Using data to reinvigorate democracy

Wednesday, 17 October 2018
VLGA Discuss

Democracy has become something of a stalemate. We seem to be stuck in a loop, a kind of Mexican stand -off between frustrated and angry citizens and governments, who are equally frustrated, unsure of how to respond.

Trust in governments is at an all-time low and the challenge to their legitimacy is almost paralysing. Meanwhile, citizens don’t feel listened to, especially those who participate in government processes.

Government agencies and public servants regularly seek citizen input and feedback into all sorts of policy development and service design contexts. You can argue that these continued efforts are not always elegant or effective, but they do prove something.

These are evidence of a government that is inviting engagement from communities. Above that, it shows that the agencies willing to listen and confirm their understanding of communities and their needs.