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service user particpation in policy design and social education programmes

How can we facilitate meaningful service user involvement in policy design and social education programmes? What are the prerequisites for this to be a success for all parties, and what are the main challenges?”
 
Expert 01 Sep 2017 12:29
By the public consultation, call for contributions, and monitoring if and which contribution was taken into account by the policy-makers
 
Expert 04 Sep 2017 12:28
I agree with Anna Rurka as to the measures for facilitating user involvement in policy design and social education programmes. I will therefore focus on the challenges.
A common mistake is that public consultations are used mainly as raising awareness activities with no reflection space for thinking about users' contributions and how these can be intergrated into policy. Often there are no follow-ups for reporting back to users what has been done with the input received or for explaining why not all inputs could be taken into account (which happens as frequently). The danger with such half-hearted approaches is that users are then left behind feeling more cheated than before.
A more useful approach is soliciting user involvement on the ground at the time programmes are being piloted.
06 Sep 2017 11:57
Thank you for your responses. Yes, I can easily understand how the consultation process may at times leave service users feeling more aggrieved and disempowered, especially if it happens in the context of a service audit.

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