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 […]

Participation: Young lazy optimists, old active cynics

Skimming through the data tables from the Community Life survey released by the Department for Communities and Local Government today, and there is an intriguing set of numbers around civic participation and feeling that you are able to influence issues in your area. About four in ten people think that they can influence decisions in […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Benefits of Citizen Engagement: a (Brief) Review of the Evidence

This post is by Tiago Peixoto, and originally appeared on his blog DemocracySpot. Thanks to him for permission to repost here. He writes: I am working on a brief literature review on the benefits of participation, focusing on its different types of impact. Most of it (but not entirely) relates to participatory budgeting. Below are a […]

We can’t improve consultation without talking about class

Discussions about consultation often focus on methods and means, but of course there’s a broader social context to engagement. Declining trust in political institutions and weakening identification with the mainstream political parties threaten to undermine efforts to engage people in new ways. In short: we need to talk about class. This project is about citizen action and […]

Playing games to open up policymaking

It’s all very well agreeing that policymaking should be open, but translating that commitment into real change involves at a least a few difficult, practical steps: there needs to be some leadership and HR support for individuals who want to try new approaches online, which is where Sir Bob Kerslake and the GDS guidance on […]