Latest News

Government Head of Policy Profession supports public dialogue

[Return to previous page]

Chris Wormald, Head of the Policy Profession in government, supports dialogue as part of open policy making in an interview with Bobby Duffy of Ipsos MORI in a recent report. Chris Wormald says:

•  "A lot of government policy is in areas which are not controversial and where no one knows the answer. So take again the example of dementia care. The Department of Health has been having a very open dialogue with the people who are actually experiencing the services because they have the answer. You don't need a safe space. What you need is an open dialogue with people who are actually using the services because everybody wants to improve them."

•  "There are quite a lot of areas, however, where actually no-one knows the answer and it’s better for policy makers to be humble and clear that what is needed is dialogue, experimentation, conversation, different approaches being tried, randomised control trials, etc. At times policy makers have seen it as their role to always be clear about what the answer is. Deliberative and user-led design techniques where we explicitly say ‘we don’t know the answer yet but this is how we will be in dialogue with you to move towards an answer’ – they are very, very powerful."

Further reading: www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/understanding_society_Dec2014__web.pdf