Focus on Citizens
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Focus on Citizens

Public Engagement for Better Policy and Services

Complex policy issues cannot be solved by government alone. Delivering high-quality public services at the least cost and achieving shared public policy goals requires innovative approaches and greater involvement of citizens. This book is a valuable source of information on government performance in fostering open and inclusive policy making in 25 countries. It offers rich insights into current practice through 14 in-depth country case studies and 18 opinion pieces from leading civil society and government practitioners. It includes 10 guiding principles to support open and inclusive policy making and service delivery in practice. 

 

"Including more people, earlier and more creatively, in public policy issues is vital not just to secure legitimacy for policy decisions, but also to unlock a mass of creativity and commitment. Innovation is increasingly going to become an open, social and networked activity. That is true in politics and policy as much as in business. This timely, thoughtful book will help make open innovation in public policy a practical reality."

-Charles Leadbeater, author We-think: Mass innovation not mass production 

 

"We cannot engage the public only on issues of service delivery, but need also to seek their views, energy and resources when shaping public policy. To do otherwise is to create a false distinction between design and delivery, when in the citizens’ eyes it is all connected."

-Irma Pavliniè Krebs, Minister of Public Administration, the Republic of Slovenia

 

"Focus on Citizens shines a light on the practical difficulties and significant benefits of open and inclusive policy making – not only for OECD member country governments but equally for non-member countries." 

-Bart W. Édes, Head, NGO and Civil Society Center, Asian Development Bank

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And the Winner Is Trust and Credibility You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
Arne Simonsen

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Trust is in trouble. Trust between citizens and government, between ethnic and religious groups, and between genders. It is in trouble in many countries in Europe and in the rest of the world. Trust is a cohesive element in multicultural societies, supplying and supporting necessary ties that can bind a society together. One way of creating trust is to have open and inclusive policy making. And trust is crucial to getting people to take up the government’s invitation to participate in open and inclusive policy making. So what comes first? Maybe a good start for governments is to re-evaluate and revitalise its communication. Too many governments engage too much in public relations and not enough in communication. In a world of spin, there is no place for real communication. When governments spin, communication gets squeezed out. And so do openness and inclusiveness.
 
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