Citizens’ ideas, as well as their involvement and support throughout the policymaking process and beyond the electoral cycles, matterby Nadine Smith / February 3, 2020 / Leave a comment
In the UK, innovators, entrepreneurs and policy wonks alike love to tweak and tinker with our often unfathomable system of government to find new answers to complex challenges. Ideas for government is a very competitive field. Indeed Dominic Cummings, Chief Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, started the New Year with a call out for ‘data scientists, project managers, policy experts [and] assorted weirdos’ to enter Number 10 to help develop new solutions to the complex problems facing the country.
It seems like we are now entering an era where good ideas can come from anywhere and the public seems ready for it too. The types of ideas the UK will become best known for in the future, therefore, may well be those that come from unexpected places and ordinary people. And as we involve more people from across the country in generating new ideas, it is important not to just be fixated on or seduced by the first ideas that come but as much on how they can evolve, develop and improve over time.
The UK’s ideas for government and how it should operate have always been admired and often find themselves thriving all over the world. Delivery Units, What Works Centres and the Government Digital Service (GDS) all being prominent examples.
But we have learned that even the best ideas for government can take years to demonstrate public impact and evolve over time. This is especially true when it comes to policymaking as good ideas meet the complex realities of implementation—people and life outside of government, or even a new government. This is why citizens’ ideas, as well as their involvement and support throughout the policymaking process and beyond the electoral cycles, matter.
This is an important lesson for governments worldwide also facing complex problems and looking for new ideas. They should not simply replicate our or another nation’s ideas or go with the first idea they hear, but learn from others’ experiences and adapt ideas for their own countries and with their citizens, while keeping open minds as to where good ideas can come from.
The International Civil Service Effectiveness Index (INCiSE) ranks the UK top in the world, based on policy, openness…