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Action plan – Detmold, Germany, 2022 – 2025



Action Plan: Action plan – Detmold, Germany, 2022 – 2025

Action Plan Submission: 2022
Action Plan End: August 2025

Lead Institution: Team Digitalization, City of Detmold, Team Sustainability, City of Detmold



Oct 2025

Date Submitted

2nd December 2022


What if we could contribute to the well-being of our rural community by analysing its sustainability level and by increasing it all together with simple means? Well, we think that we can. Everybody knows the saying “data is power” which often has a negative connotation. But if data are collected in the interest and in collaboration with the rural community and if collection and display as well as the use of data are defined in a common process for a common goal, data becomes the key to joint action. in our steering group session we found that this is a common belief of politicians, civil society, science, business and administration. Our common vision is to make our local communities more sustainable by enabling people to analyse their surrounding, to find out information about activities, contacts and places for their personal benefit and to find out how they can contribute themselves to a more sustainable neighbourhood. By making key facts of sustainable living in the city districts available, it will be easier for people to find places they are looking for, to get in touch with associations, clubs and voluntary work and to take the initiative to make a change in their own environment. In a more and more anonymous world where neighbours hardly know each other, the sustainability index as an online tool which shall be available for everyone is meant to serve as a bridge in order to bring society closer together and to act jointly on our local sustainability strategy. Our strategy and related actions of administration as well as civil society become transparent and visible for everybody which enables every member of our local communities to make proposals or take initiatives. We are convinced that the realisation of our action plan will be a key instrument for our joint sustainable development as a city.

Open Government Challenges, Opportunities and Strategic Vision

This subsection details the Open Government Strategic Vision in your local area that should guide the commitments for the action plan period.

What is the long-term vision for open government in your context and jurisdiction?

Being a pilot municipality within the smart city program and the Engagement Global program for sustainable municipalities, the city of Detmold would like to make a strong commitment to transparency. From our perspective, transparency of administrative processes and data accessibility on the municipal level are crucial for democratic participation and envolvement of citizens. Transparency is key for mutual understanding which is the basis for participation. Being aware of this, we would like to get to know the interests, competences and demands of our citizens and local stakeholders. We would like to not only communicate, but also join forces with our citizens, to share knowledge und experiences in order to take joint responsibility for a sustainable future. In order to reach our local sustainability goals, mutual understanding, open communication and trust in each other and our strategy are of utmost importance. We would like to make our vision a joint vision and to learn from each other by creating transparency and building a real community.

What are the achievements in open government to date (for example, recent open government reforms)?

In 2019 Detmold implemented the online participation tool Consul which has been frequently in use since then. By means of the Open Source Software Consul, Detmold enables citizens to take part in participation processes online and therefore strenghthens an open, transparent and democratic administration. Each citizen can use this platform in order to discuss current projects in the city, to raise own ideas or to just give his or her own opinion.

Since 2019, Detmold publishes its budget online as an open, interactive budget. All details are shown in charts and reports, supported by metrics which makes the whole subject accesible and understandable for citizens. The open budget also contains information regarding planned investments and objectives of every department of the administration.

Now, in 2022, we have for the first time, not only the interactive budget in the current organisational structure, but a sustainability budget, which is also accessible online. The Global sustainability goals and local areas of focus are for the first time linked with the budget. Every citizen can have a look which part of the whole budget will be used for the achievement of which sustainability goal and the tackling of which area of focus. The areas of focus of our local sustainability strategy have been defined in a joint multi-stakeholder process with citizens and local stakeholders. Now, citizens and all stakeholders can watch the implementation process and its effectiveness.

What are the current challenges/areas for improvement in open government that the jurisdiction wishes to tackle?

Transparency and Participation are decisive factors of a functioning democratic society.  The administration of Detmold is currently in a transformation pocess towards an open, transparent and agile and therefore modern administration.  Processes like this take time because they lead to profound changes and therefore need to be guided in a good dialogue. At the same time we want citizens to benefit from the opening process as soon as possible in order to reach the mutual understanding we need. We would like to tackle these conflicting priorities by making transparent communication of the changes itself a priority. In doing so, we make sure that citizens are aware of the changes we undergo and they are also aware that we are working for their benefit. Our message is that we use smart technologies in order to become more transparent and to make our actions more comprehensible for citizens. And even more, we use smart technologies to create a direct added value for citizens by enabling them to use open data for their specific needs.

