davebriggs + democracy   88

Full stack decision making
I know that many organisations are still designed around that hierarchy but if your goal is to end up with an organisation that is less silo’d at the same time as being more collaborative, adaptive and flexible it seems sensible to look to the thinking which is designed to support a more sophisticated view of decision making then that of a hierarchy where things get rolled up and then down the hill to get an decision.
decisions  democracy  governance 
august 2018 by davebriggs
Why ‘hashtag activism’ is not the solution for democratic inequality
The internet offers of swathe of new opportunities for democratic interaction, but how does this affect engagement levels among different groups?
february 2015 by davebriggs
Connected localism - good work @lgiu and friends!
This collection of essays looks at how a localised, yet connected approach to public service innovation can help us meet complex social and political challenges.
localgov  democracy  publicservices 
june 2013 by davebriggs
Across the ages: who does localism work for?
Tony Watts is wrong – research reveals older people are indeed taking local decisions at the expense of younger residents
In my recent blog, The grey side of localism, I presented findings from a report produced by the Intergenerational Foundation. It concluded: "The blunt problem is that those who have the loudest voices tend to be a wealthy section of the older generation." The average age of local councillors, it finds, is now over 60.

In 2008, the government's Commission for Rural Communities inquiry concluded that councillors are often retired, lamented the lack of young participants and claimed that authorities were kept going largely by "a dedicated old guard". In 2010, the National Census of Local Authority Councillors demonstrated that the "average age of councillors has increased from 55 in 1997 to 60 in 2010".

Given this weight of evidence, I was surprised by the response of Tony Watts, chair of the South West Forum on Ageing, to my piece. He argued that I was "plonking blame for a lack of adequate housing for younger people at the door of crusty old nimby councillors".

And yet if you look at the literature, as far back as 1988 rural commentator Howard Newby noted a longstanding trend that the village had "been transformed from an agricultural community into a commuter dormitory, a retirement centre". The Public Attitudes to Housing 2010 study, carried out by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, pinpointed that what you think about new homes in your area does indeed depend on how old you are and where you live: 62% of 25-34 year-olds support house building for sale in their area, compared with 47% of those aged between 55 and 64. A quarter of those in the latter age group, and a fifth of 65-75-year-olds have opposed a planning application compared with 8% of people between 25 and 34. As we have already established that the average age of parish and town councillors is over 60, it does imply that older people are tending to block housing development.

Watts talks of the "perceived injustices suffered by younger people". But are these perceived or actual? With a £9,000+ tuition fee debt facing today's young adults leaving university, a dearth of affordable housing, and youth unemployment reaching 17.1%, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – more than double the unemployment rate affecting the general population. To me, these seem very real, hard-edged injustices.

As Watts quotes, David Cameron has said that "locally driven positive change is possible if people are willing to roll up their sleeves and get involved." I fear this implies that young people are just a bunch of idle whingers. Localism is all very good for can-do communities blessed with movers and shakers, and the social capital that helps them get on, but what about more impoverished communities that lack money, confidence and connections? Will localism serve them or simply widen the gap between haves and the often younger have-nots?

I object to Watts' conclusion that "if younger people don't turn out to vote, stand for election or support planning applications, you can't simply blame the older people who do". In fact, it is older people who, literally, dictate the terms of our society to those disenfranchised minors under 18, setting the policies that influence their lives.

Young people are inheriting the results of older people's decisions related to climate change and austerity, while unworkable daytime meeting times also conspire to prevent younger people, who are interested in local politics, from becoming councillors because they are out at work.

There is one point, though, on which we can both agree: it is imperative that older and younger people work together to find solutions to these holes in our local democracy that have an impact across generations.

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december 2012 by davebriggs
Plain speaking
This project led by the Democratic Society has been focusing on how to improve the mechanisms we use for consultation. But if we are going to involve and engage more people, we also need to change the words we use to talk about policy.

