New report for Participatory Budgeting practitioners, activists and policy makers in Scotland and beyond

An exciting collaboration has been established between the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) and What Works Scotland (WWS) to support the strategic and operational delivery of Participatory Budgeting within Scotland and beyond.

PB Harkins-Escobar front cover

The first output from this collaboration is a joint publication by Chris Harkins and Oliver Escobar: Participatory budgeting in Scotland: an overview of strategic design choices and principles for effective delivery.

The paper takes stock of the policy context for PB in Scotland, and outlines ten strategic PB design choices and ten principles for effective delivery. The metaphor here is not ‘transplanting’ but translating and adapting. PB delivery organisations, communities and citizens involved in the PB process are thus encouraged to use the design choices and principles selectively, flexibly and reflectively as meets their specific purpose, need and context.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Citizens’ Juries…

ReportInvolving communities in deliberation: A study of three citizens’ juries on onshore wind farms in Scotland

Executive Summary

Full Report

Interest in deliberative forms of public engagement is growing in Scotland. There have been many studies of deliberative participation across the globe, and in particular mini-publics such as citizens’ juries. But this new report is unique as it provides an unusually detailed account for practitioners, policy workers, decision makers and researchers interested in developing deliberative public forums.The three citizens’ juries were part of ClimateXChange’s research programme, and dealt with the issue of onshore wind farm development in Scotland.

Here is what people have said about the project and the report:

Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment Marco Biagi MSP said: “Involving people and communities in decision-making leads to better results, more responsive services and gives communities the chance to have a say on how ideas are delivered.”

“This exciting project offers valuable lessons which will help our efforts to boost participation in local democracy and improve community engagement.”

Project Manager for ClimateXChange Ragne Low said: “This report provides robust evidence of how we can create processes that will be trusted by communities and balance different views. It also gives very practical advice about organising and facilitating good quality public engagement to support decision making.”

“Participatory forums like citizens’ juries are not an easy option. They need very careful planning and experienced facilitators who make sure that the process is balanced, inclusive and that all voices are heard. What we saw in the juries was real appreciation of getting balanced expert opinion and working through difficult questions together.”

Research Director Dr Oliver Escobar, said: “The research findings are very timely given the appetite for more participation at all levels of society in post-referendum Scotland.”

“To solve the many pressing problems of our time we need new political spaces that bring forth the voices of those seldom heard. Mini-publics like citizens’ juries may provide some of those spaces.”

For more information about the research project and the juries please click HERE.

Deliberation and Development – new free access e-book

‘Deliberation and Development: Rethinking the Role of Voice and Collective Action in Unequal Societies’, edited by Patrick Heller and Vijayendra Rao

Untitled
Deliberation and Development is a true landmark that establishes, surveys, and celebrates a rich field of study with crucial practical relevance. The striking and sometimes counterintuitive insights formulated by its contributors concerning the broad reach of deliberation should prompt rethinking of crucial questions in development, as well as reformulation of key aspects of the theory of deliberative democracy.”

Prof. John Dryzek, Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, University of Canberra.

The book is published under a Creative Commons license and can, therefore, be downloaded for free HERE.

Description:

This book marries two fields that rarely converse with one another: deliberative democracy and development studies. The study of deliberation has emerged as a critical area of study over the past two decades. Concurrently, the field of development has seen a spurt of interest in community-led development and participation premised on the ability of groups to arrive at decisions and manage resources via a process of discussion and debate. Despite the growing interest in both fields, they have rarely engaged with one another.

This book, which brings together new essays by some of the leading scholars in the field, deepens our understanding of participatory decision making in developing countries while initiating a new field of study for scholars of deliberation. In the process, it sheds light on how to best design and implement policies to strengthen the role of participation in development. Contributors: Arjun Appadurai, Gianpaolo Biaocchi, Peter Evans, Archon Fung, Varun Gauri, Gerry Mackie, Jane Mansbridge, Paromita Sanyal, JP Singh, Ann Swidler, and Susan Watkins.

