Public Engagement: Building Institutional Capacity

Type: Report
Size: 1.5MB
Date: 23 October 2013
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Across OECD governments, there is a growing trend towards inclusive policy making whereby a broad range of citizens and groups are involved in decision-making processes—or in other words, public engagement. In contrast to closed-off and technocratically-driven policy development, public engagement broadens the number of voices heard in any policy decision and democratizes the process. This paper presents a primer to public engagement with a focus on how it is best structured within a bureaucracy. Throughout it is argued that: i) public relations and communications are functions of public engagement; ii) providing the appropriate structures and processes for the organized decentralization of public engagement expertise within ministries can be the foundation for participatory policy making and; iii) centralized coordination within the bureaucracy is a necessary component of such structures and processes.