Plain English is mandatory on the new GOV.UK website. The Government Digital Service has created a useful list of ‘words to avoid’ as part of its Content principles. These include:


I’ve regularly used all of these words in my own work as a (sort-of) policy wonk, and indeed the first sentence of this post breaks both the letter and the spirit of the GDS guidelines. I could shrug and suggest that such words are ‘part of the uniform’ and that few people in the policy world would (or do) question their use. I could also plead that there’s a lot of policy writing that’s much worse (less clear) than the stuff I tend to write. Neither of these would be good excuses though. Policy wonks, civil servants and policymakers need to change how they speak, how they write – and ultimately how they think - if they want to empower (sorry) more people to participate in policy.

The words we use to describe politics and policy matter. As the GDS guide says: “We lose trust from our users if we write government ‘buzzwords’ and jargon. Often, these words are too general and vague and can lead to misinterpretation or empty, meaningless text. We need to be specific, use plain English and be very clear about what we are doing. In policies, and across GOV.UK, we can generally do that very well without these words.”

Not only can we often do without these words, we need to if we’re going to open-up policy making.

One of my favourite pieces of writing is George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language. Orwell argued that there is a link between the health of our politics and the clarity of our language. As Orwell notes: “[Our language] becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.” There’s an echo of this in the GDS guidance, in its criticism of ‘empty, meaningless text’ and the need for plain English to be ‘clear about what we are doing’. This last point provokes a further criticism – that our lazy language excludes people from policy, and obscures what we do from greater public scrutiny. This exclusion produces poor policy analysis and so poor policy, because instead of practical intelligence and insight from practitioners (for example in public services), we tend to rely on the familiar assumptions held in policy circles or on personal ideology instead.

I know many policy wonks think that some of our pseudo-technical social sciency-type language isn’t jargon, but rather is the professional terminology necessary for precision in meaning. This is rarely the case in my opinion. But not only is jargon bad (poor at conveying specific meaning), it’s also often anti-democratic. Excluding people leads to a lack of public legitimacy in the polices that result from consultation. What are we trying to keep people from? Orwell’s point was that truth in language is closely connected to truth in politics. As he wrote: “In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.” Jargon and inflated style are often a clue that the author is trying to obscure the reality of a situation. If we use jargon in consultations, not only are we are inadvertently excluding people, we are also in various ways attempting to conceal the truth from the public and possibly from ourselves. The level of public engagement in politics, as measured at least in voting turnout or the membership of political parties, suggests that we’ve been found out.

We should (try to) speak in plain English. Alongside better ways to consult, developing better policy depends on using better, ordinary language. Otherwise we’re in danger of talking to ourselves and saying nothing.

