Postbureaucrat

Personal blogging by Steph Gray, founder of Helpful Digital and erstwhile bureaucrat

Tag: consultation

What good digital consultation looks like

November 18, 2015

This popped into my timeline today, from the fabulous digital team at the Department of Health. Stephen and Susy distill down to 37 minutes the conclusions from the experiments they’ve tried and sometimes tough lessons they’ve learned from iterating their organisation’s approach to online consultation over the last few years*. It’s brilliant in its honesty, but the…

Small umbrellas

September 2, 2014

Here’s a conversation that I have quite frequently during training courses when we play Dave Briggs’ evergreen Digital Engagement Game: Me: So, tell me how you’ll implement your plan… Team: Well, we’ll [do creative stuff with social media] and work with our stakeholder group to get the message out to the audience. Me: So, are your…

What public consultation can look like

September 10, 2013

I’ve been a bit grumpy lately that use of digital tools to engage the public creatively around policy consultations has stalled. Sure, there’s some good tweeting, and some creative ministerial webchats, but not much that tackles the showstopping barriers of impenetrable language, lengthy response forms and boring or loaded questions. What BIS has done with…

What do you want from me? 7 alternatives to ‘Leave a comment’

July 27, 2012

Think back to you last digital engagement project outside Facebook. What did you ask people for? Chances are, you asked for a ‘comment’. Maybe a ‘reply’. ‘Feedback’, perhaps. A handful of you might have requested a ‘submission’. That’s not necessarily wrong – all of those are valid forms of input and depending on the goals…

Fixing consultation

July 17, 2012

Interesting news today from the Cabinet Office, who issued their three-page Consultation Principles (embedded below), with the accompanying explanation: The Government is improving the way it consults by adopting a more proportionate and targeted approach, so that the type and scale of engagement is proportional to the potential impacts of the proposal. The emphasis is…

ConsultationXML goes open source

February 27, 2009

As Harry’s explained over on The Dextrous Web, we’ve just open sourced the code behind ConsultationXML, the tool we’ve been working on which turns consultation PDF files into XML. It’s a 0.1 release so still full of bugs, but at least it’s out there. You can download the (documented) code, and/or have a play with…

Freeing data, reducing pain

February 2, 2009

At Barcamp on Saturday, Harry Metcalfe of TellThemWhatYouThink and I presented some work we’ve been doing to build a web application which makes it easier to turn PDF versions of consultation documents into structured XML. Before you click on to something more interesting, give me a chance to explain in plain English why this matters.…