Projects

Our Project ApproachHighlighted ProjectsArchived Projects

our project approach

Challenging situations demand creative processes for developing innovative solutions.  Podziba Policy Mediation is known for taking on “never been done before” and “seemingly impossible” projects. We love working in uncharted territory. A quick look at our project list shows we span a broad range of policy areas and we work in and across local, regional, tribal, state, national, and international political contexts. 

PPM starts with basic building blocks of policy mediation and works with client input to tailor design every process and each process component for success in resolving complex and controversial disputes. Many of our processes lead parties to success after past failed efforts.

Highlighted Projects

archived Projects

Governance

Redistricting Reform, Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University

Assessment for application of public policy mediation tools to achieve redistricting reform in Illinois and Ohio to reduce political polarization.

Jerusalem Inter Cultural Center

Consultation on implementation of Ramot Municipal Council charter, which was constrained by endemic religious-secular dispute.

Governing Protocols for the National Commission on Energy Policy

Developed governing protocols for high level bi-partisan Commission, includingdecision-making rules, voting procedures, guidelines for media interactions, and procedures for filling Commissioner vacancies.  The NCEP prepares consensus national energy plans. 

Canadian Constitutional Convention

Part of a team that designed format of the constitutional convention to address secession of Quebec and federal power sharing.

Civic Fusion Workshop, General Directorate for the Central Organization, Emilia-Romagna Regional Government (Italy) in conjunction with Avventura Urbana

Workshop on how to initiate and sustain civic fusion. Key elements included essential conditions, challenges for identifying and confirming credibility of representative participants and challenges and needed refinements for applying tools of policy mediation to the Italian context.

Chelsea Charter Consensus Process, Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance, Office of the Receiver

Consensus process reached deep into community to re-engage citizens in self-governance through development of a city charter after the city government was stripped of its authority and placed under State Receivership.  Winner of the All American City Award from the National Civic League. 

international relations

Regulatory Relief in Housing, Home Builders Association of Connecticut and Fannie Mae Foundation

Worked with stakeholders to identify opportunities for regulatory relief in state empowerment zones to reduce housing costs and stimulate development in low income areas.

Select Sites for Phase I Assessment in New Bedford, MA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

City-wide task group developed a process to identify priority sites, from a list of 300+ sites, to determine allocation of existing and future phase I brownfield assessment funds.

East Falls Brownfields Redevelopment Simulation, created for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Naugatuck Valley Brownfields Workshop on Consensus Building

Used to train local government officials, developers, community activists, and citizens in negotiation techniques to streamline brownfields redevelopment. Co-authored with the Consensus Building Institute.

Affordable Housing Negotiations: Defining Fair Share Simulation, created for Fannie Mae Foundation and National Association of Home Builders

Simulation involving mediated negotiations among municipalities to develop a fair share formula that will result in affordable housing unit allocations.

Public Policy Mediation Workshop, Helsinki University of Technology, Finland

Workshop on environmental and public policy mediation for Finnish government officials and academics seeking to improve implementation of the Finnish Land Use and Building Act of 1999.  

Sustainable Development in Scandinavia, Dalslandskommunernas Kommunalforbund, Sweden

Conduct Civic Fusion Workshop as introduction for use in European Union-sponsored project on inclusive mediation processes for sustainable development.

Roundtable Discussion on the Carcieri v. Salazar Supreme Court Ruling, United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

Assessment, process design and facilitation in support of roundtable discussion among tribal chiefs, county supervisors, and federal government to end six-year stalemate on a Carcieri “fix” to restore trust acquisitions for all federally recognized tribes and reduce impacts on communities abutting tribal lands.

Affordable Housing Formula Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, Office of Native American Programs, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Mediated negotiated rulemaking to develop proposed revisions to the regulation used to allocate federal resources for affordable housing under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA). The Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing and members of twenty-nine Native American and Alaskan Native tribes participated.

All Appropriate Inquiries as required under the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Negotiated rulemaking process to develop All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) standards and practices for environmental assessments.  To assert protection from CERCLA (Superfund) liability for brownfields, innocent landowners, contiguous property owners, bona fide prospective purchasers, and EPA brownfields grantees must conduct environmental site assessments in accordance with the AAI regulation.

Environment & natural resources

Subcommittee for Science Priorities, Science Policy Council, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Designed and facilitated process to assist EPA leadership in identifying cross-agency science priorities.

Take Reduction Plan for U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service

Negotiations forplan to reduce incidental take of marine mammals during commercial fishing operations as required under the 1994 Amendments to the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Stakeholders, including fishermen, conservationists, state and federal government agencies, scientists, regional fisheries management councils, and off-shore concerns, sought to protect marine mammals and maintain viable fisheries.

McKin Superfund Site Remedy Selection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region I

Convening assessment for a mediation process to review and select remedies for clean up of McKin Superfund Site after the responsible parties requested a remedy review to determine the effectiveness of a pump and treat system in removing PCBs from ground water.

Interagency Endangered Species Act (ESA) Workshop: U.S. Environmental Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and National Marine Fisheries Service

Assessment and designed and facilitated a workshop to prepare consensus recommendations for coordination and implementation of the ESA with regard to ESA effects determinations and consultations for pesticides.