For_discussion  consultation  consultations  democracy  engagement  GDS  GOV.UK  open_policy  participation  public_involvement  from google
november 2012 by davebriggs
What is genuine engagement in a networked world?
Public-i is collaborating with our friends at the Democratic Society and OCSI to bring local government an open and networked approach to engagement. By getting together we’re combining our unique sets of skills to create what we believe is an exciting, attractive package offering genuine engagement. Of course that begs a question: what is ‘genuine engagement’? Well, [...]
Open_Network  Public-i  Community_Engagement  Democracy  Local_Government  Open_Practice  Open_Source  Social_Media  from google
september 2012 by davebriggs
Top tips: what is local democracy?
We round up the best comments and advice from our expert panel on the changing role of local government
Tim Hughes is a research officer at InvolveAre local elections about local politics? The last local elections for example seemed to be reduced by most commentators to a glorified opinion poll for national politics. That really damages local democracy.
Participation, not "engagement": The people we interviewed had become extremely disillusioned with the political system, politicians and councils "engaging" with them. They just didn't really see the point of participating because it didn't change anything. Many of the same people, however, were extremely active in other forms of participation, such as volunteering. Participation research showed that these terms can really turn people off participating. Being "political" was particularly looked on as something negative – a term I think we need to win back.
Taking decisions: Elected representatives do need to continue to balance the needs of different parts of the community and be accountable for the decisions they make. However, they need to do that based on a good understanding of why different groups feel the way they do... they shouldn't be taking the decision in a dark room somewhere with no real engagement. Our experience is that people are able to think from the perspective of others and put their own interests to one side if you engage them in the right way.
Susie Kemp is assistant chief executive at Surrey county councilThe officer-member relationship is challenging: I do think councillors are up for the debate on their roles, but as someone earlier pointed out there is a big difference to someone in the cabinet, for example, and a backbencher and their true ability to influence. Everyone has different drivers for being elected. My own changed as I spent time as a councillor – I relished the place shaping role but kept coming up against officers – which is why I decided to go across the line and do what I do now. I hope in my role now, having done both, I can go someway into building up councillors' roles and taking away some of the barriers. But to my mind, the place shaper and community leadership roles are vital for local councillors.
Darren Hughes is director of campaigns and research at the Electoral Reform SocietyDo "wasted votes" decrease local turnout? If first past the post means the Conservatives have 60 of the 75 council seats in Essex and Labour has 77 of the 110 seats in Birmingham, when neither party earned anything like that proportion of the vote then that means there are tens of thousands of wasted votes. In Scotland where they use the single transferable vote method of proportional representation far many more voters get someone they voted for elected. It's not the only answer, but it must be part of explaining why in May the turnout in Scotland was approximately a third higher than in England.
The will for local engagement is there: The annual Democratic Audit published earlier this year showed that most people think they have far more influence over local government decisions than national government. So the public is already there. We need to have a fairer voting system that boosts participation and leads to results that reflect the will of the community and then a real localism in the way the council leads and what they do after polling day. The two are inextricably linked and are not two separate topics.
Liam Scott-Smith is head of external affairs at the New Local Government Network thinktankTurnout and engagement: Do turnout figures accurately show how engaged residents are? It does get me thinking though about how much onus we place on turnout as a test of our democracy. Especially in light of how a lot of innovations are focused on how to get people engaged in local politics (the conversation) but little by the way of direct triggers to get people out to vote. Increasingly feeling like we can innovate as much as we like around engagement but if the fundamental choice remains the same for electorate they'll keep responding with apathy.
The decision-making process is changing: The age of the 'patrician politician' is coming to end and we entering something which looks a lot more like co-designed decision making process between councillor and the coalitions they build around certain issues. Makes the democratic conversation more retail but would lead to many opportunities for local people to get involved on the stuff that matters to them as and when it arises.
Compulsory voting could radically boost turnout: Low turnout is the symptom not the cause but we're fumbling around for answers and not getting anywhere fast. A tweak with social media there, more transparency here, all hoping it adds up to something. I don't buy that it will and so we occasionally have to make blunt policy decisions. What we argue for [means that] people can tick a 'none of the above' box on the ballot paper.
