Presentation on theme: "Citizen’s participation: Some basic principles and how to manage them CIPAST training workshop Dresden, June 27 2006 André Krom Rathenau Institute The."— Presentation transcript:
Citizen’s participation: Some basic principles and how to manage them CIPAST training workshop Dresden, June 27 2006 André Krom Rathenau Institute The Netherlands
Outline Rathenau Institute Principles in action: (1)Empowerment of participants (2)The management of expectations (3)Equity and fairness of deliberation (4)Representativeness Relevance Problems and how to handle them Learning points Discussion
Rathenau Institute Since 1986 Financed by Ministry of Science Technology & Science System Assessment Main target group: Dutch Parliament Methods: studies – science festivals CIPAST member Topics: nano, obesity, energy, sports, ICT
(1) Empower participants Relevance: technology affects our lives Autonomy: –skills, opinions, decisions, actions, –who sets the agenda, frames the problems, etc? Conditions: -enable access to relevant information, experts, literature, etc. (who selects them?)
Problems 1. Citizen’s -tension between individual and group autonomy 2. Experts -knowledge gap (any answer goes) -different frames 3. Giving voice is great, but who will listen? 4. TA organisation -steering towards “accepted” outcomes
Possible solutions 1. Citizen’s: -be very clear about the aims and consequences 2. Experts: -assist in scrutinizing expert answers -make frameworks explicit, try to find common ground 3. Open up processes (of decision-making, problem framing, agenda setting) 4. TA organisation -steer on process level, but help to reflect on content
(2) Management of expectations Relevance: democracy is very precious Problems: -hidden agenda’s (all involved) -inherent unpredictability of politics -longer/ more intense process → higher expectations -especially with a Parliamentary TA Institute
Possible solutions talk to all (other) parties involved beforehand ask them what they expect and want tell them what you expect and want don’t make promises you know you can’t keep make clear that you’re only one player in the game adjust time and energy to expected impact (paradox) expect the unexpected
(3) Equity and fairness of deliberation Relevance: only way for true participation Problems: -people are not equal knowledge, education, communicative skills, etc. irreducible asymmetry between people (power) -limited rationality (e.g. statistics) -limited time and energy -incommensurable arguments -rhetorical arguments
Possible solutions accept differences protect participants only when necessary make rhetorical arguments explicit work in smaller subgroups make things as concrete as possible (cases) don’t take sides or choose your favourites work with an independent chair don’t wear the participants out
(4) Representativiness Relevance: user knowledge (autonomy) Problems: -who cares what 10 or 20 citizen’s think? -who are the stakeholders? (new technology) -inclusion, exclusion
Possible solutions Stress importance of process (paradox) -lessens chance of being used Combine qualitative and quantitative methods: -for verification (“starting point”) -to deepen insight (elite sports)
Learning points Participation requires open processes Make a conscious decision about relation between: -time and energy needed & expected impact -time and energy needed & autonomy Independence does not require neutrality: -make things explicit, but don’t make the choices Be sure you know why participation matters!
Discussion Thank you very much for listening! Are there any questions? Or comments?