Kia ora koutou
Here is an update from the engage2 team on how the co-creation workshop went last Friday.
In short, it was hard work but very productive.
A total of 30 people participated in the workshop. Some as individuals, others as representatives of non-government organisations, plus officials from government agencies (including the Department of Internal Affairs, Land Information New Zealand, Statistics New Zealand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, The Treasury, the Ministry of Justice and the State Services Commission).
Co-creation workshop participants: Suzanne Snively (Transparency International NZ, Expert Advisory Group), Kay Jones, Nicola Haslam (The Treasury), Fuimaono Tuiasau (Expert Advisory Group)
The day was essentially divided into two stages. Before the workshop, we grouped all the actions that had been suggested online, by themes. In the first stage, these were discussed at one of five tables over the course of about an hour and a half, during which time people could move between tables based on their interests. Given the number of actions, it did take time for people to get familiar with them, look to find the connections, and the prioritise them.
In my introduction to the day, I proposed that the actions be prioritised by what was most ‘do-able’ and likely to be accepted by Ministers and Cabinet. Some Civil Society participants opposed this approach saying the Action Plan should be ambitious and public servants should be free to recommend what came out of the workshop, not just recommend what Ministers would find acceptable. In response, Al Morrison, a Deputy Commissioner from the State Services Commission, reminded participants that the Action Plan was the Government’s Plan and would only succeed if it consisted of commitments that were achievable over the next two years. They can be ambitious but need to be relevant to open government and have the support of agencies, and ultimately their Ministers.
Co-creation workshop participants: (from top right then round circle) Ced Simpson (Human Rights in Education Trust), Dairne Grant (Public Service Association), Cath Wallace (Environment and Conservation Organisations of Aotearoa NZ), Tania Janssen (Statistic NZ, hidden), Nadia Webster (Department of Internal Affairs), Dave Henderson (Hui E!)
In the second stage, people had about two hours to complete OGP commitment templates drawing on the actions under each theme. Where there was a smaller set of actions under a theme, the groups on those tables were able to fully complete about three templates. At tables with a large number of actions, participants developed up to five templates, which weren’t always fully completed. In total about 14 templates were drafted. In addition to this, some government agency representatives shared and received feedback on a couple of draft action plan templates they had prepared for consideration as part of the plan.
Following this, the participants were invited to give feedback on the engagement process around the development of this year’s plan. Acknowledging the very tight timeframe, Al Morrison asked people to discuss and record what had been good about the engagement process, and what people would like to see happen for the next Action Plan.
Finally, the next stages of the process to develop the Action Plan were outlined. The State Services Commission will take all the templates from the workshop and complete or tidy them up where necessary. It will then make the final drafts available online for people to see. The draft Action Plan then needs to be presented to the State Services Minister, Paula Bennett, in early September.
In closing, Al acknowledged the input received throughout the process and thanked everyone for their participation in the final workshop.
The team at engage2 would also like to thank you all for following and participating in this process, including everyone who engaged with @OGPNZ on Twitter. During the short time we’ve been live on the social network, #ogpnz was used 506 times and we’ve had 244 retweets, all of which help build awareness about the project. It is only thanks to your willingness to get involved, and encourage the participation of others, that the process built momentum and led to such a productive workshop. Thank you again.