The National Research Council has assessed the effects of public participation on the policy making process. The study, performed at the behest of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Food and Drug Administration and the Forest Service, found that when the public is sufficiently engaged in the policy making process the outcome is higher quality, more legitimate decisions that increase the capacity of everyone involved.
The report provides six recommendations to enhance the public engagement process and create improved policy. Four of these recommendations provide insight as to how to properly carry out the participation process, while the final two speak to effectively implementing these principles. The executive summary entitled, "Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making" is available at http://www.nap.edu/.
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