July 31, 2013

Let's talk about public value in Washington, DC

Next week I will be in Washington, DC, presenting on Extension's public value at two venues. If you will be attending either of these meetings, I hope you will share your experiences with documenting public value impacts.

aaea.PNGFirst, on Tuesday, August 6, I will be on a panel at the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Annual Conference at the Marriott Wardman Park. The session, "Creating and Documenting Extension Programs with Public-Value Level Impacts," is intended as a resource for AAEA members in their first few years of a partial or full Extension appointment at the university level. In addition to my presentation, "Tell Us About Your Extension Program's Public-Value Level Impacts," the panel features Kynda Curtis of Utah State University and Jo Ann Warner of Washington State University Extension. The panel is moderated by my UM colleague, Elton Mykerezi. Ours is concurrent session 2003 from 9:30 to 11:00.

Second, on Wednesday, August 6, I will meet at the Associationof Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) offices with the Measuring Excellence in Extension Implementation Team. I'll be presenting on how to effectively incorporate public value into impact statements.

At both of these meetings, I'll be eager to hear about public value work and impact analysis taking place across the country.

July 1, 2013

Give voice to the public value experts

Occasionally I become aware that some of the participants in a BEPV workshop have had prior experience with the workshop. Some may have participated in a full workshop or completed the train-the-trainer course, others may have been introduced to the BEPV content in a speech or webinar. 397080364_0b8225f5b6.jpgI am often uncertain about how to address the range of experience in the audience. If I teach primarily to the inexperienced, I run the risk of disengaging those familiar with the content. If I teach to those with experience, I may frustrate the newbies. Because I usually do the former, I am willing to bet that more than a few participants have emerged from one of my workshops mumbling, "Well, that was nothing new."

Last week at a training session for the LEAD21 leadership development program, a trainer used an approach that I think can be effective with a mixed-level-of-experience group. The trainer first asked group members who had been through a similar training to identify themselves. S/he then named these people as the group's experts on the topic, and said that s/he would call on them to enrich the training by sharing their own experiences. Instead of expressing unease that some people in the group were already familiar with the content (which I'm sure I have done), the trainer showed gratitude that the room was rich with peer expertise.

Here are some ways I can see using this approach in a BEPV workshop:

==Ask people with prior experience to not only identify themselves, but describe briefly the kind of experience they have had (e.g., prior workshop, writing public value messages).
==If time allows--and if the experts are few in number--ask them to explain why they have chosen to attend the training again. I might use that information to more effectively prioritize the program content.
==Arrange participants so that the experts are distributed among the work groups.
==Before setting groups to work on an activity, ask the experts what they recall as the pitfalls for that activity, For example, I can imagine someone saying, "I remember that it takes a while to get all the way through the stakeholder exercise. Make sure you quickly choose a program to work on and move ahead to the exercise."
==During the next steps module, ask the experts what steps they have taken since their original training, and what obstacles and successes they have experienced.

I am grateful to the LEAD21 trainers for the reminder to draw "expert" participants into the conversation and to encourage them to share their knowledge with their peers.

(Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik on FlickR.)

April 17, 2013

Public Value at 2013 PILD Conference

JCEP.PNGThis year's Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference, to be held April 21-24 in Alexandria, VA, has been organized around the theme of "What you CAN do!" The program is packed with practical guidance on how to effectively advocate for Extension with elected officials and stakeholders. There will be two opportunities to hear about the public value approach to communicating about Extension programs. On Monday I will give a keynote talk,"You CAN Understand and Effectively Communicate the Public Value of Cooperative Extension." I will give a brief introduction to the public value approach and then present my current thinking about how Extension organizations can make a stronger public value case going forward. Then on Tuesday, I will teach a mini Building Extension's Public Value Workshop for any conference attendees who have not been through the program or who would like to apply the approach to a program of their own. I hope to see you there!

March 14, 2012

Women in Agriculture Educators Create Public Value

2012NavTop.JPGAre you an Extension or outreach educator who works with women in agriculture? Do you develop, evaluate or teach risk management education programs? Are you planning to attend the 2012 Women in Agriculture Educators Annual Conference in Memphis, TN? I will be there on March 29, 2012, to present "Creating Public Value with Risk Management Education."

How do you think risk management education programs create public value? How are programs targeted to women in agriculture different from more general programs? Whether you share your ideas here or bring them up at the conference, I look forward to hearing from you!

