Open Government Action Plan commitment 2: participation framework

Progress reports on our commitment to improve the way we involve you in decisions that affect you, as part of our open government action plan.

This document is part of a collection

Commitment overview

The problem 

Improving how you can take part in making policies and delivering services was the main priority to emerge from the public discussions on open government. You had concerns about how we consulted and involved you and about wider public services. The result of this is a growing mistrust of both the processes and the outcomes.

What we're doing 

We will develop a ‘participation framework’ that guides good practice across government in open policy-making. We will:

  • test new approaches in a number of key policy areas, including the Local Governance Review and ‘participatory budgeting’;
  • review how we consult across government; and
  • develop training, guidance and case studies to explain different ways you can take part and how we can use these new approaches to involving and working with policy-makers.

How that will help

It will:

  • improve our employees’ understanding of the benefits of involving people early in a process;
  • raise awareness and give people the skills they need to carry out (or commission someone to carry out) effective ways of including the public; and
  • help to make sure our employees are choosing the right methods for the right reasons at the right time.

Our overall aim is to respond to the clear message from the public that there is a need for better ways for them to take part. We hope the result will be guidance and training that can support us to involve you regularly and effectively. Our wider aim is that your views, expertise and first‑hand experience are feeding in to the right places in government, at the right time, as policies and services are developed.


How we're doing

While there remain delays in the overall delivery of the Participation Framework due to unexpected demands on staff resources (primarily due to the delivery of the Citizens Assembly of Scotland) there continues to be significant progress on many of the contributory and exemplar aspects of the commitment, including both citizens assemblies.

Progress has been made working to develop a strategy which sets out how participation can be embedded into our system, taking an improvement approach and working with colleagues across Scottish Government and with advice from external experts.

What's next

Work to embed participation within our ways of working will continue - and we hope that this will be reflected in the commitments co-created for our next action plan.


Milestones Progress

Develop cohesive guidance and practice on participation


Develop and begin to roll out a Participation Framework

🙂 On track

Improve the formal consultation process

🙂 On track

Development of a strategic approach to participation specific to Children & Young People 

🙂 On track
2 Experiment with Attitudes to Openness  Completed
3 Test Citizen Participation enabled by technology 🙂 On track

Explore deliberative and participatory methods through specific examples of active work

4.1 Participatory Budgeting 🙂 On track
4.1 Co-production 🙂 On track
5 Transparent and Open Policy Making 🙂 On Track

Gender – research and evaluation on equality of participation in OGP planning

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