Three examples of public engagement in policy development


The Social Impact Bond Knowledge Box I produced for the Centre for Social Impact Bonds at the Cabinet Office (UK) includes contributions from many external individual contributors. It provides opportunity for users to comment on or suggest edits for each page and submit links to their own work in order to keep the resource up-to-date. It was inspired by these three examples of policy interactions with the public:

1. The White House has a petition site called ‘We the People’ that promises a response to petitions that raise over 25,000 signatures. In 2012, a petition to “Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016” received the requisite signatures, and the White House used their humorous response to promote domestic innovations and the study of science, technology, engineering and maths.

2. In November last year the Cabinet Office (UK) launched an on-line consultation seeking public views on the new datasets code of practice that will be issued under Section 45 of FOIA. It set out the amendment with a comment box under each clause, inviting the public to make comments or specific edits. While the consultation helped the team refine the amendment in light of users’ responses, it was also intended as an educational exercise, to “make public authorities aware of their new responsibilities under the new FOIA ‘datasets’ sections.” The consultation is now closed.

3. The London Assembly encourages the public to take part in their processes by:

  • Participating in consultations
  • Suggesting something to investigate
  • Putting a question to the Mayor
  • Asking an Assembly Member to present a petition on their behalf
  • Subscribing to their monthly ezine.

Check out Govloop’s Citizen Engagement Hub that’s packed with resource links and their guide Innovating at the Point of Citizen Engagement: Making Every Moment Count which includes seven inspirational stories.

What other examples are there of government crowd-sourcing their policy development?

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