What is the Equitable Engagement Payment Program?
We routinely seek input on our projects, plans, policies and administrative rules. However, we have noticed we don’t hear from our most vulnerable and historically marginalized communities. As our work impacts all Oregonians, we concluded we need more equitable pathways for connection and communications.
The most significant barrier to community engagement and feedback is unpaid time. The Equitable Engagement Compensation Program or EECP pays Oregonians for their time spent in these community channels:
- Advisory committees
- Focus groups
- Evaluation panels
As part of our continued commitment to social equity, this program builds equitable pathways for Oregonians who could not participate because of an unpaid time barrier.
We are paying Oregonians who participate in these community feedback channels $20-30 per hour via prepaid cash card for time spent.
This compensation comes in three forms:
- Incentives are one-time payments, typically given to participants for one-time activities, like focus groups.
- Stipends are for recurring activities, like advisory committees.
- Community Engagement Contracts are contracts between ODOT and an individual or a community-based organization for specific deliverables.
The Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Committee and project stakeholders hold the new sign to be installed.
Why is ODOT using the EECP?
For many people, it costs time and money to engage with ODOT. They may have to take time off of work, there are travel and sometimes even child care expenses. This cost barrier is higher in some communities. Unfortunately, this means we don’t hear the voices of people and communities impacted by our work.
Payment helps break through this barrier. It allows more people to give us input, making for more equitable engagement and better decision-making for the people living in the community.
How to participate
The best way to join the conversation is to find ODOT engagement activities near you. The committee you participate in will manage your payment.
Who cannot participate?
(That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t participate in our open houses
! We still want your feedback.)