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Taking the OGP Co-Creation Process Online – Questions to Consider

Preguntas a considerar antes de llevar el proceso de cocreación a un espacio virtual

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Questions to Consider Before Taking Your Co-Creation Process Online

Before you consider online engagement, determine the purpose and the target audience. What do you want to achieve at the end of this process? Who are you seeking to engage and why? What are you seeking from targeted audiences – ideas, expertise, opinions or preferences, evidence, resources or action? Each of these require different considerations. To help narrow down the purpose, GovLab’s CrowdLaw resource and Involve UK offer specific questions that are relevant for the OGP co-creation process. They have been adapted below.

1. What are you expecting from online engagement?

Synchronous or asynchronous participation

  • Online engagement can be used to ask the broader public or targeted groups to participate all at the same time (synchronous) or when it suits them best (asynchronous).
  • Asynchronous processes may allow a broader group of participants to engage at their own time and convenience. Synchronous processes are suitable when interaction and discussion are needed to arrive at decisions or consensus.
  • Synchronous and asynchronous participation can be blended together as part of an engagement process, either with the same group or different groups of participants. Regardless of the method used, it is important to also consider trade-offs between identifying choices made by participants (transparency) vs anonymity (avoiding group-think among participants.or ensuring privacy).

Types of contributions

  • Ideas and proposals: Suggestions for commitments or problems that should be addressed in the OGP action plan
  • Expertise : Specific skills and/or knowledge that are gained professionally or through lived experience. For example, if you are looking for specific ways in which you can improve transparency, accountability or participation in a thematic policy area from those who have the experience of expertise. Or, if you are seeking to understand ways in which specific target audiences are impacted by state programs, policies or institutions (e.g. health care workers and local communities might offer expertise on deficiencies in current local health care facilities and what types of open government measures might address these)
  • Opinions : Publicly stated views or beliefs about a given topic that may or may not be informed by facts, credibility, or logic. For example, if you are seeking views on how the overall co-creation process can be improved, the extent to which previous action plans have been seen as having produced results, or what your target audiences opinions are on specific policy issues that are consideration for the action plan.
  • Preference: Indicating preference, selecting or prioritizing different themes or commitments under consideration for the action plan. Such preferences could be informed by expertise or opinions.
  • Evidence : Concrete support for or against something based on real facts, data, information or events. This could be evidence supporting the results of specific open government policies (e.g. economic or efficiency gains from implementing anti-corruption policies to strengthen the case for anti-corruption commitments), or evidence of whether programs or policies intended to benefit specific groups are reaching them (e.g. whether intended beneficiaries of social safety nets have received the benefits or if they have been lost due to leakage or mismanagement, pointing to need for improving processes or policies).
  • Action: Doing something that implies an action that goes beyond sharing ideas, expertise, opinions or evidence. For example, signing a petition, participating in ongoing monitoring, prototyping a solution, or co-implementing a possible commitment.

2. At what stage of the co-creation process are you seeking to engage? 

  • Identifying priorities, problems and solutions : A variety of approaches can be used to identify issues of concern, problems or priorities that people would like addressed in an OGP action plan as well as solutions to the same. This is often an iterative process which involves starting with broad contributions and a long list of ideas, followed by synthesis, clustering and sensemaking by relevant thematic working groups, members of the OGP MSF or specific networks to identify a narrower set of issues or ideas for potential commitments that can be validated and/or prioritized by those consulted in the first phase, and further developed into commitments in subsequent stages of the co-creation process.
  • Developing and drafting commitments: Online engagement can be used for collaboratively developing and drafting, commenting on, and documenting draft commitments (as well as policies, constitutional changes, regulations or legislations that might be part of proposed commitments).
  • Prioritizing ideas and commitments : Online engagement can be used for selecting the highest priority commitments by engaging citizens, targeted beneficiaries or users to determine which commitments should be prioritized for meeting their needs or have the highest potential for impact. Online engagement can also be used to prioritize commitments based on technical or financial feasibility for implementation, or alignment with national development priorities and complementarity with other initiatives.
  • Implementing commitments : Putting a law or policy into action. Citizens or targeted stakeholders can be engaged to shape or provide feedback on plans for the delivery of a given commitment. Online engagement can also be used to get inputs, ideas, expertise, preferences, evidence, or resources to address a specific aspect of implementing a commitment.
  • Monitoring and assessment : Conducting evaluations to determine if a law or policy was effective in achieving its goals, providing the public opportunities to monitor progress and outcomes and evaluate the impact on the overall well-being of the community.

For each of these stages, a range of methods for online engagement can be used. These include, but are not limited to, crowdsourcing, consultative meetings, deliberative methods that combine crowdsourcing, open dialogue, deliberative analysis and narrative building.

It is important to note that co-creation processes do not always involve linear progression from one stage to the next and often involve working on multiple stages simultaneously. For example, some ideas might be well developed and can progress through commitment development and drafting, while others might still need ideas that need synthesizing, further input or expertise. This may require managing multiple online spaces and engagement channels simultaneously.

3. Who should you engage?

  • The purpose and the stage of the co-creation process for which online engagement is being used should determine who you involve (e.g. a open to all, cross-section of the general public, civil society organizations, stakeholders with relevant expertise or experience, specific groups or communities, public officials and decision-makers, different branches of government, representatives of academic or the private sector, or the OGP Multistakeholder Forum), and how you engage them.
  • Depending on which groups you plan to engage, additional measures may be needed such as outreach in advance of launching an online platform, technical support or coaching, translation in different languages, as well as supplementary in-person engagement via telephone, text, radio, or in person meetings. These strategies may be most needed to ensure engagement from communities with limited resources or reduced access to the internet, such as women, rural and indigenous communities, the elderly and persons with disabilities. Additionally, you may need to consider meeting groups in the spaces they tend to meet in(online or in-person – when safe to do so) rather than expecting them to come to the spaces organized or convened by you.

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