Common Sense Initiative, Iron and Steel Subcommittee, U.S. Environmental Agency, Office of Water and Region V

Policy dialogue among steel industry, environmentalists, environmental justice advocates, state and federal government officials, and union representatives to develop recommendations for ways to regulate the steel industry that are “cleaner, cheaper, and smarter,” with a focus on permitting, brownfields, innovative technologies, and compliance. 

Winner of Hammer Award: National Partnership for Reinventing Government.

Coastal Stewardship Task Force U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Facilitated Coastal Stewardship Task Force site visit meetings, designed to review NOAA’s coastal research, resource protection, and management programs to assure that NOAA’s resources are being used most effectively and that NOAA’s statutory mandates are properly implemented.

Clean Air Act, Tier 2 Motor Vehicle Emission Standards and Gasoline Sulfur Control Requirements Rule, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Air Quality and Standards Division and Alternative Dispute Resolution Team within the Office of the Administrator

Convening assessment on proposed regulations to allow streamlined permitting process for oil refineries to comply with the Clean Air Act, Tier 2 Rules, requested after concerns were raised by environmental justice advocates and refinery “fence line” communities. 

Assabet River Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) Permit Appeals, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Assessment and mediation involving U.S. EPA, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, five municipalities, a local environmental organization, and a threat of litigation by a national environmental organization as well as Congressional interest. The permit appeals related to four separate wastewater treatment plants and their combined impact on the Assabet River. 

Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), Delft, Netherlands

Workshop for environmental professionals and academics on negotiation fundamentals, mediation and interactive policymaking processes, and complex stakeholder involvement. The workshop included consultation on European Union projects on sediments in Dutch waterways.  

National Fisheries Enforcement Summit, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)

Assessed, designed, and facilitated Summit, attended by broad array of stakeholders and experts, to improve NOAA’s enforcement programs to protect and sustain the nation's marine resources. It was held in response to deficiencies identified by the DOC Inspector General.

Forestry and Global Climate Change Policy, Forest Carbon Work Group (FCWG), American Forestry Association

Convened, designed, and facilitated process to develop consensus recommendations for U.S. domestic forest components of federal climate legislation, supported by forty-five organizational members, who represented landowners; paper, forestry, energy, and financial industries; conservationists, and wildlife protection. 

Casco Bay (ME) Estuary Project, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Estuary Program with Maine Department of Environmental Protection Agency

Consensus process for federal, state, and local government, industry, citizens, scientists, environmentalists, and other stakeholders to develop Casco Bay Estuary Project’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, which covered combined sewer overflows, development, citizen environmental stewardship, wastewater, and existing toxic sediments.  

Public Health & worker safety

Re-Evaluate Environmental Regulations to Ensure Protection of Children’s Health, Office of Children’s Health Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Representatives ranging from pesticide industry to environmental organizations selected technology-based regulations for re-evaluation as risk-based regulations to make them more protective of children’s health.

Program for Health Care Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University

Mediator mentor for week-long negotiation and mediation training for health care professionals.

National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106 Consultation on the Ariel Rios Murals, General Services Administration

Facilitated discussions related to federal employee complaints regarding six historic murals in the Ariel Rios Building said to contain stereotyped-images of Native Americans, including some that employees claimed created a hostile work environment.

Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee, Office of Children’s Health Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Policy dialogue among doctors, public health specialists, child advocates, environmental justice advocates, environmentalists, state and federal government officials, and representatives of pesticide, pharmaceutical, agricultural and chemical industries and farm workers, to develop recommendations to EPA to protect children from environmental threats.

Central Landfill Action Committee, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Superfund, Region I

Assessment and recommendations for Johnston Central Landfill (RI) Action Committee, a group composed of legislators, federal and state environmental officials, mayor and city council members, and citizens from neighborhoods abutting landfill, convened to address public health concerns.

Worker Safety Standards for Construction Cranes Negotiated Rulemaking, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. Department of Labor

Negotiated rulemaking process to develop worker safety standards for the use of cranes and derricks in construction (29 Code of Federal Regulations part 1926, subpart N) to revise existing OSHA standards that date back to 1968.

Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Planning, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Assessed, designed, and facilitatedstakeholder and citizen meetings for pandemic influenza (pan flu) planning in Ohio, concerning school closures and faith-based issues such as modification of worship services and funerals, and in Massachusetts, to develop a comprehensive communications strategy for implementation of altered standards of health care during an influenza pandemic, with an emphasis on hard-to-reach populations.

Abortion Talks among Pro-Life and Pro-choice Leaders, in conjunction with the Public Conversations Project

Six-year dialogue on the issue of abortion, called for by the Massachusetts Governor and the Cardinal of the Archdiocese of Boston after fatal shootings at two Massachusetts women’s health clinics. Dialogue participants coauthored a Boston Globe article describing their experiences of the facilitated dialogue.

housing & land use

Regulatory Relief in Housing, Home Builders Association of Connecticut and Fannie Mae Foundation

Worked with stakeholders to identify opportunities for regulatory relief in state empowerment zones to reduce housing costs and stimulate development in low income areas.

