2022-2026 ACTION AGENDA EXPLORER

STRATEGY 23

Good Governance

Promote transparent and inclusive governance that engages all peoples equitably, with a focus on expanding trust and inclusion of vulnerable populations and underserved communities.
A good governance strategy for Puget Sound recovery seeks to ensure that ecosystem recovery decision-making and processes are inclusive of a broader set of committed stakeholders and diverse forms of knowledge. Good governance should include considerations for increasing the capacity for vulnerable populations and underserved communities to engage in environmental and natural resource management decision-making. Good governance best practices should directly engage community groups, educational institutions, and communication specialists to develop and share relevant and accessible information on civic engagement and decision-making opportunities.

The overall intent of this strategy is to increase trust and transparency in management decisions by including and communicating directly and effectively with new and diverse audiences.
Good governance best practices should be incorporated into the thinking and planning for all natural resource management strategies.

Natural resource programs and policies should seek to enhance transparency and inclusion in decision-making processes to increase positive perceptions of good governance and increase trust in and compliance with environmental decision-making.
VITAL SIGNS
DESIRED OUTCOMES
  • Increase trust and improve effective governance
Actions

Engage with community groups, educational institutions, and communication specialists to develop and share relevant, transcreated, and accessible information on civic engagement and decision-making opportunities. (ID #78)

Key opportunities for 2022-2026 include:

  • Translate all public-facing documents and materials into languages other than English spoken by resident populations;
  • Build new relationships and offer communication that speaks to a myriad of human values related to environmental goals (for example, human health outcomes).

Ecosystem recovery processes and decision making are inclusive of a broader set of committed stakeholders, including vulnerable populations and underserved communities, and diverse forms of knowledge. (ID #161)

Key opportunities for 2022-2026 include:

  • Amplify and integrate feedback and information provided by communities into decision making;
  • Implement best practices for modifying decision- making processes to be just and inclusive;
  • Increase practitioner and decision-maker understanding of vulnerable populations and underserved communities;
  • Foster the use of new deliberative democracy tools (for example, peoples’ assemblies).

Increase capacity for vulnerable populations and underserved communities to engage in environmental decision-making. (ID #162)

Key opportunities for 2022-2026 include:

  • Explore needs, barriers, and best practices for building capacity for vulnerable populations and underserved communities to engage in environmental decision- making by engaging directly with stakeholders and local advocacy groups (for example, see Washington Environmental Justice Task Force recommendation, State of California guidelines for government-created documents);
  • Increase funding and technical assistance to coalitions and community representatives who collaborate with or speak on behalf of vulnerable populations and underserved communities and youth, so that they may meaningfully participate in environmental decision- making;
  • Implement the HEAL Act;
  • Ensure all virtual board meetings comply with Americans with Disabilities Act.

Increase trust by including and communicating directly and effectively with new and diverse audiences. (ID #163)

Key opportunities for 2022-2026 include:

  • Explore the best pathways for listening to the concerns, interests, context, and needs, as well as the current strengths, activities, and ongoing programs of communities that have not historically been well- represented in Puget Sound recovery efforts;
  • Increase participation of vulnerable populations and underserved communities in Puget Sound recovery governing and advisory boards;
  • Amplify tribal nations’ efforts to increase opportunities for Puget Sound residents, communities, and visitors to learn about tribal nations’ treaty and sovereign rights.

Honor tribal nations’ treaty and sovereign rights, obligations and inherent sovereign interests when considering implementation of Puget Sound recovery projects and programs, and actively engage with tribal nations to align and incorporate shared goals. (ID #197)

Key opportunities for 2022-2026 include:

  • Increase the participation of tribal nation communities in Puget Sound recovery governing and advisory boards.

Communications materials should be locally-relevant and clear and concise, avoiding jargon or overly technical language. Incorporate resources in various languages other than English for communications materials. (ID #198)

Key opportunities for 2022-2026 include:

  • Amplify efforts to increase opportunities to communicate with Puget Sound residents, communities, and visitors in their respective languages (other than English) about tribal nations’ treaty and sovereign rights;
  • Develop guidance that provides specific examples for how to hold accessible meetings (time, locations, incentives, compensation, etc.) including guidance for asking communities how they want to be involved.
Implementation Considerations

No related implementation considerations at this time. 

Ongoing Programs

Ongoing programs provide regulatory oversight, technical support, implementation resources, funding, or guidance and serve as the critical foundation for Puget Sound recovery. The following is a list of example state and federal ongoing programs that help to implement this strategy. Many more local, tribal nations, and nongovernmental programs exist that support this strategy.

What We're Measuring

We achieve our recovery goal of vibrant quality of life by making the decision-making process more inclusive, increasing participation of a broader set of committed stakeholders, and expanding diverse forms of knowledge early in ecosystem recovery processes; increasing the capacity for vulnerable populations and underserved communities to engage in environmental decision- making; improving transparency in environmental and natural resource management decision-making and the use of science; and increasing trust with new and diverse audiences through inclusion and communicating directly and effectively. The indicator of success is improving our overall decision-making processes, strengthening communication strategies, and strengthening the engagement of our partners and citizenry as measured by the Good Governance Index.

Good Governance Index

The Good Governance Index tells us how Puget Sound residents perceive the way decisions are made regarding management of the natural environment. The index is made up of 5 different indicators. The indicators offer insights for improving our overall decision-making processes, strengthening communication strategies, and strengthening the engagement of our partners and citizenry.

Good Governance Index
By: Response
Respondents were asked to rate their agreement or disagreement with seven questions about governance of natural resources on a seven-point scale from ‘Strongly Disagree’ (1) to ‘Strongly Agree’ (7).