"Ibtekr" showcases the most innovative government experiences in promoting community participation
Dubai, April 2022: The Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation, through its knowledge platform “Ibtekr”, launched a new report entitled “Public Engagement”, which reviewed ten innovative experiences from 9 countries around the world, representing global success stories in strengthening government partnership with societies. In designing policies, projects and programs and supporting decision makers in developing work and services based on the visions and aspirations of community members.
The report aims to inspire government action leaders by providing them with new ideas to enhance community participation in decision-making and design innovative projects, initiatives and solutions that improve the quality of life for communities. It covers 10 innovative experiences in this field in Iceland, Finland, Australia, Taiwan, Belgium, the United States of America, France, Canada and the UAE.
The report defines the concept of community participation, which is based on the involvement of community members in political, economic and social life and enhancing their contribution to drawing up the general goals of governments, and indicates that community participation represents the organized contribution of the largest possible number of its groups in government decision-making.
The report reviews the development of community participation and the transformations it witnessed at the levels of concept and practice during the past two decades, and addresses the role of communication technology in building bridges of communication, and supporting government efforts to strengthen partnerships with society in developing solutions, initiatives and services that meet the aspirations of individuals.
The report examines the experience of an open source online platform used by more than 56% of residents in Reykjavík, Iceland. Initial proposals are shortlisted by members of the city council before they are posted for voting, and since launching the platform, the city has spent $17.5 million on more than 787 policies proposed by community members.
The platform enables residents of the city to log in to it by linking with the accounts of social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, while participating in the vote requires users to obtain confirmation from the National Register of Voters in Iceland, and the number of users of the platform has reached more than half of the city's population, and in In 2021, more than 16,000 users submitted more than 5,800 ideas. The same year saw the launch of Your Priorities, an online platform designed by the Icelandic Citizens Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to develop digital strategies for community engagement, and allows them to propose policies for discussion online.
The report presents an innovative solution developed by the city of Helsinki in Finland to enhance employee awareness of the importance of community participation. Means of involving community members in their work, from public meetings and focus groups to participation in budgeting.
The launch of the game came with the aim of making the city council more responsive to the aspirations of individuals, and to participate in it, teams consisting of 7-30 people gather around the game board with notes and pens. With the help of a trained moderator, the group selects a challenge to work on and needs to collect more feedback and input from community members. After that, the game moves through a series of phases where the goal is a conversation about how important community participation is. Midway through the game, they are presented with a deck of 200 cards, each featuring a sharing tool used in the past, to help participants decide which tools are best suited for success in the challenge.
The Community Engagement Report identifies an experience developed by the Los Angeles Innovations team, an online business portal with an innovative design, accessibility and ease of use, which has greatly simplified the process of setting up a company in the city.
The portal was launched after consultation with local entrepreneurs and the government agencies with which they interact, with the aim of reducing the average time required to set up a business from six days to just one. Over its first ten months, the new online business portal has attracted more than 60,000 users.
The innovation team in Los Angeles spent a lot of time discussing with many companies to inquire about the nature of the data required to be available on the platform, and also held discussion sessions with many company owners to understand the experience of how to establish companies. Subsequently, discussions were held with relevant government agencies to find out how to simplify the process of communicating and applying for business establishment permits.
The report deals with the experience of the Melbourne Committee, a non-profit organization based in Melbourne, Australia. It was established to mobilize the efforts of companies, academia and organizations to share activities, cooperate and provide advice to the government. More than 150 different institutions are members. The committee's goal is to maintain Melbourne's position as one of the best liveable cities in the world.
The committee is managed by a board of directors consisting of 14 members who meet six times a year. Although the committee is considered a body of advice and thought, it works in a way that is more like a pressure group, and seeks to be familiar with all local policies through the use of members from all economic sectors and all categories. Society.
The results of the Melbourne Commission's work are classified into three categories: cooperation with the private sector, establishment of institutions, and development of government policies. The topics of its work are based on four main axes, including: the future economy, infrastructure, improvement of urban areas, and improvement of livelihoods. The committee has contributed to the development and implementation of many major city projects, such as the redevelopment of the Docklands, the development of Melbourne Airport, and others.
The report deals with the experience of the "In Taiwan" smart platform developed by Taiwan to activate dialogue with the community in the areas of discussing laws and legislation. The new, they resorted to a new tool for group discussion in search of support and assistance.
The platform represents a space for members of the Taiwan community to interact with the government and participate in providing solutions and proposals for challenges and voting on them. Many improvements have been added to the platform, and in 2019 it was used to discuss several draft laws, and then it witnessed many updates that included a set of open tools. Sources to collect suggestions, share information, and organize surveys. Since August 2018, the platform has been used in 26 cases, and decisive government action has been reached in 80% of them.
The Community Engagement Report reviews the experience of the "Tiger Team", which is an "unconventional team" that includes more than 25 entrepreneurs who meet monthly to find solutions to the challenges of Calgary, in western Canada. This experience brings a diverse mix of stakeholders together for two and a half hours in order to understand and analyze complex challenges, come up with ideas, formulate initial solutions and put them to user testing.
By bringing together these diverse opinions, the Tiger Team can work within specific timeframes without wasting any time, and come up with unexpected unique solutions. The team experience is a model of cooperation between members of the same organization to establish an environment that supports and promotes innovation and effective solutions, and works on a different challenge every month.
The report defines the experience of the Belgian city of Ninove by launching the “100 x 100” campaign to encourage the participation of community members in local politics. the next two and submitters will receive specific feedback.
As of the beginning of 2021, 873 people have participated in this project, and 7 proposals have reached the minimum required for discussion by the Council.