Note on the Co-Creation Process
Note on the Co-Creation Process
Prepared by CiviQ and TCI Engagement
In August 2016, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) launched a process to consult the public and civil society groups in preparing Ireland’s Open Government Partnership National Action Plan 2016-2018.
The consultation process was designed following discussions with members of the Joint-Working Group that was involved in drafting Ireland’s first National Action Plan 2014-2016. At the outset, the consultation process was a challenge, because the time available for creating the National Action Plan 2016-2018 was reduced due to the time taken to form a government after the general election. The Department, responding to some of the criticisms from some Civil Society groups set out in the Independent Review Mechanism’s Mid-Term Report, wanted to reach as many people as possible and for the identification of potential commitments to be as transparent and independent as possible.
For these reasons, following a request for tenders, the Department commissioned CiviQ and TCI Engagement to help deliver the consultation, in a way that was as open, inclusive and transparent as possible, within the constraints of the timeframe.
CiviQ and TCI Engagement’s Methodology
In response to the need for an effective and inclusive consultation, CiviQ and TCI Engagement focused on engaging a broad range of perspectives and information from civil society, citizens, businesses, and minority or marginalised groups. They used a combination of traditional consultation tools and new digital methods. This focus was essential to ensure that: 1) the initial set of proposed actions in the draft National Action Plan 2016-2018 were drawn from a broad social base for whom OGP can have substantive impact and 2) deliberations in civic forums were diverse and inclusive.
The process strived to further promote inclusion and knowledge sharing by openly publishing all opinions and knowledge to enable stakeholders to learn from each other; ensure inclusion of potentially omitted knowledge or views; and to transparently show how a person’s input was reflected in the final plan.
Stage one of the consultation process, which ran from 22nd August-30th September, aimed to obtain possible commitments to include in Ireland’s second National Action Plan.
The initial consultation encouraged the greatest possible engagement by individuals and civil society groups. The early steps focused on designing a national communication campaign which included two Facebook campaigns - one targeting young people aged between 18 and 25 years, and another targeting citizens’ around the country with an interest in politics and community. Other interested parties were contacted by email and telephone. Additional methods used to promote and raise awareness of the consultation included a dedicated Webpage as well as Press and Radio advertisements. A phone line was available for citizens to ask questions and to make submissions.
Online portal – encouraging an open discussion
The initial consultation document, “Have your say - Creating a New National Action Plan 2016-2018” was published online via CiviQ’s open consultation portal at www.ogpireland.ie. The main aim of this online approach was to reach as many people as possible, encourage discussion, and inspire a sense of community. Individuals and civil society groups viewed the consultation document online and made submissions on possible actions to include in the second National Action Plan. Given that it was an ‘open’ portal, individuals could view, share and comment on other peoples’ suggestions. Submissions were also received by post and telephone. These were manually inputted to the system to ensure all voices were represented together.
Civic Forums – obtaining further input and insight
Two civic forums were held in order to obtain further input and insight from civil society. These were held on Wednesday 14 September 2016 (Kilkenny) from 2-4.30pm and Tuesday 27 September 2016 (Dublin) from 6-8pm. The forums were attended by 15 and 23 participants respectively. These forums, facilitated by TCI Engagement, provided a cooperative environment for individuals and civil society groups to openly discuss and debate possible actions/commitments to include in the second National Action Plan. The forums focussed on the three categories identified in the consultation document; Strengthening Governance and Accountability, Increased Transparency and Open Data, and Strengthening Citizens Engagement.
To share knowledge, and help build a sense of community, the views and proposals shared at each table were published on the web via a live blog. In addition, written submissions that had been received via the online portal, were presented at the forum and/or were made available on tablets at each table or in printed format. A number of wide ranging actions emerged from the forums, complementing those raised via the online submission portal process. Findings from the forums were published on the OGP Ireland website. Submissions were also updated by citizens after the forum, building on what was learned or shared during the event.
Considering the feedback
Following the close of the first stage of the consultation, CiviQ analysed, reviewed and combined all of the feedback received to provide an independent report which includes a list of possible actions to include in Ireland’s second National Action Plan. These actions were developed in respect of the following principles:
• Demonstrate ambition with transformative potential
• Be relevant to the values of transparency, accountability and public participation
• Be specific, time-bound and measurable.
• Be as inclusive as possible of the range of submissions received
The independent report was published online in an interactive table at www.ogpireland.ie/actions. Each action is linked to the related submissions and comments from the civic forums, demonstrating the relationship between citizen’s input and output.
Consultation on the Draft National Action Plan 2016-2018
The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform considered the list of possible commitments to develop this Draft National Action Plan. This draft is published for public comment on the consultation portal www.ogpireland.ie. CiviQ have contacted Civil Society groups and those who made contributions to let them know that the draft is available for review. CiviQ have also initiated a social media awareness campaign to advertise the draft plan’s publication.
Comments from the public on this draft plan are invited on the portal, where people will be able to view, share and comment on other peoples’ suggestions. Comments on this draft National Action Plan can also be made by post, telephone and email. Those who made submissions are encouraged to contact the Department if they have any questions on their submission.
Website and Portal: www.ogpireland.ie
Telephone: 01 604 5741
Post: Ian Devlin, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, 7-9 Merrion Row, Dublin 2. D02 V223