‘Participation Week’ –Impressive programme hosted by @scotgov’s Directorate for Local Government and Communities

Image courtesy of So Say Scotland, 2013 'Thinking Together Citizens' Assembly' in Glasgow

Image courtesy of democratic innovators So Say Scotland, 2013 ‘Thinking Together Citizens’ Assembly’ in Glasgow

 ‘Creating the world we want to live in’, Podcast with keynote speakers at the launch of Participation Week

Participation Week begins on the 8th of June with a fast moving Launch Event chaired by Sarah Davidson, Director General Communities at Scottish Government: “Participation and Citizen Ownership – The Challenge for Government” will explore the challenges and the benefits of putting people at the centre of the SG’s work.
You will hear from experts and participate in table discussions about how the SG can transform public services in Scotland by involving people in the decisions that affect their lives. Evidence sessions will be led by Andy Williamson, of Democratise, Oliver Escobar of What Works Scotland and Chris Yui of SCVO.

The programme includes 19 events:

Please note that some of the events take place twice, so check the website to see alternative dates.

Invitation to participation practitioners in Scotland – book your place for Democratic Sector Day

Invitation to participate in Democratic Sector Day Scotland

10am-4.30pm, 5th March 2015

The South Hall at Pollock Halls

18 Holyrood Park Road, Edinburgh EH16 5AY, Scotland, UK

BOOK NOW: https://democraticsectorday.eventbrite.co.uk

wws

What Works Scotland is delighted to invite you to Democratic Sector Day –an encounter between people working in the public participation sector in Scotland.

Who can participate?

Anyone working in the Democratic Sector in Scotland. That is, organisations, networks and practitioners whose job is to foster and/or enable public participation in policy and decision making, and community engagement in public service design and delivery. This may include practitioners from the public, third and private sector.

What is the purpose of the event?

DSD is a day for participation practitioners to share ideas, projects and ambitions, and hopefully develop a better understanding of this ‘community of practice’ in Scotland. The objectives are:

  1. Improve our understanding of the Democratic Sector in Scotland: Who is doing what and how?
  2. Discover opportunities for collaboration regarding research and practice

What will happen at the event?

The event will be hands-on and interactive:

  • In the morning… there are structured table conversations to generate key themes for the rest of the day.
  • In the afternoon… participants decide what issues matter most to them and work in groups, before reporting back in a closing plenary session.

The design of the event borrows elements from formats such as Open Space, Unconference and Dialogue Circles in order to be as interactive and productive as possible.

Who funds the event?

What Works Scotland http://whatworksscotland.ac.uk and Edinburgh University’s Academy of Government http://www.aog.ed.ac.uk.

Attendance is free, please book here:

https://democraticsectorday.eventbrite.co.uk

Contact

About the organisation of the event: Simon Kersaw Simon.Kershaw@ed.ac.uk

About the contents of the event: Oliver Escobar oliver.escobar@ed.ac.uk

Partners collaborating in planning DSD

Angus Hardie (Scottish Community Alliance), Fiona Savage (FS Associates), Juliet Swann and Willie Sullivan (Electoral Reform Society Scotland), Tim Hughes and Sarah Allan (Involve), Alistair Stoddart (Democratic Society Scotland), Mark Langdon (CLD Standards Council), Susan Pettie (So Say Scotland), Fiona Garven (Scottish Community Development Centre), George Lamb (Disability History Scotland), Irene McAra-McWilliam (Glasgow School of Art), Ian Turner, Doreen Grove, Kathleen Glazik and Katy Betchley (Scottish Government), Bronagh Gallagher (West and Central Voluntary Sector Network + Art of Hosting), Sarah Drummond (Snook).

What Works Scotland is hosting this because…

WWS is a 3-year project with the remit of Using evidence to transform public services for all of Scotland’s communities to flourish. Our work is guided by the key principles from the Christie Commission, and a key area is public participation and community engagement. Within this broad area we are planning various collaborative research projects and Knowledge Exchange events. Democratic Sector Day falls within the latter. You can see more info about WWS here: http://whatworksscotland.ac.uk