Margot Rohan is senior members' services manager at Croydon councilInformation: Councils should provide more information about what they do, as a lot of their work goes unnoticed. Councils are dilatory in feeding back when they do respond to complaints: they often tend to get on and address an issue but fail to confirm what they have done to the complainant, so residents are left thinking they have been ignored.
Opportunities for social engagement: If internet access for 90% of the UK is achieved by 2015, as Jeremy Hunt has promised, then social media will become one of the major sources of disseminating information quickly and with the ability to provide access to myriad information at the click of a link. Bearing in mind that, according to research in 2011, 95% of under 30s worldwide were members of an online social network, by 2015 it is likely virtually all adults under 35 will be online. The research also showed that the fastest growing demographic segment on Facebook is females 55-65, so this sector will become 55-70 by 2015.
Poitical parties: The debate on political parties is very relevant at a time when we have a coalition government which is failing to deliver to its electorate, since no one voted for a Con-LibDem government. As John Scott says, no party can represent all of any individual's views. Any government will be a compromise but, if not led by one party, at least a wider range of views could be represented. The big question is how does one achieve a fair balance?
Joanna Boaler is member support manager at Essex county councilWhat kind of local democracy do people want? I heard on the BBC radio that each day this week the candidates for Police Commissioners will have a 60 minute slot to "sell" themselves. This appears to be the only publicity which candidates get. I am very concerned, not only that voter turnout will be low, but those who do want to exercise their democratic right will have no idea who they are voting for. It is also interesting when you consider the referendums for directly elected mayors in May, mostly voted no. Do the public want a figurehead, power vested in one individual?
Local government structure: Most people do not know which council does what. In Essex we have two unitary authortities, 12 district/borough/city councils, a county council and nearly 300 parish and town councils. The public has a right to be confused.
Laura Wilkes is a policy manager at the Local Government Information Unit thinktankHolding to accountability: In addition to potential low turnout at the PCC elections I think there are also issues that need to be considered after the elections. This includes questions of accountability, which is an integral element of local democracy. For example, community safety is a cross-cutting issue that requires the involvement of many agencies in tackling. Unless accountability lines locally are very clear, this could be confusing to the public, leading to people getting very disillusioned with local democracy.
Actively using existing local powers: The Localism Act has the potential to have a huge impact; if local authorities and communities make use of the Rights available to them. I think the big challenge is is making sure that communities know what is available to them and actively encouraging them to use the rights, then ensuring that they have capacity and support to do this.
Councillors as local voices, not decision-makers: It is clear that [councillors] are moving more and more to acting as community facilitators; people who bring communities together to help build capacity and facilitate conversations around priorities and aspirations for the area.
More local powers will encourage participation: We think there is a relationship between powers and levels of local participation. If councillors and communities had more powers; people wouldn't feel so limited in getting things done. This could lead to greater involvement and, ultimately, encourage more people to vote.
John Shewell is the head of communications at Brighton & Hove city councilNetworking can show the way to greater local democracy: We have organisations still operating 19th century management and business techniques in the 21st century. We need to acknowledge that the world is changing: we are living in the networked age and we should be exploring how our structures and business models can be fit-for-purpose in this new era. This is potentially where we need to align the future of engagement practices, around the notion of networks and building our business models to fit.
Engagement needs greater understanding of government's role: Encouraging greater civic participation is one thing, but we need to create a literacy for participation. We need to make our organisations more open and responsive. We need to help "nudge" innovation, which can play a crucial role in empowering communities and citizens to have more say about the issues that matter most to them. But we also need to understand the difference between the state as provider – which will be reduced – that the budgets and finances will dictate public sector spending … [more]
Local_government_network  Policy  Insight_and_engagement  Democracy  Localism  Organisational_development  Professional_development  Local_government  Local_elections  Guardian_Professional  Q&As  Local_government_network  from google
august 2012 by davebriggs
Why social media will solve the problem of local voter apathy
Unlike compulsory voting, social media has the potential to energise and engage the local electorate
In this year's local elections only one eligible voter in three participated. This was the worst turnout since 2000.
Look into the figures a little more and we see a trend beginning in the 1970s, of fewer people voting than not in local elections, except in years with a general election. So has social media had a revolutionary impact on local democracy? Clearly the answer is no. Since Facebook, Twitter and other forms of online communication, organisation and campaigning came along we haven't seen a distinguishable rise in local voter participation.
