Overall comments: Whilst there are many good points in here that OGP processes should include, I am concerned that:
a) They assume one particular model of engagement, based around a single national multi-stakeholder forum, which may not be appropriate for all countries and contexts;
b) The underlying theoretical framework from the IAP2 Spectrum is left implicit — which misses the opportunity to more fully articulate the difference between a process that ‘informs’ citizens, and one that reaches levels of co-creation;
c) The “four essential components of good engagement” don’t seem to provide a very strong framework for stepping through the different good practice points. There is a lot of conceptual overlap between ‘informing’ and ‘documenting’, and improving over time is a good cross-cutting principle, but not necessarily an ‘essential component of good engagement’.
Possible approaches to address some of these issues may be:
- Rethinking the conceptual framework around the idea of the NAP Cycle (planning, identifying commitments, selecting commitments, developing detail, agreeing NAP, implementing, monitoring etc.), and highlighting the different actions to: inform, consult, involve, co-create and empower at each stage. (This could potentially be represented visually to make the guidelines much more digestible)
- Setting out clearly the values driving the proposed models: (a) A MSF should share responsibility with government for planning consultation and involvement; selecting commitments and reviewing implementation; (b) engagement should reach out to a broad cross-section of the population, ensuring groups are not excluded from the opportunity to engage by geography or other forms of social exclusion; c) the process of developing the NAP should be transparent;
- Drawing more on examples from different countries to illustrate the guidelines, and show how they can be interpreted in a number of different ways.