Happy new year everyone, and I hope you had a restful break. Commiserations if, like those of us in the UK, you rang in the new year only to find yourself back in lockdown.

It’s not all bad, though. Browsing through the 1000+ open consultations on the Citizen Space Aggregator tends to highlight trends, and the trend of the moment is inclusivity.

Organisations are running public consultations on how to make policies and processes more inclusive to everyone moving forward, as well as there being a general shift towards more accessible and inclusive consultation processes across the 150+ organisations using Delib’s software.

Here are a couple of examples.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS)

The ONS is undertaking a review of how inclusive data and evidence are across the UK. This forms part of the work of the ONS’s Inclusive Data Taskforce, whose goal is that “our statistics and our workforce reflect the experiences of everyone in our society so that everyone counts, and is counted, and no one is forgotten.” They’re seeking comment on where data and evidence are currently lacking, partial and/or might be hindering those who use said data and evidence in some way.

Why it’s good: This is a broad scope consultation – similar to a call for evidence – and it’s looking to draw from respondents’ personal experiences, so the answer components are mostly free text boxes. It’s nice and simple which is ideal for this early stage of evidence gathering. I’m really interested to see what the review uncovers – more inclusive and complete data is good for everyone.

Police Scotland

Police Scotland are running a consultation called A Fair and Inclusive Police Service for Scotland. Police Scotland has a legal duty, under the Equality Act 2010, to identify equality outcomes every four years, and they’re seeking feedback from the public on whether these outcomes are up to scratch. This particular version is the British Sign Language version; there are regular and plain English versions as well.

Why it’s good: I’ve written about Police Scotland’s impressive work in fostering an inclusive and accessible consultation process, and this is a good example of that work in action. Each page of the consultation has a video of a BSL interpreter embedded above the questions. The questions are simple and gauge satisfaction/dissatisfaction with inclusivity across different areas of Police Scotland’s responsibilities.

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