JCCI studies FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How are study topics chosen? Every Spring JCCI asks the community, “What should we study?” We receive topic ideas from a wide variety of people in the community via phone, fax, email, and regular mail. The JCCI staff reviews and researches those topics that meet our study criteria. Every topic, whether it meets the selection criteria or not, is reviewed by a citizen led volunteer program committee. The program committee presents the two best topics to the JCCI Board of Directors for a final vote. SELECTION CRITERIA Definition and Manageability • Is the issue adequately defined so that a JCCI study committee would have a clear understanding of its charge? • Can the issue be researched and effectively addressed by the JCCI study committee process? • Is the issue manageable-not too amorphous or too broad to be covered adequately? • Are the necessary data available and accessible? Citizen Interest • Is this issue likely to attract participation from a broad spectrum of citizens? Importance • Is the issue of importance to the community? • Does it affect large numbers of people on an economic or quality-of-life basis?
Effectiveness • Can the issue be resolved by reason, based on fact, or are the emotional overtones too great to merit reasoned analysis?
Necessity • Is it likely that other groups can or will carry out a similar study?
Timeliness • Will the study provide guidance for decisions needed now? • Is there enough time to complete the study before community decisions must be made?
How is the study’s chair selected? JCCI’s President and Executive Director select a local community leader to guide the study committee process. The Chair does not necessarily have to be a subject matter expert, but should be an accomplished facilitator and consensus builder.
Who serves on the study’s management team? Several months before the first study committee meeting, the study’s chair recruits ten to fifteen civic minded individuals to assist him or her in refining the study topic, identifying resource speakers, and developing the schedule of meetings. Later in the process, management team members help the chair keep the committee fully engaged in the study process.
How do I become a member of a study committee? Simply contact JCCI. Everyone in the community is encouraged to participate in JCCI studies. Membership is not required for participation.
How long is a JCCI study? Typically a JCCI study is completed within six to eight months.
What is a study committee member expected to do? Study committee members meet weekly to listen to speaker presentations, ask pointed questions, read staff provided research, engage in internal committee discussions, and use consensus building as the means to reach a mutual understanding of the issues.
What if I have to miss a meeting? All meetings are summarized in writing and that day’s handouts are archived. When you must miss a meeting, please contact the study’s support staff. You will be provided with the summary and handouts from the previous meeting.
What happens during a study committee meeting? •
The first meeting is both an orientation to the JCCI process and a fact-finding meeting. After the self-introductions are completed, the committee will review and approve the study’s issue statement, which has already been approved by the JCCI Board and the study’s management team. During the subsequent 15 -18 fact-finding meetings committee members will hear presentations from subject matter experts, receive staff provided research, and engage in group discussions about the day’s topic. Committee members are encouraged to ask questions, read the research materials, and suggest additional data and information regarding the topics. During the last nine meetings, every study committee member will be asked to participate in developing the final study report. This phase of the study process is all about consensus building, as follows: o Findings review: The committee spends three weeks reviewing/editing the facts laid out in report form by the study’s planner. o Develop conclusions: Another three weeks is spent identifying and reaching consensus on the local community’s opportunities and challenges based on the facts. o Develop recommendations: During the last three weeks of the study, the committee develops solutions to the problems faced by our community.
What happens after the study is completed? •
Celebration! During the release event (a breakfast or luncheon) the study chair presents the study’s key findings, conclusions, and recommendations. Attendees also receive a copy of the final report. Every study committee member is invited to attend the release along with community leaders, the media, and the greater Northeast Florida community.
Advocacy! After the study’s release, a group of volunteers (usually folks who sat on the study committee and other interested community members) will develop an action place to advocate for the implementation of the study’s recommendations. This group of volunteer advocates will spend two years lobbying to move the recommendations from ideas to reality.