Fact-Value Separation


Facts describe something about the way the world is now or could be in the future. Facts also describe the way people or social institutions typically behave now or are likely to behave in the future.

Values name what it is about some state of the world or social behavior that we find attractive, desirable, and admirable (or repugnant, undesirable, or shameful).

From Values to Policy: Four Phases

  1. Identification of a clear policy connection (i.e., generating the core values of citizens BEFORE positions have hardened and policy solutions have been formed).
  2. Activating the community resource network (i.e., tapping into community organizations and individual leaders and their constituencies, enclaves with a feeling of community; training cadre of volunteer community meeting facilitators and table leaders to be active listeners and NOT educators capable of getting to “Why is that important to you?”). It is important that the citizen discourse is not overwhelmed by the values of the expert/technocrat.
  3. Gathering and synthesizing the check list(s) of citizen values into a policy guideline (i.e., summary report(s) using an on-line Delphi Method performed iteratively until there is agreement among those participating in the review process drawn from each of the off-line sites).
  4. Advising the primary policy audience (i.e., receptor site/legislator) via a Final Report which reflects input from a) the public; b) experts; and c) policy decision makers. The goal is to produce a document more difficult to dismiss and easier to apply to decision-making than the report generated by the typical public consultation process.

Surveys force people into boxes. The PPP process comes without a box.

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