April 5, 2011

Building Public Value in the Southern Region

This Thursday, April 7, 2011, I will teach a Building Extension's Public Value workshop to Extension leaders in the Southern region as part of the Southern Region Middle Managers' Conference in Arlington, Texas. I look forward to hearing how Extension organizations across the South are communicating with stakeholders about their programs' impact and value.

February 28, 2011

Workshop at the 2011 NACDEP Conference

If you are attending the 2011 NACDEP Conference next week in Charleston, SC, consider participating in the mini "Building Extension's Public Value" workshop that I will teach Tuesday, March 8, 11:00-12:30. We won't have enough time to do a full workshop or cover all of the learning modules, but it will be a good opportunity to get a introductory "taste" of BEPV training.

August 12, 2009

Creating Public Value with Master Gardener

Last weekend I spoke at the 2009 Minnesota Master Gardener Annual Conference about, of course, the Public Value of Master Gardener programs.


I am not an expert in the Master Gardener program or its benefits, but I do have a couple of observations about applying the public value approach to this important program.

First, while Master Gardeners surely create public value with the actions they, themselves, make, the larger benefits come from the actions MGs induce others to make. I think most MG public value statements will emphasize this "leveraged" impact.

Second, MG programs create an impressive range of public benefits, including improvements to food security, food safety, biodiversity, air and water quality, social capital, positive youth choices, and local economic vitality. I think some very strong messages can be crafted to highlight these benefits, particularly for stakeholders who may view MG as a "luxury" program whose impact begins and ends with pretty flowers.

Did you attend the Minnesota Master Gardener conference last weekend? Are you a Master Gardener? How do you think the public value approach can be applied to the work that you do?

October 2, 2008

Public Value presentation at Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Conference

I am leading a session at the 2008 conference of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, October 3, 2008, in St. Paul, MN. Conference details are here. Below is a description of the session. If you're attending the conference, consider joining our session!

Making the Case: Articulating the Common Good in Public and Nonprofit Programs

To demonstrate accountability and attract scarce funding, nonprofit and government leaders need to show the far-reaching benefits of their programs. Therefore learning how to communicate a program’s public value – the benefit the community receives apart from the benefit participants receive – is a powerful tool. Designed to meet the needs of both government and nonprofit leaders, this session will help you learn how to define, describe and articulate the public value of your programs. Learn how to walk through questions designed to undercover public value, distill the answers into a succinct message and dig deeper to find the research to support it. In the end, you’ll discover how to effectively communicate to policymakers and the public how your programs contribute to the common good.

August 13, 2008

Mini Public Value workshop at 2008 Galaxy III conference

Are you attending the Galaxy III conference, September 15-19, 2008, in Indianapolis, IN? I will present a short version of the "Building Extension's Public Value" workshop as a "Skill Building Session" at the conference. Join me Tuesday, September 16, 3:30-5:00. If you've never attended a public value workshop, this will be a good introduction to the program. If you have attended one in the past, it can be a refresher course and a chance to see and use the new program curriculum.

Also, in the spring of 2009 I will offer the third online training for Extension professionals interested in learning how to use the "Building Extension's Public Value�? curriculum to conduct workshops in their own states. Participants in the Galaxy III session will have enough information to decide whether they would like to attend the upcoming online training.

August 9, 2008

Public Value Workshop at University of Minnesota 2008 Fall Program Conference

Are you with University of Minnesota Exension? Would you like to learn how to use the public value approach to secure support for your Extension programs? Consider attending the session at the 2008 UM Extension Fall Program Conference that I will co-lead with Aimee Viniard-Weideman. The session is Tuesday, Oct. 21, starting bright and early at 8:00. Grab a caffeinated beverage and join us! Here is the session description:

Demonstrating Your Program's Public Value: The Key to Gaining Support from Stakeholders and Funders
Laura Kalambokidis, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota
Aimee Viniard-Weideman, Asst Dean & Dir of Comm & Pub Relations

Given today's growing pressures to demonstrate accountability and attract scarce resources, it is more important than ever that your programs demonstrate public value. That's the benefit Minnesota communities receive because others are participating in your programs. If you develop, deliver or seek funding for programs, this workshop is for you! During this dynamic 90 minute session, you will: 1) understand public value and how it applies to your program, 2) discuss, develop and refine your program's public value messages, and 3) discover new ways to communicate your program's public value to get the support you need.