parties, through a number of different techniques that we will describe, identify problems in terms of interests.
Source: CONFLICT RESEARCH CONSORTIUM, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO.

Community-based Collaborative:
A community-based collaborative is a group that: has been convened voluntarily from within the local community to focus on a resource management issue(s) or planning involving public lands or publicly owned or regulated resources whose management impacts the physical, environmental and/or economic health of the local community; was brought together by a shared desire to influence the protection and use of natural resources through recommendations or direct actions that will impact the management of the resource; has membership that includes a broad array of interests, some of which may conflict; and utilizes a decision-making process that requires participation by local stakeholders.
Source: THE COMMUNITY-BASED COLLABORATIVES RESEARCH CONSORTIUM, A PROJECT OF THE INSTITUTE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL NEGOTIATION, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA.

Consensus Building:
Consensus building is a process of seeking unanimous agreement. It involves a good-faith effort to meet the interests of all stakeholders. Consensus has been reached when everyone agrees they can live with whatever is proposed after every effort has been made to meet the interests of all stakeholding parties. . . .Most dispute resolution professionals believe that groups or assemblies should seek unanimity, but settle for overwhelming agreement that goes as far as possible toward meeting the interests of all stakeholders.
Source: THE CONSENSUS BUILDING HANDBOOK, p. 6-7.

Consensus building refers to a range of processes used to foster dialogue, clarify areas of agreement and disagreement, and resolve controversial issues. . . Often with the assistance of a neutral, participants focus on their interests and concerns to seek a mutually acceptable resolution of their differences.
Source: RESOLVE, INC.

Environmental Conflict Resolution:
Assisted multi-party negotiations in the context of environmental, public lands, or natural resources issues or conflicts, including matters related to energy, transportation, and land use. These processes differ from conventional agency decision making by engaging affected interests and agency decision makers more directly in collaborative problem solving. Assistance from impartial third parties (whether internal or external facilitators or mediators) adds value when addressing complex, high conflict or low trust settings. ECR processes can be applied at the beginning of a policy development or planning process, or in the context of rulemaking, administrative decision making, enforcement, or litigation and can include conflicting interests between federal, state, local, tribal and industry parties where a federal agency has ultimate responsibility for decision-making . The principles that guide ECR are derived from professional experience and research in interest-based bargaining, alternative dispute resolution and environmental mediation, consensus building, and collaborative management.
Source: U.S INSTITUTE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION.

Facilitation:
Facilitation is a meeting management skill. . . . As the parties try to collect information, formulate proposals, defend their views, and take account of what others are saying, a facilitator reminds them of the ground rules they have adopted and, much like a referee, intervenes when someone violates the ground rules. The facilitator is supposed to be nonpartisan or neutral.
Source: THE CONSENSUS BUILDING HANDBOOK, p. 7.

A facilitator is a third party who helps the disputants to stay focused on working toward their common goals by following the agreed-upon ground rules. The facilitator takes a less active role in helping the parties find a solution than the mediator would.
Source: www.knowconflict.com/Impact_of_Terrorv110/glossary.html

Group Facilitation:
is a process in which a person who is acceptable to all members of the group, substantively neutral and with no decision-making authority, intervenes to help a group improve the way it identifies and solves problems and makes decisions, in order to increase the group's effectiveness. The objective of a facilitator is to improve the group's process and effectiveness in achieving its goals, which is different from a mediator's role in assisting parties to resolve a dispute or overcome an impasse that is keeping a group from moving forward.
Source: U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT ADR WORKING GROUP, ADAPTED FROM "THE SKILLED FACILITATOR," BY ROGER M. SCHWARZ.

Joint Fact Finding:
In joint fact-finding, the experts and the constituency groups that they represent develop and implement a joint strategy for answering the key policy questions, based upon generally agreed-upon scientific methods. It is commonly understood that the experts do not have to reach agreement on every issue. Their primary goal is to clearly separate the issues upon which they can agree from those which are still subject to debate and then report their findings to the parties. Here it is important for the experts to explain their findings in ways that non-experts can understand. Points of agreement can then provide the parties with a more informed basis for resolving the dispute.
Source: CONFLICT RESEARCH CONSORTIUM, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO.

