The Rural Policy Forum is currently in hibernation. Here is information on what the programs was:

The Rural Policy Forum is a tool that allows conference planners to expand their events online. Participants (on-site and remote) are invited to share their opinions, ideas, and suggestions through online discussions and surveys.

Advantage to participants: Everyone’s voice is heard and opinions are documented!

Advantage to conference hosts: You can hear what everyone has to say, you can track trends, and you can open conversations that focus participants before, during, and after the event.

The Rural Policy Forum process allows organizations, event organizers, and governments to engage large numbers of individuals around specific issues. The process can gather data about current conditions, practices, policies and more. Completely customizable, the integrated services are designed to work within a specific time frame and often involve a conference or other event. The technology utilized provides quick compilation of results and removes place restrictions. Throughout the process Minnesota Rural Partners works with event organizers or other stakeholders to assure that data and process expectations are met.

Identifying Issues:

The Rural Policy Forum process is intended to significantly advance the conversation, in the United States and worldwide, regarding rural policy. Another objective of the process is to generate a grass roots consensus on the key issues facing rural America, providing practitioners, researchers and policy makers with a road map of issues and priorities and offering political support for a position of reform.

Initiating Outreach: Discussion

Outreach to participants is conducted through electronic and other communications (ie post-cards, event brochures, etc…) to build awareness of the discussion prior to the event and to direct persons to the web site. The online discussion period lasts for as long as a month prior to the event, providing participants time to respond and review other participant comments online.

If you have an upcoming event and accompanying website, contact us to discuss how we might integrate the Rural Policy Forum components into your online presence.

Collecting Feedback: Online Survey

At least a week before the event, Minnesota Rural Partners and event organizers review the online discussion to formulate questions for an electronic survey to be accessible at the event and online for a period of time after the event.

Where the ‘Online Discussion’ provides the sharing of qualitative information, the ‘Online Survey’ will provide an opportunity to gather and report on quantitative data. Most questions are multiple choice, true/false or selections from a drop-down list.

Preliminary survey results will be made available at a given event. A complete report will be assembled by MRP, Inc. following the event, reflecting online survey results. (see sample survey results below).

Managing Events:

Cyber Cafe: MRP works with event organizers to set-up and staff a bank of computers with broadband Internet access at the event; a Cyber Cafe. Minnesota Rural Partners works with event organizers to build awareness among event participants and direct them to the Cyber Café and the online survey. MRP provides preliminary survey results by the end of the event and can present them to conference organizers and/or participants.

Follow-up and Reporting: Minnesota Rural Partners compiles the Survey results and creates formal reports including graphical illustrations and formatting for different audiences (event participants, general population, media, and local, state and national decision-makers). The results are made available in electronic formats to all audiences and placed on the event-specific web page integrated with the ruralpolicyforum.org site.

Convenings:

The Rural Policy Forum process partners with organizations, event organizers, media and governments to engage large numbers of individuals around specific issues. The process can gather data about current conditions, practices, policies and more. Completely customizable, the process was designed to work within a specific time frame and often involves a conference or other event. The technology utilized provides quick compilation of results and removes place restrictions. Throughout the process Minnesota Rural Partners works with event organizers or other stakeholders to assure that data and process expectations are met.

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