But I believe this no will soon become a yes; our lackluster voting trends will gradually change for the better as we put more energy into these new, radical bottom-up tools of communication. With some nurturing, the democratic elements that are part of the very nature of social media can indeed transform what democracy is and how it is exercised.
This is a glass half-full approach – surely better than one that is half empty, like those who believe in compulsory voting.
A report from the New Local Government Network, Next localism, argued that enforced participation in local elections would improve quality and accountability in our political system. Karl Kraus famously quipped that "psychoanalysis is the disease of which it purports to be the cure". I believe that compulsory voting would likewise be the disease of which it purports to be a cure; instead of invigorating local democracy, this top-down approach would dampen it further.
I believe social media – and I use the term in the broadest possible sense – offers the right prescription for the disease of disengagement because these new spaces are home to more and more people, and where those people are spending more and more of their time.
According to Pew Research, 66% of US adults were using social networking sites by November 2011. In Britain the number of hyperlocal news sites is now in the thousands, with a flock of active readers, users and contributors growing that is growing exponentially. To quote David Plouffe, manager of the Obama for America 2008 campaign, we now find ourselves at a stage to ask: "So many people are living their lives through technology - how can we expect their interactions with politics to be the one exception?"
Local authorities know this and will continue to make great strides forward to take local democracy out of the town hall and put it where their residents eyeballs are, both on and offline.
We now have council meetings streamed across the internet to hundreds of viewers, council leaders taking to Twitter to answer questions directly from residents, while council officers use hyperlocal community sites to encourage residents to participate in projects. Recently I spoke to a communications officer at a borough council who was engaged in a lively discussion with residents over a recent planning consultation, with the whole conversation taking place on the authority's official Facebook page.
This will be a slow revolution. It was nearly 700 years from Simon De Montfort's first representative parliament assembling to the House of Commons becoming the more powerful chamber in our legislature. It will be organic, and driven from the bottom by citizens.
Local government's role is to be as transparent, open and as experimental as it dares – enabling and empowering people with the information, data and space they need to take on greater roles and responsibility in their communities. With all this, we will find ourselves arriving at a place where voting is an activity almost all will voluntarily and happily participate in.
Rob Dale leads on online engagement and communications at the Local Government Information Unit
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august 2012 by davebriggs
Seven ways your council can boost local democracy today
From consultations to positive deviants, what can your local authority do to engage residents in the democratic process?
It's easy for discussions on democracy to end up in the theoretical. Visions of the future of democracy, from the Adam Smith Institute to Occupy, seek fundamental shifts in how society and public services are organised. We need visionaries, but we also need action; the reality of change is that lots of little actions drive new attitudes.
So in that vein, here are seven small things that you can do to improve local democracy in your area.
1. Check out a hyperlocal website or Facebook page
Every councillor worth their salt reads the local paper every day, but there's more and varied comment and opinion online. A little digging will get you past the angry ranters to the quality content.
2. Seed a surgery
Social media surgeries are simple and very cheap peer-to-peer learning networks, which improve democracy by building people's capacity to contribute. You don't need anything more than a cafe with wi-fi, your laptop and a couple of friends.
3. Find your positive deviants
Look out for them both inside and outside your organisation. When people want to do something positive and participatory, they don't always call it democracy. The growing CityCamp network, started in the US and now established here, is one example, but there will be people in your area with the energy and drive to make things change. Find them online and help them create.
4. Put openness at the heart of organisational development
In a council, everyone works in democratic services. Increasingly they will work in localised and personalised services too. Staff and councillors need to have the new skills that this new way of working needs. You might not be the head of human resources, but you can put those skills into you and your team's development plans.
5. Call a public service partner
Talk to your partners about their consultation and engagement plan, and whether you can join your engagement work with theirs. Citizens don't usually care about organisational boundaries and the most dispiriting experience is making a comment and being told "oh, that's not an issue for us".
6. Be a confused citizen
Check out a local newspaper websaite for an area where you don't live, and pick out a news story that involves the council. Then go to the council's website and try to find information about the issue (beyond a press release). It will teach you some lessons about how it feels to be a democratic participant in your area.