In a collaborative process, not everyone will have the same amount of knowledge or information about the problem or issue. While one of the benefits of collaboration is working with people with diverse viewpoints and backgrounds, it also means people will interpret information differently. The purpose of joint fact-finding is to develop shared knowledge about the problem. It is a tool that negotiators can use to guide the process of gathering information, analyzing facts, and collectively making informed decisions.
Source: MANAGING NATURAL RESOURCE DISPUTES -- NO. 8 MARLENE REBORI, WESTERN AREA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST; LORETTA SINGLETARY, CENTRAL AREA EXTENSION EDUCATOR; ANN BALL, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO REGIONAL DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION.

Joint fact-finding offers an alternative to the process of adversary science when important science or technical issues are at stake. Joint fact-finding is a central component of many consensus-building processes, extending the cooperative efforts of parties engaged in consensus building into the realm of information gathering and scientific analysis. In joint fact-finding, stakeholders work together to gather data and information, agree on assumptions, analyze facts and predictions, and use the information they have developed to reach consensus decisions. The advantages of joint fact-finding include the opportunity for participants to: enhance communication among parties; address information gaps and scientific uncertainty; explore difficult topics together to develop a common knowledge base; prepare agreements that are both more credible and more creative. From new road networks competing with forest recreation interests to fluctuations in a fishery attributed to overfishing and over-management, joint fact-finding can play an effective role in bringing together disputing parties to develop an increased understanding of the systems involved and the likely impacts of proposed policies and programs.
Source: HERMAN KARL, USGS.

Mediation:
Mediation is generally defined as the intervention in a negotiation or conflict of an acceptable third party who has limited or no authoritative decision-making power but who assists the involved parties in voluntarily reaching a mutually acceptable settlement of issues in dispute. In addition to addressing substantive issues, mediation may also establish or strengthen relationships of trust and respect between the parties.
Source: "THE MEDIATION PROCESS: PRACTICAL STRATEGIES FOR RESOLVING CONFLICTS," BY CHRISTOPHER W. MOORE.

Mediation is a process in which a third-party neutral, whether one mediator or more, acts as a facilitator to assist in resolving a dispute between two or more parties. It is a non-adversarial approach to conflict resolution, where the parties generally communicate directly; the role of the mediator is to facilitate communication between the parties, assist them in focusing on the real issues of the dispute, and generate options for settlement.
Source: DISPUTE RESOLUTION CENTER, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS.

The act or process of mediating; especially: intervention between conflicting parties to promote reconciliation, settlement or compromise.
Source: 14th CENTURY DEFINITION.

Tribal Consultation:
Consultation is the active, affirmative process of: (1) identifying and seeking input from appropriate American Indian governing bodies, community groups and individuals and (2) considering their interests as a necessary and integral part of the . . . decision making process. This includes, but is not limited to: prior to taking any action with potential impact upon American Indian and Alaska native nations, providing for mutually agreed protocols for timely communication, coordination, cooperation, and collaboration to determine the impact on traditional and cultural life-ways, natural resources, treaty and other federally reserved rights involving appropriate tribal officials and representatives throughout the decision-making process, including final decision-making and action implementation as allowed by law, consistent with a government to government relationship.
Source: NATIVE AMERICAN CONSULTATION GLOSSARY.

Negotiation:
Negotiation is a basic means of getting what you want from others. It is back-and-forth communication designed to reach an agreement when you and the other side have some interests that are shared and others that are opposed.
Source: "GETTING TO YES," BY FISHER, URY, AND PATTON.

The heart of most dispute resolution techniques. Variously defined as communication for the purpose of persuasion, a way of solving problems, and a process for reaching decisions.
Source: NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR DISPUTE RESOLUTION.

