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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Case Study: Dementia Challenge

About the project: From March 2012, we’ve been running a policy engagement campaign for the Dementia Challenge in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society.  The campaign has encouraged people to get involved with the “champion groups” who are reviewing how society tackles aspects of dementia care. The membership of these “champions groups” was drawn from Alzheimer […]

In an era of Open Policy, political parties need to embrace guerilla tactics to survive.

The open policymaking project is looking at methods of public engagement and participation in policy and what role digital technologies can play in the future. Historically, one of the major forms of public engagement in informing policy has been through the mainstream political parties. However, the main political parties are being eclipsed, especially from a […]

Interactive policy-making

This post is from Tony Lockett of the European Commission, and was originally posted at his European Union 2.0 blog. Neelie Kroes sharing a coffee with Chris Conder “We cannot achieve the Digital Agenda alone, and we cannot do it entirely using old procedures of consultation and legislation.”  (Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission) Chris […]

Open policy is a challenge to government consultations – and an opportunity

More than 40 years ago the American sociologist Sherry Arnstein developed the ‘ladder of participation’ to represent the degree of involvement by citizens in decision-making. Arnstein’s levels range from ‘non-participation’ at the bottom of the ladder – at worse, the manipulation of citizens – to ‘citizen power’ and true citizen control at the top. One of the challenges […]