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Including Citizens in Public Policy Making – Round Table and Training for Consultation Coordinators

On Monday, June 13th 2011, a round table entitled “Challenges of Citizen Inclusion in Public Policy Making” was held at the Croatian Parliament. The event was organised by the Office for Cooperation with NGOs of the Croatian Government and the Embassy of the United States of America in the Republic of Croatia and hosted by the Croatian Parliament.
There were around 50 participants at the round table from state institutions, academic community, civil society and the media. The aim was to discuss the possibilities f empowering the dialogue with the citizens and wider public in preparing and implementing public policies and according to the adopted Code of Practice on Consultation with the Interested Public in Procedures of Adopting Laws, other Regulations and Acts, measures of the Action Plan adjacent to the Strategy for Supressing Corruption and activities within the public administration reform directed towards a better cooperation between state bodies and the civil society.
After the introductory speeches, dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, founder and president of the AmericaSpeaks association, gave a lecture on the challenges of including citizens in public policy making. Dr. Lukensmeyer is an innovator in the field of participatory democracy, public administration reform and organisational development. She founded “America Speaks” in 1995, with the aim to develop new innovative democratic practices that will strengthen the voice of citizens in the decision making process. She is also very actively involved in the implementation of the strategy of open government of the U.S., one of the pillars of the programme of President Obama.
During her visit to Croatia, Ms Lukensmeyer also held a one-day training for consultation coordinators appointed in all the state administration institutions, information officers and other civil servants that daily meet the challenges of quality communication with the interested public. The seminar was held on Tuesday, June 14th in Zagreb and it was dedicated to the development of concrete skills of organising public consultations with the interested public when proposing new laws, other regulations and acts.
Here you can find a link to the website of the America Speaks Association as well as a short video content about one of many consultative meetings of citizens organised by America Speaks.

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