Select Sites for Phase I Assessment in New Bedford, MA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

City-wide task group developed a process to identify priority sites, from a list of 300+ sites, to determine allocation of existing and future phase I brownfield assessment funds.

East Falls Brownfields Redevelopment Simulation, created for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Naugatuck Valley Brownfields Workshop on Consensus Building

Used to train local government officials, developers, community activists, and citizens in negotiation techniques to streamline brownfields redevelopment. Co-authored with the Consensus Building Institute.

Affordable Housing Negotiations: Defining Fair Share Simulation, created for Fannie Mae Foundation and National Association of Home Builders

Simulation involving mediated negotiations among municipalities to develop a fair share formula that will result in affordable housing unit allocations.

Public Policy Mediation Workshop, Helsinki University of Technology, Finland

Workshop on environmental and public policy mediation for Finnish government officials and academics seeking to improve implementation of the Finnish Land Use and Building Act of 1999.  

Sustainable Development in Scandinavia, Dalslandskommunernas Kommunalforbund, Sweden

Conduct Civic Fusion Workshop as introduction for use in European Union-sponsored project on inclusive mediation processes for sustainable development.

Roundtable Discussion on the Carcieri v. Salazar Supreme Court Ruling, United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

Assessment, process design and facilitation in support of roundtable discussion among tribal chiefs, county supervisors, and federal government to end six-year stalemate on a Carcieri “fix” to restore trust acquisitions for all federally recognized tribes and reduce impacts on communities abutting tribal lands.

Affordable Housing Formula Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, Office of Native American Programs, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Mediated negotiated rulemaking to develop proposed revisions to the regulation used to allocate federal resources for affordable housing under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA). The Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing and members of twenty-nine Native American and Alaskan Native tribes participated.

All Appropriate Inquiries as required under the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Negotiated rulemaking process to develop All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) standards and practices for environmental assessments.  To assert protection from CERCLA (Superfund) liability for brownfields, innocent landowners, contiguous property owners, bona fide prospective purchasers, and EPA brownfields grantees must conduct environmental site assessments in accordance with the AAI regulation.

Security

Native American Lands Mitigation Program, U.S. Department of Defense

Facilitated exercise and discussion of tribal and Department of Defense strategic planning process for addressing military impacts on American Indian and Alaskan Native lands.

Multi-Party Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Training Framework, U.S. Department of Defense, Air Force, in conjunction with the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution

Advised and consulted on framework to be used to train Air Force officers in complex negotiations for crisis response and contingency planning.

Dutch Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Terrorism and Radicalization

Consultations with the Task Force related to strategies for initiating dialogue with Dutch Muslim communities and responding to far-right anti-immigration groups.

Securing Driver’s Licenses Negotiated Rulemaking required by the 9/11 Act

Assessment and negotiated rulemaking process to develop minimum standards to tighten security for state-issued driver’s licenses and personal identification cards for use by Federal agencies for identification purposes, as required under the 9/11 Commission Implementation Act of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

Education

Student Loan Regulations, Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education

Negotiated rulemaking to develop federal regulations for Federal Family Education Loan, Direct Loan, and Perkins loan programs as required by the 1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965. 

Student Borrower Defenses, Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education

Negotiated rulemaking concerning borrower defenses Regulations as required under the 1992 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Reduce Regulatory Burden regarding Eligibility for Student Loan programs, Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education

Negotiated rulemaking to develop federal regulations for FFEL, Perkins, Stafford, and Direct student loan programs in response to issues raised by the higher education community through the FED UPprocess (short for “Upping the Effectiveness of Our Federal Student Aid Programs”), initiated by Congress to reduce regulatory burden.

GEAR UP Program, Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education

Negotiated rulemaking to develop federal regulations to create Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a mentoring, tutoring, academic enrichment, and scholarship program for low income students created by Congress.

Early Childcare Regulations and Workforce Development, Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC)

Conduct assessments and mediated meetings among staff to overhaul regulatory regime and prepare a workforce development plan for childcare providers statewide. 

Higher Education Accreditation Regulations, Office of Post-Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education

Negotiated rulemaking to develop federal regulations for accreditation as required by the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (HERA), and the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA).

Student Loans Regulations, Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education

Negotiated rulemaking to develop federal regulations for Federal Family Education Loan, Direct Loan, and Perkins Loan programs as required by the 2008 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Transportation

Traffic Forecasting Assumptions for Proposed Development on Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Agreement on traffic forecasting assumptions to be used to assess impacts of CanalSide Commons, a proposed 850,000 sq. ft. mixed use development, as required to ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act as well as minimum performance standards required by the Cape Cod Regional Policy Plan (RPP).

Massachusetts Highway Department

Facilitation training for highway and road designers and engineers in conjunction with the Massachusetts Office of Dispute Resolution.

Transportation Planning Process

Mediated creation of governance document for transportation planning organization for Eastern Massachusetts. The Boston MPO, composed of 17 government agencies including federal, state, regional, and local government entities, is responsible for programming approximately $120 million annually in road, bridge, and transit projects and the $14 billion central artery project.