Inside the CPCX


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise Logo

CPCX is located at the Institute for Water Resources in Alexandria, Virginia.

Grand Collaboration Challenge

The purpose of the Grand Collaboration Challenge (GCC) is to identify the most challenging or controversial projects/actions/activities in USACE and provide technical assistance to prevent unproductive conflict or to transform existing conflicts into a productive path forward. The technical assistance provided by the GCC will:

  1. Help projects that are in need of public participation/collaboration/conflict resolution assistance;
  2. Improve project outcomes, strengthen relationships, build trust and credibility, or otherwise assist in getting the project/study closer to completion; and
  3. Promote the value of using collaboration as a way to more effectively accomplish the mission and support a more transparent government.

To advance these goals, USACE’s Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise (CPCX) and its network will assist projects/studies that have public involvement activities, conflict, and/or collaboration complexities that are in need of neutral third party assistance, like those reported in the annual Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution (ECCR) report.

GCC in Action: Reducing Flood Risk through Regulatory Engagement

This project was undertaken by several USACE Los Angeles District business lines, and was focused on enhancing coordination with regulatory/resource agencies for the purpose of gaining efficiencies during the application process for certain regulated activities. In exploring the need for this project, agencies as well expressed a positive desire to improve collaboration as a means of ultimately ensuring better projects with respect to the resources they oversee. These objectives intersect with the flood risk management (FRM) community’s goal to reduce flood risk.

This was a two-phased project, consisting, in part, of initial stakeholder coordination, assessment and drafting of information needs (related to outreach, training, and program data), and the development of a collaborative approach to address the regulatory component of flood risk management.

This project focused on relationship building as a means to produce collaboration among FRM stakeholders (project applicants) and regulatory/resource agencies. With stakeholder input, the project team developed key issues of local and regional concern and an approach to discuss them in a collaborative, outcome-focused setting. The direct impact of this project includes improved communications on these issues as they pertain to flood risk. Research was accomplished as a means of providing a background and foundational knowledge that can aid in understanding the identified challenges and moving them towards implementable outcomes that achieve multiple objectives.