Principled Negotiation (or interest-based negotiation):
This term is contrasted to hard (win at all costs) and soft (preserve the relationship at all costs) bargaining. It refers to an approach seeking mutual gains, a focus on understanding and meeting the interests that underlie apparent positions, and the use of objective standards as the basis for decisions. Parties pursue their underlying interests rather than positions.
Source: "COLLABORATION: A GUIDE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATES," UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA'S INSTITUTE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION, ADAPTED FROM "GETTING TO YES."

Partnership:
A Partnership is a relationship between two or more entities wherein each accepts responsibility to contribute a specified, but not necessarily equal, level of effort to the achievement of a common goal. The public and private sector contributing their relative strengths to protect and assure the continued operation of critical infrastructures.
Source: www.ciao.gov/ciao_document_library/glossary/P.htm

A partnership is an agreement between two or more partners to work together to achieve common aims.
Source: www.partnerships.com/uk

Partnerships have the potential to take a very wide variety of forms. The Department recognizes that almost any time that a Federal or non-Federal individual or entity is working together with the Department, that working relationship may be considered a partnership. However, many of these relationships, such as procurements and contracts, intergovernmental personnel assignments, and individual volunteer relationships, are covered by well-defined and well-established sets of rules. These topics are too broad to be effectively addressed in the Primer. As a result, the Primer uses the term "partnership" to refer to situations when the Department or its bureaus work together with non-Federal groups or entities in a cooperative manner to foster the objectives of both parties, in circumstances other than those listed above.
Source: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR'S PARTNERSHIP PRIMER.

Public Involvement:
The term "public involvement" is used in this Policy to encompass the full range of actions and processes that [are used] to engage the public . . ., and means that [decision-makers] consider public concerns, values, and preferences when making decisions. The term"the public" is used . . . in the broadest sense to include anyone, including both individuals and organizations, who may have an interest in a . . . decision.
Source: U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT POLICY.

Public Involvement is the active involvement of the public in NPS planning and decision-making processes. Public involvement is a process that occurs on a continuum that ranges from providing information and building awareness, to partnering in decision-making. The NPS role is to provide opportunities for the public to be involved in meaningful ways, to listen to their concerns, values, and preferences, and to consider these in shaping our decisions and policies.
Source: NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DIRECTOR'S ORDER # 75A: CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT.

Public Participation:
Any process that involves the public in identifying issues or decision-making and uses public input to make decisions.
Source: INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR PUBLIC PARTICIPATION (IAP2).

The involvement of citizens in governmental decision-making processes. Participation ranges from being given notice of public hearings to being actively included in decisions that affect communities. See community collaboration.
Source: MOBILIZING FOR ACTION THROUGH PLANNING AND PARTNERSHIPS (MAPP).

Regulatory Negotiation, or Negotiated Rulemaking: (sometimes referred to as "reg-neg")
Negotiated rulemaking emerged in the 1980s as an alternative to traditional procedures for drafting proposed regulations. Bringing together representatives of the agency and other interested groups to negotiate the text of a proposed rule. The purpose of the negotiated rulemaking process is to achieve consensus of the agency and other interested parties on creative solutions to regulatory problems, prior to the agency's publication of the proposed rule.
Source: NEGOTIATED RULEMAKING SOURCEBOOK, 1995, ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE OF THE U.S.

Negotiated rulemaking (or Neg/Reg) is a voluntary process for drafting regulations that brings together those parties who would be affected by a rule, including the Government, chartered as an advisory committee under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, to reach consensus on some or all of its aspects before the rule is formally published as a proposal. An impartial mediator is used to facilitate intensive discussions among the participants, who operate as a committee open to the public. Regulations drafted using this process tend to be more technically accurate, clear and specific, and less likely to be challenged in litigation than are rules drafted by the agency alone without input from outside parties. As companion legislation to the Administrative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Act, the Negotiated Rulemaking Act was enacted in 1990 to encourage federal agencies to use this process.
Source: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY.

Robert's Rules of Order:
A set of rules for the use in non-legislative assemblies throughout the country to assist an assembly to accomplish the work for which it was designed, in the best possible manner.
Source: ROBERT'S RULES OF ORDER, MODERN EDITION.