7. Check the quality of your information
Hierarchies are turning into networks everywhere you look, and the website is no exception. Homepage and directories are being replaced by Facebook page and Twitter lists. That means the content your organisation creates needs to be simple, self-contained and linkable – not PDFs hidden in a database. Check the information you're responsible for. Does it meet that standard?
You can probably run through that whole list in a lunch break without any technical skill or organisational superpower required. If a few more people in government took little positive actions like that every day, we'd soon have a better relationship between state and citizen, and better democracy.
Anthony Zacharzewski is director of the Democratic Society
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Democracy  Localism  Professional_development  Organisational_development  Local_government_network  Practice  Local_government  Local_elections  Communities  Guardian_Professional  Blogposts  Local_government_network  from google
august 2012 by davebriggs
Stop treating people like idiots: start connecting public service users to the tough decisions that shape them
"One of the most common grumbles heard within the political and governmental classes is that the public doesn’t understand the need for compromise."
democracy  service  politicians  mysociety 
june 2012 by davebriggs
Don’t forget about ePetitions – they can be part of a more collaborative future
"There is a massive cultural resonance to a democratic mechanism like petitioning – maybe we could think about using this cultural resonance and familiarity in a more innovative and open way."
edemocracy  epetitions  democracy  engagement 
june 2012 by davebriggs
Is regular door knocking a must for councillors?
"(An alternative title for this entry could be, ‘If I go looking for problems, I’m bound to find some’.)"
digitalcllr  councillor  local  democracy  engagement 
june 2012 by davebriggs
Audit of Political Engagement 9, Part One - Archived Press Releases
"New Hansard Society research shows people turning away from national politics"
april 2012 by davebriggs
eParticipation needs to be carefully integrated into the complex world of existing participation processes | British Politics and Policy at LSE
"While technical problems can sink eParticipation initiatives, the core challenges are on the social side. Ella Taylor-Smith discusses what eParticipation actually means and how it should be evaluated."
participation  democracy  technology 
april 2012 by davebriggs
Thinktanks are in crisis. To survive, they must become ‘do tanks’
"For thinktanks to be effective, they must be imaginative and radical. But a funding crisis is making them increasing bland."
thinktanks  policy  democracy 
september 2011 by davebriggs
Does democracy have to be political? | The Democratic Society
"I can’t be the only one who has been struck by the way in which the people getting involved with the community clear-ups after the riots have been so keen to state that their motive is not political."
democracy  riots  politics  community 
august 2011 by davebriggs
Categorisation and other exciting details
"Part of the reason for wanting wider comment is the fact that I am increasingly inclined to think that the emphasis on civic space building is very obviously on the creation and sustainability of hyperlocal communities – with the role of the democratic body being to connect to and interact with these more social groupings."
democracy  edemocracy  civic  civil  society  engagement  participation  research 
august 2010 by davebriggs
Dig Up Political Influence | Poligraft
Looks interesting and cool, though not sure I fully understand it
opengovernment  opengov  transparency  media  politics  democracy  influence 
august 2010 by davebriggs
Big Society needs Big Democracy | The Democratic Society
"Instead, the Big Society and the network need to focus on creating a wider conversation in communities, which can move away from the Whitehall and Westminster world, and promote local solutions. They also need to create a deeper democratic conversation in those localities, to increase the effectiveness, legitimacy and coherence of local action."
bigsociety  localdemocracy  democracy  communities  localgovernment 
july 2010 by davebriggs
Swansea Scrutiny
Great WordPress based blog site for Scrutiny in Swansea.
scrutiny  swansea  localgovernment  democracy  wordpress 
july 2010 by davebriggs
The Big Society #2: Strengthening local leadership
"Whether they’re called community leaders or organisers, local champions, or bastions of grass roots democracy doesn’t really matter; current and future councillors play a big role in supporting the Big Society."
localisminaction  nalc  crc  councillors  moderncouncillor  democracy  localdemocracy  hyperlocaldemocracy  bigsociety 
july 2010 by davebriggs
Centre for Digital Citizenship
"The CdC’s mission is to promote outstanding research on the changing nature of citizenship in a digitally networked society and to contribute to the analysis and development of policy in this area."
democracy  citizenship  modcllr 
june 2010 by davebriggs
Lichfield District Council – Open Election Data Project Case Study
"An early adopter Lichfield District Council has been actively sharing a range of local data for some time. In March 2010 the Council was the first authority to make its local election results openly available as part of the Open Election Data Project."
opendata  opengov  openelectiondata  electiondata  data  elections  democracy  modcllr  edemocracy  gov2.0  khub  government2.0  lichfield  lichfielddc  lichfielddistrictcouncil  pezholio  countculture  openlylocal 
april 2010 by davebriggs
Powerful petitions with real teeth set to bite
