Kia ora ano
This is an update from the engage2 team about the progress of New Zealand’s National Action Plan for Open Government Action Plan since the co-creation workshop.
As I shared in our last update, 30 people participated in the co-creation workshop on the 26 August 2016 in Wellington. Fourteen people were from civil society (including NGO’s and individuals who had suggested actions), four from the State Services Commission (SSC), seven officials from other government agencies (the Department of Internal Affairs, Land Information New Zealand, Statistics New Zealand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, The Treasury and the Ministry of Justice), two from engage2 and three from the Expert Advisory Group.
Before the workshop, all the actions suggested through the engagement process were grouped together by themes, and you can see the groupings here and a more detailed spreadsheet of the groupings here. Each table was allocated one or two groups of actions and participants could choose which table they participated in.
At the tables with a large number of actions, people tended to stay together to develop a shared understanding of each action, and then tried to make sure it was represented in a commitment template. Due to the time this took, these groups were not able to fully complete all their templates and in some cases, the richness of the actions (as they were suggested) did not come through. Further, based on the information included in the templates, it was not easy to tell which actions had more priority or the greatest level of support. At tables where there were fewer actions to consider, people were more easily able to consolidate the actions suggested and develop more complete templates.
Approximately 14 commitment templates were produced to varying degrees of completion, which you can view here.
There a couple of things to be aware of when reading these templates. The names and contact details of government officials that were identified as potentially being responsible for a commitment have been removed for privacy reasons. Also, in some instances, individuals completed commitment templates based on actions that they felt particularly strongly about, rather than the commitment template being developed by the group. Government officials also shared and asked for feedback on templates they had drafted before the workshop, which are not included in the above.
Given these different approaches and inputs, the SSC, other agencies involved and the Expert Advisory Panel have been doing a lot of work to build upon these workshop outputs to develop a complete set of cohesive commitments that can be implemented in the two years of the Action Plan.
At the workshop and since, there has been a lot of reflection on what went well and what can be done better in the future. Many people felt that more work could have been done before the co-creation workshop to discuss and group the actions so a more focussed process could take place at the co-creation workshop. Also, some people felt there could have been a dedicated facilitator at each table, which would have freed up the government officials to fully participate in the discussions, rather than having multiple roles.
These and other lessons are being captured in our engagement report which we hope will be used to help build upon the relationships established and goodwill you have all invested into the development of this Action Plan, and so the process can be improved for the future. This report will be shared in our final blog post in the coming weeks.