What are the medium-term open government goals that the government wants to achieve?

In the medium term, the City of Detmold wants to build structures that enable the administration to set transparency, openness and traceability as the new standard. For this, an adjustment of organisational administrative structures towards agile process structures is necessary on the one hand. On the other hand, the simple administration needs smart, digital infrastructures with which THEY can prepare and make available information, planning scenarios or decision-making steps. In addition to agile administrative structures and smart technologies, the focus is also on empowering citizens. Because only when they are given equal access to the new possibilities and are trained in how to use them, genuine co-creative attitudes can emerge.

How does this action plan contribute to achieve the Open Government Strategic Vision?

The action plan is an important basis in order to be able to achieve our vision in the future. From the very beginning, we have relied on a close exchange with the urban community in order to strengthen mutual understanding and promote our democratic processes. The joint development of the action plan and the commitments have already shown that the administration and the city society have many common ideas and want to work on a common challenge. This strengthens local cohesion and makes us resilient to the crises and challenges of the future. However, the action plan also shows that we are just getting started. The longer we work together to shape the path to our vision, the more opportunities we will see for transparency and open government.

How does the open government strategic vision contribute to the accomplishment of the current administration’s overall policy goals?

Our current administrative board stands for change and the departure into a new future. A future which is characterized by strong social cooperation, sustainable decision-taking and exchange on an equal footing with administration, politics, business & industry, science and urban society. The vision of a transparent, open, comprehensible and flexible administration that plans and designs together with the urban community is a vision which is actively supported by the administrative board. With the decision to become not only a globally sustainable municipality, but also a smart city pilot municipality, the administrative board has set the course for successfully tackling the transformation towards an open administration. New co-creative formats such as the “Zukunftstische” (Round tables to discuss sustainability projects) or online tools such as the participation platform Consul were the first steps to strengthen the cooperation between the city society, politics and the administrative departments in order to become more transparent. We can now build on these successes and pursue our vision cohesively.

Engagement and Coordination in the Open Government Strategic Vision and OGP Action Plan

Please list the lead institutions responsible for the implementation of this OGP action plan.

  • Team Digitalization, City of Detmold
  • Team Sustainability, City of Detmold

What kind of institutional arrangements are in place to coordinate between government agencies and departments to implement the OGP action plan?

As cross-sectional teams, the Digitalisation Team and the Sustainability Team have a lot of experience in cross-departmental and cross-team cooperation. The implementation of the OGP action plan builds on these experiences, the processes and structures.

The so-called core team has developed from the controlled participation process for the creation of the sustainability strategy. The core team is an internal administrative group consisting of at least one person from each department. In this interdisciplinary team, strategic and operational future issues are discussed and prepared for implementation. This ensures that all departments are involved at all times and that the different concerns can be reconciled.

The format of the “Zukunftstische” (Future Tables) is another innovative format available to us for the implementation of the Action Plan. The Future Tables consist of three co-creative steps in order to be able to work out complex topics: Future Table 1 (administrative core team), Future Table 2 (administration and urban society), Future Table 3 (administration and politics). Future Table 1 is made up of the general core team as well as additional administration specialists.

While the core team meets regularly, the Future Tables take place on an ad hoc basis.

What kind of spaces have you used or created to enable the collaboration between government and civil society in the co-creation and implementation of this action plan? Mention both offline and online spaces.

In order to develop the action plan, we used the online participation platform Consul and meetings of our core team and of the steering group.

As part of the online participation, we asked on our platform Consul which data about their neighbourhood / local area the citizens would like to have available. The aim of the online participation was to work out the priorities for the action plan.

With the core team and with the steering group we then had face-to-face meetings in order to work out the topics of OGP Local and the key points of the action plan. The steering group was founded during the participation process for the sustainability strategy. Members of the steering group are the members of the core team as well as numerous actors from Detmold’s urban society. In the meetings, we discussed OGP Local in general and the elaboration of concrete questions took place.

