When governments open their ears

Ben Fowkes

25 Apr 2017, 3 p.m.
Room 4

Hundreds of government organisations around the world use Delib's tools for online public involvement.

Time and again it becomes clear that these ventures into digital engagement are as much about the organisation as they are about the technology.

Yes: giving people their say online has important impacts on specific policy outcomes, on public access to decision-making and on the levels and nature of participation. But one of the most significant changes is also to the organisations themselves: to their culture, praxis and preparedness for hearing from stakeholders and the public online as simply 'business as usual'.

Ben presents both aggregate data and specific case studies to illustrate the impact of digital participation tools on the civil servants and organisations who use them.

Discover how the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy went from a 3% to 25% completion rate, and how the Scottish Government dealt with a surge of more than 24,000 online consultation responses; how some organisations have necessarily adjusted to unexpectedly high levels of engagement, while others have had to change their internal processes to generate sufficient public awareness in the first place.

Ben showcases some of the at-the-coalface, nitty-gritty – perhaps even 'boring' – pragmatic stuff that makes a real difference to public sector organisations adapting to a world of online interaction.