Antwerp’s consensus-based Participatory Budget

Introduction As part of our work developing the use of digital participatory budgeting (PB) in Scotland, Demsoc is showcasing innovative approaches to Participatory Budgeting, particularly where people use digital tools as part of their PB process. Antwerp is doing amazing things, using small, face-to-face group discussions to create consensus. But they have also experimented by […]

Participatory Budgeting podcast: balancing online and offline voting in Antwerp

As part of our work developing the use of digital participatory budgeting (PB) in Scotland, Demsoc is shining a light on some of the innovative ways other people across the world use digital PB. We recently shared a blog post about digital PB in New York City. This time we’re doing things a little differently […]

Minister for Housing Launches Our New Report on Empowering Tenants

The report aims to inspire housing providers about new ways of engaging with their tenants and giving them greater control over the places they live. The report was commissioned by Wheatley Group, Scotland’s largest provider of social housing, and was delivered with practical support from the Chartered Institute of Housing. We hope its findings are […]

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 […]