Federal Planning Division Awards
The FPD Executive Committee and the Awards Committee have been working hard to address members' concerns regarding the awards process. We are pleased to announce several changes to the awards process this year.
After reviewing the feedback you provided through workshop surveys, the top three concerns that we heard from you are to:
- Reduce the potential for bias among the jury;
- Ensure the jury is familiar with the unique federal planning environment; and,
- Improve the transparency of the awards process.
The Awards Committee has spent the last two months working on a strategy to address these concerns. In addition to reviewing your feedback, we also reviewed APA's awards and jury selection process to identify other best practices. We are pleased to announce several changes to the awards process this year.
To address all three concerns — bias, federal planning knowledge, and transparency — the jury composition will be professionally and geographically diverse with a minimum of five jurors. The 2017 jury will include a balanced mix of professionals, drawing from university planning staff, Department of Defense (DOD) planning staff, non-DOD federal planning staff, consultant representatives, and Fellows from the American Institute of Certified Planners, American Institute of Architects, and American Society of Landscape Architects. The jury will also be chosen to represent a range of experience within the federal planning community, from junior planners with five years of experience to senior planners with 25+ years of experience.
As part of the goal to diversify the jury, we have also opened jury participation to the entire FPD membership, as well as other professional organizations. The Committee will review juror applications and make a recommendation to the Executive Committee for the final selection. The primary goal will be experience, diversity, and professional balance.
In addition to changes in the composition of the jury, the Committee has implemented specific evaluation criteria for each award category. These criteria will help applicants tailor their award nomination appropriately and guide the jury in their review. These changes will also allow FPD to be more aligned with APA's award process and their criteria. As you will see, the criteria used are similar, but have been adjusted for federal planning environment.
More changes and news will be coming to the awards process to address your concerns with bias and transparency. Clear procedures have been implemented to flag any potential concern for bias or conflict of interest from the jury. In addition, our Committee is developing a process to provide more specific feedback to nominees to encourage continuous learning and growth from each other.
We hope that you are pleased with the direction of the changes in the awards process! We feel strongly that these new procedures will bring a new level of professional rigor and protect the legacy of the FPD awards. Feel free to reach out with any questions or feedback you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachael Richter, AICP, Chair
Emma Del Vento, AICP, LEED Green Associate, Vice Chair
J. Lee Feaster, ASLA