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Image: Clint Adair

It’s been a couple of months since DFID released its Governance for Growth, Stability, and Inclusive Development position paper, and having had a chance to read through it and digest its contents we thought it would be useful to share its implications for our own work at mySociety. As DFID is one of the key funders of global governance work, it’s reassuring to see them affirm their commitment to playing a leading role in support for open, inclusive and accountable governance. It’s also great to see a donor communicating transparently about its thinking and planning.

mySociety aims to enable people everywhere to become informed, engaged and active citizens, confident and equipped to fully participate in governance at all levels — and the key ways in which we do this are through on the ground research and the development and popularisation of digital tools. Unsurprisingly, therefore, we’re pleased to read that DFID recognises the significant opportunities provided by digital technologies in the governance space. …

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Image: Rawpixel

In our last post, we looked at whether or not our elected representatives are legally obliged to respond to messages from constituents (spoiler alert — they aren’t).

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect a reply — it’s only common courtesy, especially if your message is a personal one that you’ve spent some time on; and most representatives recognise that it’s part of their duties to respond even if it’s not set in law.

There are a few avenues open to you if you’d like a reply but haven’t received one.

Following up

To state the obvious: chase your message up.

Not immediately, of course: we usually advise that two weeks is a fair amount of time to wait for a response, unless your issue is very urgent of course. If you haven’t received a reply by then…

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Image: Helloquence

WriteToThem is mySociety’s website that makes it really easy to email your elected representatives, even if you don’t know who they are. Every month thousands of people use it to send messages to their MPs, local councillors, and other reps.

WriteToThem also makes things easy for the representatives who get your messages: when they want to respond, they just click ‘reply’ and their response goes directly to the user’s email inbox.

So that’s all great, hooray for us — now we’ve made communication easier between citizens and representatives, we can rest easy, right?

There’s just one fly in the ointment.

Not every message gets a reply.



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