Making participation a participation sport | Helpful Technology

This post by Steph Gray is an oldie but a goodie. It perfectly articulates the multi-faceted challenge we face in trying to open up policymaking. It’s a little sad that the scenario it describes is still so easily recognisable but by the end of it I’m left thinking, “OK, if it’s this one thing I can change, I will”. Cue Olympic victory montage music, Heather Small’s “Proud”.

I’ve been musing recently on an interesting quandary: why aren’t advocates of public participation and engagement more successful in engaging the policymakers who design consultations? […] Is it that the techniques don’t work? Is it that there’s too much out there to digest? Is it that policymakers are idle or blinkered? Is it that politics or the media get in the way of open public dialogue? Is it about budget, or timescales, or vested interests, or a consultancy conspiracy… or what?