Evaluating citizen participation

February 7, 2012

One of the major difficulties accepted in the discussions around citizen participation was how do we measure it. This was presented more recently in the post ‘Participating in a Democracy’. Whilst being fully referenced and including her a new paper from the IBM Center for The Business of Government probably owes a great deal to the late Sherry Arnstein’s work on the Ladder of Democracy.

The paper entitled ‘A Managers Guide to Evaluating Citizen Participation’ (56 pages, 2.6Mb) is written by Tina Nabatchi of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs focuses on revising a modified version of the Ladder of Participation that was published in 2007 as the ‘IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation’. The paper clearly identifies that there are no easy routes to evaluation and the methods outlined require time and effort tu fulfill and although there are mentions of using new media to consult there are no solutions as to measuring with them. In fact the one clear link to anything electronic from the White House website is to the proclamation that protects personal data.

However, as I’ve stated, the big thing is to get participation right, then e-participation will come naturally (with trust), so this is a good start.


Gartner Open Government model

July 8, 2010

Andrea Di Maio announced on June 28 2010 the publication by Gartner of their Open Government Maturity Model. I don’t have access to the research note and he states that they will ‘socialize’ the model at forthcoming events, and it’s a little unclear without the supporting materials. However, at first (and even second and third) glance it doesn’t appear dissimilar to the ‘Ladder of Participation’ by the late and much referenced Sherry Arnstein that I discussed in March 2009.

What would be interesting to see from the research notes is their approach to social media, who should be in charge and what element of public value is most important? Mind you, whether any local authorities will take sufficient notice to restructure their IT and communications around the model remains to be seen.

I also ponder what efforts can be made by small local authorities, in these financially difficult times,  to be seen to be more open and one solution appears to be through openlylocal, and advice can also be derived through the appropriate IDeA Community of Practice. I still believe some work on local government standards in these areas might pay off in the long term and save us getting crucified by suppliers as usual, or has someone done it?

Laddering participation

March 27, 2009

In my ongoing research I recently fell over Sherry Arnstein’s “A Ladder of Citizen Participation” that has managed to be referenced some 2538 times since it was initially published in 1969. If it’s new to you too, I recommend a read, it’s very “sixties” and sent me back to my more idealistic youth, but the “ladder” is still highly appropriate.

There’s a little bit of background to the late Sherry Arnstein by David Wilcox at Partnerships Online.