Change at the Council: Independent Review of Governance for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Today, The Democratic Society (Demsoc) and the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) published a report titled Change at the Council: Independent Review of Governance for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Funded by the Local Government Association (LGA), this report is the result of months of research conducted by talking to residents, councillors, council […]

Empowering the Citizens’ Health Assembly

The starting conditions for a Citizens’ Health Assembly will largely decide how it develops. Get these right and the Assembly could make a constructive contribution. Get them wrong and it could be irrelevant or even damaging. This article suggests three starting conditions which could make it develop effectively, through a direct relationship with Parliament; by […]

BIS Digital Engagement Case Study Series: Updating and simplifying consumer rights | digital@BIS

A great write-up of an interesting open policymaking collaboration between teams at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, opening up a policy consultation about consumer rights to a wider audience through clear language, active outreach and straightforward methods to respond: We knew that the core stakeholders – those with a specific interest such as […]

Here today, gone tomorrow?

Regular readers of this blog probably need little convincing about the importance of open policymaking and better consultation. This blog is itself a great example of learning-by-doing. And the resources being developed – in particular the frameworks for ideal policy team behaviours and the fledgling matrix should provide a practical toolkit for teams wanting to […]

Whatever happened to open government and open policy? A scorecard

After being elected Prime Minister in 2010 David Cameron committed the UK to having “the most open and transparent government in the world.” Alongside this, the Government’s civil service reform plan published last year promised to “make open policymaking the default”, recognising that Whitehall itself does not have a monopoly on expertise. Here’s a brief – inevitably partial […]

Will the Government rethink its approach to consultation?

This project led by the Democratic Society on open policy making has been focusing on how to improve the mechanisms we use for consultation. While it might not have made (m)any headlines, a recent House of Lords report strongly challenged the Government’s new guidance on consultations and has confirmed the concerns of many organisations which have been following these developments closely. […]

The Doctor is Out

This post originally appeared on Emma’s personal blog. I have been following this discussion with interest. Probably because I have worked in policy (in the voluntary sector for 15 years) and I am not put off by the title. Could ‘real’ people be interested in the blog posts? I am not sure they would be. Unless […]

Through Users’ Eyes

Last week GDS met with colleagues from Department for Transport (DfT) and two of its agencies to talk about their – and their users’ – needs of a consultation platform. As we often get requests from departments for advice on picking user platforms or running engagement exercises, we thought it’d be useful to share with […]

Plain speaking

This project led by the Democratic Society has been focusing on how to improve the mechanisms we use for consultation. But if we are going to involve and engage more people, we also need to change the words we use to talk about policy. Plain English is mandatory on the new GOV.UK website. The Government Digital Service has created a useful list […]

Throwing off the cloak of anonymity

It’s a rainy Friday evening and I’m waiting for a train. I absent-mindedly take out my phone to check Twitter. My heart stops. I’m reading about myself. A blog has been published that talks about me, hints at a conspiracy and suggests I’m behaving pretty poorly. What followed was unpleasant, with tweets and blog comments […]