What measures did you take to ensure diversity of representation (including vulnerable or marginalized populations) in these spaces?

The diversity of representation was secured by the steering group and the mix of online and analogue participation. Online participation enables all those to participate who, for example, belong to the digital natives, are not part of organised urban society, are not mobile or who are dependent on flexibility due to family or work commitments.

Within the three years since the start of the steering group, the group has grown more and more and now has a very diverse member structure. Our OGP Local process can build on this preliminary process.

Who participated in these spaces?

As regards the online participation, no statement can be made about which groups are involved in this process. Consul is deliberately designed as a data-saving application. This means that citizens can register with an email address and a password. We do not store any data about the people who participate online.

In the steering group meetings, it was mainly people who were active in associations, foundations or NGOs who got involved, but also people from business and science. Together with the participation of our own colleagues from the administration we thus have a broad spectrum across different age groups, educational qualifications, countries of origin and genders.

However, it is a firm goal to involve especially younger people, more people with a migration background and non-organised people in the process more intensively and in a more target  group-specific way.

How many groups participated in these spaces?


How many public-facing meetings were held in the co-creation process?


How will government and non-governmental stakeholders continue to collaborate through the implementation of the action plan?

For the implementation of the Action Plan, we want to continue to build on the existing structures of the Steering Group and Future Tables as well as the online participation platform Consul. In addition, we plan to make greater use of outreach participation formats for specific topics and events. With OGP Local we want to go where the people are, so that the people do not have to come to us. Outreach participation is a format that has not yet been created as a standard in Detmold. Therefore, in the first year we want to test which approaches are the best  and further develop them.

Please describe the independent Monitoring Body you have identified for this plan.

As an independent monitoring body, we would like to involve an independent, scientific partner. As part of the Process Action Plan, the OWL University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute IOSB-INA were on site. The final determination of the independent monitoring body is to be made in January.

Provide the contact details for the independent monitoring body.

To be confirmed.

What types of activities will you have in place to discuss progress on commitments with stakeholders?

As part of our project to become a “Smart City”, a call for tenders is currently being prepared for an analysis tool for strategies and measures. This digital application can be flexibly integrated into all websites and enables citizens, but also all interested stakeholders to clearly track implementation progress. The tool should be available at the beginning of Q3/2023 and then also map the implementation steps for the OGP Local Action Plan.

In addition, we report regularly to the steering group in order to have room for discussion and talks.

How will you regularly check in on progress with implementing agencies?

The strategy and action analysis tool described above also has an interface for staff in the administration. It also serves internally as a tool for monitoring progress.

As a counterpart to the steering group, the core team serves us internally as a place for discussions and talks on the implementation status.

How will you share the results of your monitoring efforts with the public?

Due to the broad integration of the action plan into the administration, we have various possibilities to publish the results of the monitoring. In addition to the project website of the “Smart Cities” project, the homepage of the City of Detmold and the OGP Local Space on WeChange can be used. Results can also be shared in short versions on social media or prepared in short clips and videos.

Endorsement from Non-Governmental Stakeholders

  • Thorsten Brinkmann, Geschäftsführer, GILDE GmbH Gewerbe – und Innovationszentrum Lippe-Detmold
  • Petra Kriesel, VHS Detmold-Lemgo AöR
  • Brigitte Dörhöfer, Verbraucherzentrale Nordrhein-Westfalen e.V.
  • Stefan Wolf, Geschäftsführer, Peter Gläsel Stiftung
  • Ole Scheibel, Allgemeiner Studierendenausschuss, Technische Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe
  • Prof Susanne Schwickert, Technische Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe
  • Marius Lüdemann, Fridays for Future
  • Frank Meier zur heide, Geschäftsführer, De Tec GmbH
  • Oliver Sommer, EINSNULLEINS GMBH
  • Britta Queste, Netzwerk Detmolder Familienzentren
  • Michaela Lödige, Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin Future City Solutions, Das Fraunhofer IOSB-INA
  • Hacer Ritzler-Engels, Innovation und Technologie Beauftragter, Kreishandwerkerschaft Paderborn-Lippe

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