Our department’s responsible for commitment 5.2 in Australia’s first open government partnership national action plan 2016–18.
Commitment 5.2’s key output is to establish a new Australian Government framework for public participation and engagement.
Public policy problems are increasingly complex, and occurring in an environment of declining trust in government. Numerous reviews, senior public servants and academics have emphasised the need for the Australian Public Service (APS) to reduce complexity, and build trust by bringing more people and expertise into its work.
Better engagement may help the APS translate technical, academic and practical advice into accessible, policy and program related conclusions.
An APS wide engagement and participation framework will raise awareness of engagement methods and benefits, and build capability in how government engages with the public.
Commitment 5.2 is delivered over the following 3 phases:
Discover: March to August 2017
We published the discover phase report ‘Hidden in plain sight’ in December 2017, following extensive consultations with public servants and the public. It is an invaluable resource for any public servant wishing to improve public engagement and participation.
The report provides a comprehensive business case to improve public participation across the APS.
Key resources include:
- user research on APS public participation
- APS public participation stock take
- good practice participation case studies (these provided inspiration and context for our findings)
- a review of publications and views on participation, from senior public servants, practitioners, thought leaders and academics
- personas representing public servants and the public, which can help public servants empathise with their users while planning and undertaking engagement activities