January 23, 2015

How to convince policy makers that they need another toolkit?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nanasha @ 10:35 am

By Josephine Suherman-Bailey, Policy Analyst, Sciencewise

Toolkit_origThere are a lot of toolkits out there. To avoid becoming yet another document which ends up on a dusty shelf (or a seldom visited webpage), any toolkit promising to introduce new techniques and approaches to busy, hardworking policy makers has to convince them it’s worth their while.

Last week I attended an all-day user session run by the Open Policy Making team on the Open Policy toolkit, which is in the first stages of development. Open policy making was laid out as a key action in the Civil Service Reform Plan. (more…)

January 12, 2015

Open Policy Making isn’t just about the experts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nanasha @ 4:19 pm

By Roland Jackson, Sciencewise Executive Chair (Twitter: @Roland_Jackson)

RJWhen the Head of the Policy Profession, on the Cabinet Office’s Open Policy Making blog, states that ‘open policy making is about bringing expert thought, challenge, and innovation into our policy processes’ it seems churlish to say ‘yes, but what does that mean?’. Expertise, and who counts as expert, is only part of the picture, albeit an important one.

January 5, 2015

‘Engaging the public for better policy’ workshop questions – part 7

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nanasha @ 1:53 pm

By Alexandra Humphris-Bach, Sciencewise Knowledge Sharing Manager

WebThe seventh in our Sciencewise Q&A blog series responds to “Where do you find the members of the public that get involved in the dialogue – how do you choose and/or invite them? How many do you involve?”

Most dialogue projects use dedicated recruitment experts to recruit public participants. As part of the planning process, careful consideration will be given to the recruitment selection criteria – such as representation of local and national demographics, and the number of people we need to engage with in order to provide meaningful input to policy makers. These criteria will differ from project to project as they need to be tailored to the specific policy issue in question. (more…)

December 12, 2014

‘Engaging the public for better policy’ workshop questions – part 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nanasha @ 12:40 pm

By Alexandra Humphris-Bach, Sciencewise Knowledge Sharing Manager

The six in our Sciencewise Q&A blog series responds to “Is Sciencewise just involved in science and technology policy? What are the eligibility criteria?”

WebAt Sciencewise, our aim is to improve policy making involving science and technology across Government by increasing the effectiveness with which public dialogue is used. We work with and co-fund Government departments and agencies to enable them to develop and commission public dialogue activities on policy. Although we provide a wide range of free support tools, funding is only available for projects which fall within our eligibility criteria. (more…)

December 8, 2014

Public dialogue on flood risk communications – Birmingham

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nanasha @ 3:24 pm

By Jacqui Cotton, Policy, Strategy and Investment R&D Theme Manager, Environment Agency

Flood image - smallerThe final flood risk communications dialogue took place in Birmingham on Saturday 22 November. We had representatives from Public Health England (PHE), the Red Cross, National Flood Forum, BIS-Sciencewise and the Environment Agency (EA) in the room, but more importantly, 26 members of the public travelled all the way from Leicester, York, Oxford, Skegness and Newtown to talk to us again about flooding. There was a tremendous amount of energy in the room with some insightful and thought provoking discussions from our excellent participants. (more…)

December 1, 2014

‘Engaging the public for better policy’ workshop questions – part 5

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nanasha @ 12:33 pm

By Diane Warburton, Sciencewise Evaluation Manager

WebIt’s a valid question that you may have often pondered and that we were asked during our session at Civil Service Live ‘14 – “How much does public dialogue cost, and does it provide value for money?”

For many of us working in policy involving science and technology, the cost of public dialogue is very small indeed compared to the value it achieves. (more…)

November 18, 2014

‘Engaging the public for better policy’ workshop questions – part 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nanasha @ 10:31 am

By Alexandra Humphris-Bach, Sciencewise Knowledge Sharing Manager

WebThe fourth in our Sciencewise Q&A blog series responds to “How can other Government Departments access Sciencewise resources, and what are the cost implications?”

Sciencewise is able to offer free advice and guidance to all Government departments and agencies on involving and engaging with the public as part of a decision or policy making process. (more…)

November 17, 2014

Just because we can do it, does that mean we should? The ethical use of data dilemma

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nanasha @ 12:17 pm

By Josephine Suherman-Bailey, Policy Analyst, Sciencewise

Open Data 2There are a plethora of laws in statute to protect our right to privacy and the misuse of our data, from the Data Protection Act to the Human Rights Act. But as the technology for collecting, using and analysing data moves forward at lightning speed, people are starting to ask whether there is a difference between the law (can we do it?) and ethics (should we do it?).

Both government and business are highly concerned with these questions. The government is looking to expand their use of data science, and are aware they’re in new territory, throwing up ethical questions which need carefully considered answers. Data science provides amazing opportunities for government to link services, make them more efficient and save money. (more…)

October 27, 2014

10 simple things to make public events run smoothly

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nanasha @ 11:12 am

By Andrew Acland, Dialogue and Engagement Specialist, Sciencewise

Guidance_narrowSciencewise has recently published Guidelines for Running Meetings and Events.

These guidelines were created in response to evaluation reports which suggested that public events did not always go as smoothly as we would wish.  The Sciencewise Dialogue and Engagement Specialists (DESes) put their heads together and identified ten items of best practice that we know from long experience are most likely to ensure events work for everybody involved – not least the members of the public who volunteer to work with us. (more…)

October 6, 2014

Sciencewise 6th in the inaugural Open Government Awards

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nanasha @ 9:28 am

By Tim Hughes, Senior Policy Analyst, Sciencewise

Open Gov AwardsOn 24 September I was lucky enough to attend a high level Open Government Partnership event at the United Nations General Assembly. The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a bilateral initiative, launched in 2011 to provide an international platform for domestic reformers committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens.