13.CONNECTING WITH USERS AND CITIZENS

WHAT IS IT? AND WHO IS FOR IT?

n     To encourage public sector service providers to develop new and effective ways of involving local people in improving the services they use.

n     Centered on examples of good practice from a range of sources, setting out how specific issues, involved in consulting, communicating with and involving service users, have been tackled.

n     Encourages the cross-fertilization of ideas from local government, health and criminal justice.

 

WHY IS THIS BEING PERSUED?

n     To improve the level of involvement of local people to modernize the public services.

n     Public services having real understanding of people’s needs benefits the people most.

 

HOW DOES IT WORK?

n     Key area that it concentrates are

n     Background and aim of the project

n     How it was done?

n     What was learnt?

n     What made it work?

n     Improvements for next time

 

HOW DOES IT WORK?

n     The following principles are arrived at

 

¡    Much depends on the commitment of organization and partnerships shown towards community involvement.

¡    They need cross-organizational structures to support, funding, planning and training.

¡    They need to include both short-term one-off consultations and longer-term techniques to involve service users and communities in service and policy development.

¡    To ensure that those taking part are representative and inclusive I relation to service users or community concerned.

¡    Some of most effective projects were handed over to the lead and control of the participants, letting them develop the approach according to their own priorities.

¡    Organization need to evaluate projects and learn from the outcomes of consultation, and to ensure that the results have real influence on the decisions, policy and service development.

¡    The outcomes should also be communicated back to the service users and communities involved.

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