Focus on Citizens: Public Engagement for Better Policy and Services✎
Governments alone cannot deal with complex global and domestic challenges, such as climate change or soaring obesity levels. They face hard trade-offs, such as responding to rising demands for better quality public services despite tight budgets. They need to work with their own citizens and other stakeholders to find solutions.
At the same time, more educated, well-informed and less defere+E51ntial citizens are judging their governments on their “democratic performance” (the degree to which government
decision-making processes live up to democratic principles) and their “policy performance” (their ability to deliver tangible positive outcomes for society).
Open and inclusive policy making is most often promoted as a means of improving democratic performance. For good reason too, as it enhances transparency and accountability, public participation and builds civic capacity.
Yet open and inclusive policy making can do much more. It offers a way for governments to improve their policy performance by working with citizens, civil society organisations (CSOs), businesses and other stakeholders to deliver concrete improvements in policy outcomes and the quality of public services.
This report reviews open and inclusive policy making in OECD countries based on survey responses from 25 national governments and 54 CSOs from 14 countries. Fourteen in-depth
country case studies illustrate current practice while short opinion pieces from 18 government and civil society practitioners provide rich insights into current challenges.
Finally, the report offers a set of ten “Guiding Principles for Open and Inclusive Policy Making” to improve future practice.