Putting Citizens First

Putting Citizens First

Engagement in Policy and Service Delivery for the 21st Century

Edited by: Evert A. Lindquist, Sam Vincent, John Wanna orcid

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This book explores the ways in which governments are putting citizens first in their policy-making endeavours. Making citizens the focus of policy interventions and involving them in the delivery and design is for many governments a normative ideal; it is a worthy objective and sounds easy to achieve. But the reality is that putting citizens at the centre of policy-making is hard and confronting. Are governments really serious in their ambitions to put citizens first? Are they prepared for the challenges and demands such an approach will demand? Are they prepared to commit the time and resources to ensure genuine engagement takes place and that citizens’ interests are considered foremost? And, more importantly, are governments prepared for the trade-offs, risks and loss of control such citizen-centric approaches will inevitably involve?

The book is divided into five parts:

  • setting the scene: The evolving landscape for citizen engagement
  • drivers for change: Innovations in citizen-centric governance
  • case studies in land management and Indigenous empowerment
  • case studies in fostering community engagement and connectedness
  • case studies engaging with information technology and new media.

While some chapters question how far governments can go in engaging with citizens, many point to successful examples of actual engagement that enhanced policy experiences and improved service delivery. The various authors make clear that citizen engagement is not restricted to the domain of service delivery, but if taken seriously affects the ways governments conduct their activities across all agencies. The implications are enormous, but the benefits to public policy may be enormous too.

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  1. Putting Citizens First: Engagement in policy and service delivery for the 21st century (PDF, 330KB)Evert Lindquist doi

Part I. Setting the Scene: The evolving landscape for citizen engagement

  1. Engaging Citizens: Can Westminster coexist with meaningful citizen-centric engagement? (PDF, 339KB)Gerry Stoker doi
  2. Beyond New Public Management: Will governments let citizens and communities determine policy choices and service mixes? (PDF, 1.6MB)Don Kettl doi
  3. Citizens and Governments: Getting closer or further apart? (PDF, 436KB)Rolf Alter doi

Part II. Drivers for Change: Innovations in citizen-centric governance

  1. Engaging Citizens in Policy Innovation: Benefiting public policy from the design inputs of citizens and stakeholders as ‘experts’ (PDF, 359KB)Christian Bason doi
  2. Engaging Citizens in Co-producing Service Outcomes (PDF, 259KB)John Alford doi
  3. Citizens, Customers, Clients or Unwilling Clients? Different and effective strategies for citizen-centric delivery (PDF, 383KB)Lynelle Briggs doi
  4. Measuring Citizen Feedback and Gauging Citizen Satisfaction (PDF, 951KB)Bette-Jo Hughes doi
  5. Information Technology and New Media as Tools of Engagement (PDF, 245KB)Martin Stewart-Weeks doi

Part III. Case Studies: Land management and Indigenous empowerment

  1. From Little Things, Big Things Grow: The rise of Landcare and citizen-orientated land management in Victoria (PDF, 237KB)Jenny Pequignot doi
  2. Volunteers as Agents of Co-production: The example of NSW State Reserves (PDF, 196KB)Peter Houghton doi
  3. Indigenous Empowerment in Land Management (PDF, 309KB)Mark Chmielewski doi
  4. Improving Indigenous Access: Three practitioner perspectives on citizen engagement (PDF, 466KB)Adrienne Gillam, Ian Mackie and Michael Hansen doi

Part IV. Case Studies: Fostering community engagement and connectedness

  1. Singapore’s Social Safety Net and Human Service Provisions (PDF, 246KB)Ang Bee Lian doi
  2. Challenges in Engaging Citizens as Partners in the Community Sector (PDF, 287KB)Yehudi Blacher doi
  3. Challenges in Engaging Citizens as Partners in Housing (PDF, 209KB)Shane Chisholm doi
  4. Building Citizen Feedback into Program Redesign (PDF, 511KB)James Mowat, Jim Scully and David Sweeney doi
  5. New Ways of Engaging Citizens in Service Delivery (PDF, 463KB)Nicole Pietrucha and Jo Sammut doi
  6. Dilemmas of Engagement: Seriously empowering our community (PDF, 318KB)Deb Symons doi

Part V. Case Studies: Engaging with information technology and new media

  1. Volunteers as Agents of Co-production: ‘Mud armies’ in emergency services (PDF, 328KB)Fiona Rafter doi
  2. Informing Tax Policy Legislation: Thinking differently about consultation processes (PDF, 191KB)Mary Craig doi
  3. Inland Revenue New Zealand: From hosting consultations to managing conversations (PDF, 152KB)Gail Kelly doi

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