Past Transparency Projects

PROJECT MONGOLIA

Transparency Factors:  National Stakeholder Organization Efforts, Local Educational Programs, International Symposium, Legislative Action, United Nations Conventions

As the Mongolian democracy emerged from the Soviet bloc, the infrastructure issues were vast.  Compounding the problems were a lack of trust in the government, intimidation of field enforcement officials, and massive resource theft.  After a week of preliminary investigations, working with a local NGO (CHRD) and national Ministers, the focus was on the field enforcement issues -- hoping to solve the problem while building public confidence.  A stakeholder unification effort ensued, drawing Nomad and urban citizen, industry, labor, academics, local and national government into the strategy.  The process culminated with an international Asian symposium sponsored by FK Norway.  The recommendations were implemented by the Union of Mongolia, resulting in a 90% enforcement efficiency and a reduction in "Ninja" mining.

PROJECT MYANMAR

Transparency Factors:  NGO Cooperation, Government Ministers Interaction, United Nations Conventions, World Bank Programs, International Contractual Assessments, Stakeholder Outreach

Myanmar (formerly, Burma) transitioned from 60-years of junta rule to the world's newest democracy under Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient.  Confronting years of infrastructure depletion, Myanmar commenced a delicate balancing act, weighing a gross lack of electrical supply against the cultural consequences of hydro-electric dam construction.  Confounding the dilemma was the dual nature of the government, as the military still controlled 25% of the legislature and at least one vice-president under the constitution.  The junta had entered into the dam contracts with China and Thailand.  Insurgent militias were battling the military over perceived human rights violation involving land grabs to support the dam projects.  Project Myanmar involves ed assessments of various United Nations conventions and international contractual considerations.

PROJECT HARRIS COUNTY

Transparency Factors:  Stakeholder Outreach, Crisis Planning

When the largest county in Texas, Harris County, commenced planning for pandemic crises, it conducted sessions with various stakeholders.  The stakeholders represented classifications like professional, occupational, emergency responders, minorities, and teachers.  "Pandemic" means a societal epidemic crisis over large populations, perhaps worldwide.  The assumption was that there would be insufficient medical and other resources for everyone's treatment.  Some people would go untreated, which meant likely death.  The stakeholder's goal was to establish criteria for prioritizing who would get treatment knowing the dire consequences.  Harris County turned to Paul Bohannon as a moderator for the panels.

PROJECT NEW MEXICO

Transparency Factors:  Corporate Media Relations, Crisis Management, Stakeholder Outreach

A community's water supply system was contaminated with jet fuel from a nearby commercial, subsurface fuel transmission line for the military.  The problem was discovered by a woman who stepped into her bathtub, surprised to find it was "full of jet fuel."  Immediate support for media relations, landowner relations, crisis oversight, and coordination of response measures (technical and legal) was required.  Only one lawsuit resulted, and after an admit-liability trial, the damages were for sampling costs of less than $2,000.

PROJECT LEGACY MINE

Stakeholder Outreach, Government Relations

In the earlier days of Superfund, EPA sought to designate a legacy hard rock mine and its varied waste deposits as a Superfund site.  The neighboring subdivision consisted largely of engineering and geological professors at a nearby mining technology university.  These citizens were concerned about the Superfund delays as well as property-value implications of a Superfund designation.  While they supported cleanup, they opposed the designation.  We coordinated efforts with U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, ranking member of the Senate Environment & Energy Committee, to conduct a Congressional Hearing on the matter in New Mexico.  EPA officials said it was the first time citizens resisted a site designation.  The designation was withdrawn from the Congressional Record.