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Ten lessons about citizen participation

Ten lessons about citizen participation

Today the Webinar “Engaging citizens in energy transition” took place. This webinar was a collaboration between TU Delft’s PVE Lab and Populytics during which we discussed two recent consultations: 1) a citizen-initiated consultation on the heat transition in the Amsterdam district of Nieuw Sloten, and 2) a consultation combined with a citizen forum on the future energy policy of the municipality of Súdwest-Fryslân. In preparation of this webinar, we reflected on the conditions needed for successful citizen participation. We came up with the following list; do you have any additions?

Upfront:

  • There should be a policy dilemma with various alternatives that still can be implemented.
  • Begin public participation when they can still inspire you/decision-maker.
  • Have the courage as a government, to present dilemmas to your citizens
  • Think about the goals you want to achieve with participation and communicate this clearly

During:

  • Involve citizens in the design of the consultation
  • Good substantive and communication support from the organization
  • Send letters / good recruitment campaign

After:

  • Enable a citizens’ forum or group of citizens to convert the learnings from the consultation into (normative) recommendations
  • Involve a group of the participating population in determining which analyses are relevant
  • As a decision-maker show what you have learned from the participating population (and what you will do with the results)

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