Institute for Water Resources

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Shared Vision Planning

SVP Method - Step 1

Build a Team and Identify Problems with Stakeholders, Decision-Makers and Experts

Shared Vision Planning uses the concept of “Circles of Influence” when building a team. The idea is that all collaborators belong to one of three circles: A, B or C. Those in circle A are most involved in the study and carry out critical tasks, such as building the model, organizing meetings and conducting research. Those in circle B include representatives from key stakeholder groups, but they have less direct involvement than people in circle A. Circle C includes representatives from stakeholder groups, management agencies and advocacy groups. This circle comprises a larger number of people who have less direct involvement in the project than those in circle B. This approach ensures participation at manageable levels by a large number of stakeholders. The decisions and plans reached by all three circles working together are then presented to circle D, which includes agency heads and elected officials.

Critical Difference: In addition to identifying problems and opportunities, SVP calls for a team of:

  • Stakeholders that can affect or are affected by the decision,
  • Decision makers needed to effect the solution, and
  • Experts who can inform the solution.

Example from the National Drought Study

In the Drought Preparedness Studies, all stakeholders outside of Circle A were clearly connected to those inside Circle A, usually through common work places, related work groups or professional organizations. The connections were based on a combination of trust and communication. These connections helped facilitate the discovery of alternatives acceptable to all stakeholders.

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