The Collaborative Learning Project is completing a pilot action research program dedicated to assisting citizens and city administrators to arrive at actionable, written agreements to improve service delivery through an iterative learning and consensus-building process. Through a series of "learning and design forums," the project brings citizens and administrators together in a facilitated environment over multiple half-day sessions, with work done independently by each group in between. The process is informed by the observations of the research team, who debrief with the professional facilitator and prepare for the next session.
The project is assisted by Jack Meek, Ph.D., of the University of LaVerne, and Ron Kuramoto, who provides professional facilitation in the Learning and Design Forum process.
The pilot study assisted city agencies and newly evolving neighborhood councils to collaborate to develop new structures, terms, and practices for partnering in the production of city services. Two learning and design forums joined the L.A. Department of Public Works and the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department with neighborhood councils from the Southeast San Fernando Valley and Harbor areas, resulting in written agreements that plant the seeds for new models of co-productive service delivery. The project is currently following these agreements through implementation. The project's interest in the relationship among deliberation, collaboration, and empowerment in Los Angeles may lead to research on how citywide deliberative institutions are working elsewhere.
A part of the Neighborhood Participation Project, the Collaborative Learning Project has been sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the James Irvine Foundation.
Contact: Terry L. Cooper, 213.740.0371 or firstname.lastname@example.org