Weeknote: Comms workshop with Calderdale, w/c 17th June

Weeknote: Comms workshop with Calderdale, w/c 17th June


  • A comms workshop with Calderdale Council
  • Early stage playbook thinking
  • Conversations with practitioners about developments in the field of participation
  • Drawing our theory of change

Last week…

  • Louise and Zarino made a proposal to the team about what a first version of the playbook might look like – a practical resource for people working in and with local government, driven by some form of self-assessment
  • Agreed some desk research around a key issue in the work so far – the role of elected representatives and their relationship to participatory research
  • Had a great conversation with Matt Leighninger of Public Agenda and Participedia and got some good pointers on further reading and opportunities to work in complementary ways to other projects
  • A couple of us attended a practitioner conversation around the increasing demand for Citizens’ Assemblies and other deliberative processes
  • Started to design a plan for phase 2 of Public Square, how people can get involved, potential avenues for funding, ways we can share the learning more widely

This week we will…

  • Take part in a workshop with Calderdale comms team – Calderdale Council are planning a conversation that launches this summer about what a 21st Century social contract might be  between residents and the council. How to describe this in a way that people can and want to engage with needs some thought.
  • Publish our lines of enquiry from our Learning Strategy. We are particularly interested in who else is exploring these areas so that we can link this into our playbook.

What we’re thinking…

  • One of our aims in this programme is to create a resource that can help people who are trying to design and build a more participatory local democracy. Our hope is that the playbook not only informs, but can support people with designing their steps forward. We’ve been starting to think about what this might look like, but are also hoping to speak to others about what sorts of things would be useful.

And finally…

We note with interest the commitment in the OGP action plan for the Netherlands 2018-2020 that outlines experiments in digital participation approaches in local government, including the question of “which criteria successful participation tools should comply with.” This is something that feels like an important thing to think about in driving the field forwards.

P.S. – we are going to be at the Local Government Association Conference in Bournemouth this year, (2nd – 4th July) Come and find us at the Democracy Hub, we love to hear what others are doing.