A report aimed at ensuring that engagement and consultation are treated as more than a tick box exercise, has been published in association with the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The paper has been written by visiting Jim McNamara of the University of Sydney, where he is Professor of Public Communication. He has stressed the importance of governments listening to those they engage to avoid the exercise being one that pays lip service to certain values, without actually adhering to their ethos.
As Professor McNamara states his report shows that “complaints as well as correspondence, submissions to public consultations, feedback through research, and other expressions of voice by citizens have been falling on deaf ears in a number of democratic countries”. This has been creating what Professor McNamara refers to as a “democratic deficit”.
As consultation is often a legislated requirement, focus incorrectly shifts to meeting the specified criteria, resulting in approaches which are light on detail and set out to do the bare minimum.At Letterbox Media we believe in professionally conducted Consultation and Engagement exercises, which achieve all their goals via a level of energy and detail which reflects their importance.
We hope this report and other like it lead to an enhancement to best practice standards in these important fields.