- 1 -
The municipality of Amsterdam, part Stadsdeel Oost asked us a very brave question that went like this. How can citizens in the case of budget monitoring of local initiatives be more accountable to each other and the public good, and move from a vertical to a more horizontal accountability structure. In this way we aim to create less bureaucracy and create more trust and empowerment.
- 2 -
This means that...
We started thinking in a system of lines, where governments are at the top and communities are at the bottom. Here is one way communication of the government being the producer and the community the consumer. But after our first day of listening and learning our assumption changed. It was not about lines but about circles and loops. This is what we started to investigate and where our learning journey began.
- 3 -
To test our assumptions we designed two interventions.
We started with investigating how new projects can start, can spark, and develop into a inspiration for others in our Neighbourhood Ideas Festival.
Next to this we investigated the spaces that projects need to grow. We started to map the assets of the people involved, both from community and local government side. In this way we aimed to create a marketplace of needs and offers.
While talked to people from both government and neighbourhood, these actions made us realize that there already are many initiatives being organized.
- 4 -
What we discovered is that the dynamics of both systems are running parallel to each other and that at this point only sometimes connections take place. Where the neighbourhood has its self organized networked systems next to the government with its more industrial like systems where a participatory democracy next lives next to a representative democracy and both these worlds just don’t seem to come together.
- 6 -
- 7 -
Active citizens needs an active government but active does not mean engaging through money. Right now the money is the only way currency to exchange with the government. Imagine the local government as a shop where the only thing you can buy is money.
- 8 -
Change the discourse, be the example. The government has to be truly participating not just facilitating but an enabler that at times shares the risk.
- 9 -
We don’t have the solution but we believe that we should start by connecting both the government and the neighbourhood and facilitate how this happens to make use of the best of both systems.
- 10 -
We are still thinking in lines however it is about creating loops to bring ideas alive, make projects happen and be successful therefor we present our eight step toolkit.
- 11 -
1 - Define the essence of all people involved and create profiles to improve each others visibility and stimulate exchange.
2 - Create spaces where people can meet and actively engage with each other, this is about the loop, where experienced is being used.
3 - Bring stakeholders together in ... spaces to actively participate and make sure that not only the people with the biggest mouth get to speak.
4 - These spaces need to be fun.
5 - People need to speak as people and not as governments and bring their assets to the table. People connect to people and not to institutions.
6 - Market places physical and online where knowledge and experience can be shared. A place for tips and tricks.
7 - Stimulate creation of wish lists and facilitate match making, not only between citizens, but also between civil servants and citizens.
8 - Develop the rules of the game, from form to collaborative process.
- 12 -
From a Meeting to a Lunch
From Accountability to Responsibility
We realized as Mellouki said it all starts with face-time, to create a system where the different parties truly understand each other we need to be together and work together.
Loading more stuff…
Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?