"Local people can now demand their councils take action on underperforming schools and hospitals, drink disorder, anti-social behaviour and other concerns under new rules giving real power to local petitions, announced Communities Secretary John Denham today."
epetitions  petitions  democracy  edemocracy  opengovernment  opengov  icele 
march 2010 by davebriggs
Open Election Data project
"A new project to help local government open up their election results"
opendata  elections  government  government2.0  icele  democracy  vote  data  localgov  localgovernment 
march 2010 by davebriggs
Carnegie UK Trust - Democracy & Civil Society - Making good society
"Making good society, the final report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society, argues that civil society has been pushed to the margins in key areas including politics, finance and the media and that this must change."
civilsociety  civic  society  politics  news  democracy  carnegietrust  report  pdf 
march 2010 by davebriggs
ParticipationCamp - Advancing public participation in government by connecting government managers and staff, public engagement experts, online tool developers, and citizens.
"ParticipationCamp is an unconference that aims to advance public participation in government by connecting government managers and staff, public engagement experts, online tool developers, and citizens."
participation  government  gov2.0  government2.0  edemocracy  icele  democracy  engagement 
february 2010 by davebriggs
The Myth of the Techno-Utopia - WSJ.com
"It's fashionable to hold up the Internet as the road to democracy and liberty in countries like Iran, but it can also be a very effective tool for quashing freedom."
politics  2010  activism  censorship  democracy  technology  digital  facebook  control  analysis  iran 
february 2010 by davebriggs
Digital citizens and democratic engagement - The Hansard Society
"[This report] shows that for Britons who are already online, the internet has made it easier to take part in civic and political activities and that half of them prefer to use the internet to take part in democratic life."
democracy  edemocracy  icele  hansardsociety  politicians  socialmedia  internet  web  online  communications  engagement  digitalengagement  elections  representation 
february 2010 by davebriggs
UKGovCamp as the future | The Democratic Society
"I suspect - I hope - we will look back on days like Saturday as a time of shared preparation for something much bigger: an agreeable Enlightenment salon heralding the harder, more disappointing work of social transformation. "
barcamp  events  democracy  gov20  government  politics  uk  ukgc10 
january 2010 by davebriggs
2 of 3 Feel They Can’t Influence Local Decisions
"Government’s Citizenship Survey results published today reflect some familiar trends but there are also some surprising findings that support new thinking on empowerment, active citizenship and community cohesion."
democracy  engagement  influence 
november 2009 by davebriggs
Digital Democracy in Swindon: Connecting People, Connecting Places
"Swindon are working with the Leadership Centre for local government and FutureGov to explore ways of using new methods of on and offline engagement to help councillors engage with local communities in new and interesting ways as part of the 21st Century Councillors programme."
21centurycllr  futuregov  swindon  democracy  edemocracy  socialmedia  hyperlocal  councillors 
november 2009 by davebriggs
FutureGov » Features » ePetitions data standards - get involved!
"Are you interested in ePetitions? Perhaps you run electronic petitioning tools for a local council, or are involved in analysing the results? Do you build tools for governments to use to help citizens petition it more effectively? Or maybe you’re a keen hacker who wants to see these tools built in transparent and effective ways?"
edemocracy  epetitions  petitions  democracy  futuregov  standards  gandy 
october 2009 by davebriggs
Local Electronic Petitions Set To Become Mandatory
"A Bill requiring councils in England and Wales to provide local residents with a facility to lodge electronic petitions, and to respond to such petitions, is set to be passed into law after moving to what is likely to become its final Parliamentary stage last week."
democracy  digitalengagement  egov  localgov  uk  edemocracy  petitions  epetitions 
october 2009 by davebriggs
Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age | The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy
"The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy is a group of 17 media, policy and community leaders. Its purpose is to assess the information needs of communities, and recommend measures to help Americans better meet those needs."
democracy  digital  internet  network  socialmedia  journalism  news 
october 2009 by davebriggs
@2gov - Civic Participation Made Simple
"Simply include @2gov in tweets about issues that matter to you. We identify your specific representatives and send them professional reports with your messages (even if they aren't on Twitter!)"
twitter  government  politics  activism  collaboration  communication  democracy  petition 
september 2009 by davebriggs
A Ladder of Citizen Participation - Sherry R Arnstein
"This article is about power structures in society and how they interact. Specifically it is a guide to seeing who has power when important decisions are being made."
community  democracy  facilitation  activism  definition  reference  politics  participation 
march 2009 by davebriggs
votewise.co.uk » Compare Candidates - Before You Vote
"Votewise is a completely free public information service that tells you when an election is held in your area, who the candidates are and what they stand for."
uk  participation  democracy  edemocracy  politicians  election  candidates 
march 2009 by davebriggs
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