Digital Democracy Digital Days announced

LocalGov Digital’s Rewiring Local Democracy work stream has announced a series of Digital Democracy Discovery Days for 2014.

Read more about the plans below and join the debate on Twitter by following @LDBytes and using #ldbytes on your tweets.

Rewiring Local Democracy to run Digital Democracy Discovery Days

Work stream lead and Head of Governance and Democratic Services for Kirklees Council, Carl Whistlecraft, blogs on the Rewiring Local Democracy Knowledge Hub group about the Digital Democracy Discovery Days. Read his post below.

In an earlier post we shared our developing workscape  for Rewiring Local Democracy.  Please have a look and keep your comments and suggestions coming.

One part of that workscape involves running a series of Digital Democracy Discovery Days over the course of 2014.

As opportunists we couldn’t resist the chance to use the budget making process that we are all going through to test some of the parts of our framework.  This time we’ll be focussing on Social Council Decision Making.  We will be launching today, 18 February 2014.

Whilst it’s a team effort, David Bundy, Corporate Policy Officer in Kirklees, is leading on the theme and has this to say by way of an introduction: “Increasing engagement and involvement of communities in local democracy is partly about taking “the conversations” to where they are happening more and more, e.g. online or in the digital stratosphere.

“There are fixed points in the year when public interest and the potential for more engagement in the democratic process should be higher, one of these being when council’s set their budgets.

“It has never been a more challenging time for councils and their communities; arguably it has also never been so important to inform, engage and bring citizens on board to face the challenges ahead. A lot of this increased engagement needs to take place in more online socially interactive ways.”

How can you help?

Councils and collaborators can outline their approach to the pre-budget process and the actual event itself; covering pre-decision activity as well as the decision episode itself. We need to create a ‘noise’ and an evidence base about how online approaches are helping make decision making processes open, transparent, inclusive and engaging now and in the future.

We will be posting a short questionnaire which we will use to help generate evidence about past, present and planned activity on engaging and involving people in the budget process. Alongside this you can blog and tweet for example, about what you are doing to raise awareness and help reach people through online activity.

We will be kicking things off on 18 February and would ask that you get involved by completing the survey, telling us what you’re up to and generally joining in the discussion.

Watch out for the tweets from @LDBytes (please use the hash tag #LDBytes) and let us have your comments etc on the Knowledge Hub.  We will capture all your contributions and pull the findings together.