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Focus on Citizens

Public Engagement for Better Policy and Services

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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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The Future of Open and Inclusive Policy Making

Governments are increasingly being called upon to be more inclusive and open when formulating policy and to have viable channels through which government institutions can be accessed by citizens. The issue of open and inclusive policy-making means that governments are transparent in decision-making processes that they can be easily approached and hence are accessible to their citizens and they respond adequately to the views and concerns of the citizens. This in effect calls for greater engagement between governments and their constituencies and such a relationship will enhance democracy, transparency, accountability, ownership of national priorities and development. It is becoming evident that governance is no longer the domain of national governments alone, but increasingly involves contributions from additional political actors and other stakeholders. One such stakeholder is civil society. While governments remain powerful, there are many ways for citizens to engage in decision-making processes.

English

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