| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
This initiative starts from a blank page, without prior constraints, in order to construct a governance model for Euskadi. The White Book for Citizen Participation and Democracy is the result of a shared construction process without preconceived actions or mechanisms of control and permanent contrast. We know of no other process of such significance to have been initiated in this way.
- Making participation in public action a part of the mainstream. From the beginning, political and technical personnel from different departments have actively participated in the White Book sessions, and together with the important task of monitoring and counselling, they have brought about a solid and sustainable unrolling of the commitments made by the Government before Basque society.
- Achieving a model for administrating “the public sphere,” which goes beyond public administration and involves constructing broad and binding agreements between civil society (social agents, universities, political parties, companies, the third sector) and Basque institutions (the Basque Government and Basque Parliament).
- Sharing values and principles based on trust (“win-win” models of negotiation as opposed to previously-established “win-lose” models) and implementation of new methodologies which integrate the negotiation of interests with design thinking as a helpful tool for collaborative creation.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The implementation of the initiative has been overseen by an interdepartmental team of 10 people (Direction of Citizen Service, Innovation and Improvement of Administration, Direction of Coordination and Direction of Open Government and Direction of Justice), which has relied, in turn, on the methodological support of Innobasque – the Basque Agency for Innovation. Furthermore, each department has provided the project with the technical and human means which are crucial for its development. This is a selection of agents that have led each development process in the form of public-private collaboration:
o Directors of Land Management: Vice-Council of Administration and Territorial Participation, in collaboration with social and neighbourhood agents
o Strategy for participation in Health: Vice-Council of Health in collaboration with Osakidetza - the Basque Health Service, BIOEF-Basque Association for Health Innovation and Research and Patient Associations
o Evaluation of the Equality Law: Basque Institute for the Woman - Emakunde, in collaboration with the Universidad del País Vasco [University of the Basque Country]
o Employment Plan: Vice-Council of Employment in collaboration with social and economic agents
o Gobernance + 65: Vice-Council of Social Policies, with the participation of Innobasque
o Planning and Basque housing observatory. Vice-Council of Housing in collaboration with financial entities and housing promoters
o Training and educational actions in negotiation and creative design skills: Direction of Justice and Direction of Citizen Service, Innovation and Improvement of the Administration in collaboration with the Association of Collaborative Law in Euskadi
In total, more than 3,000 people and 200 organisations have participated in more than 150 workshops, participatory sessions or processes of consultation and training, as well as visual interactions via the digital participation channels. This is without taking the Housing project into consideration.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The framework process strategy elements are outlined below:
* 18 December 2013: launch of the citizen challenge, Co-Creation of a White Book
* January – December 2014: General process and group process for writing it
* 19 December 2014: Public presentation of the White Book
* January – December 2015:
o Development of tools to promote participatory processes in Basque government offices
o Skills and awareness processes with technical and political personnel
o Development of the action plan to implement the White Book commitments
* November 2015 and 2016: promotion of innovative experiences that generate public value upon the initiative of civil society – Elkarlan Awards
* December 2015 and 2016: a compilation of best practices in local citizen participation
* January 2016: report on the implementation of the commitments
* January – December 2016: assistance with the participatory processes involved with the implementation of the White Book mentioned in section B3
The cost of the project was paid for by the Basque Government. 112,812.45 euros were invested in the development of tools and publications and a 50,000 euro yearly grant was awarded to the Euskadi collaborative law association for promotional work. The rest of the costs were paid for by the departments promoting the projects as collaborative or participatory planning, evaluation and management do not add costs to the consulting job which was going to be outsourced in any case but rather adds a different methodological approach to the evaluation, planning and management work. Internal resources were used for the training and collaboration was promoted at zero cost among stakeholders within the territory (space free of cost, dissemination of conferences, speeches, conference leaders...) so that it would be possible to develop the project with a minimal budget.
In all, the process was led by a technical team of 20 people.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The process featured the political/technical leadership of 3 Basque Government departments (Directorate for Open Government, Director for Coordination and Directorate for Citizen Services and Administrative Innovation and Improvement). Their tasks were to transparently outline the process, goals and expected impacts, emphasize participation, responsibility for the process and results as well as participation as another party to the participatory process without any rankings.
A contrast group was also created for guidance and recommendations. Made up of people of renowned prestige and experience in participation (from other Basque public institutions, the university or civil society), elements such as age and gender as well as the diversity of opinions regarding participation were taken into consideration. It provided guidance, issued recommendations and supervised the process, contrasting its design, mid-term results and final results. It also worked as a network of networks, activating stakeholders around them.
Joining them were technical and political teams from different Government departments in collaboration with: environmental organisations, neighbourhood associations, patient associations, women’s associations, senior associations, business associations and unions, housing developers, financial institutions... and the general public.
The Euskadi Collaborative Law Association was also essential to the promotion of collaborative law from a prevention perspective as well as directly as concerns conflict management and dispute mitigation.
Innobasque – The Basque Innovation Agency offered consulting work and acted as a facilitator as the natural connection between the government offices and civil society.
In all, more than 3000 people and more than 200 entities participated in more than 150 workshops, participatory sessions and contrast and training processes as well as virtual interactions in digital participation channels.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The working process of writing and implementing the White Book involved the same premise aimed at fostering the SDGs: through the generation of inclusive alliances between civil society and institutions to enable a shared vision of general public value. More specifically, all of the actions developed helped make the Basque government a more efficient, responsible and transparent institution. What follows are 5 results that can exemplify what has been achieved throughout this process:
* 6 significant participatory processes implemented through the framework relating to public policy design, planning and evaluation following the White Book framework (co-created with civil society in a one-year process)
o Territorial Organisation Guidelines http://www.irekia.euskadi.eus/es/debates/1056-revision-las-directrices-ordenacion-territorial-dot-capv?stage=presentation
o Evaluation of the Law on Equality http://www.emakunde.euskadi.eus/contenidos/informacion/politicas_evaluaciones/es_def/adjuntos/2015.evaluacion_cualititativa.pdf
o Participation in healthcare (2020 Strategy)
o Basque employment strategy http://www.gizartelan.ejgv.euskadi.eus/contenidos/informacion/eve2020/es_def/adjuntos/EVE%202020%20-%20Memoria%20de%20participacion%202016%2006%2021%20.pdf
o Governance+65 http://www.irekia.euskadi.eus/es/debates/1038-estrategia-vasca-envejecimiento-activo-2015-2020?stage=presentation
o Collaborative law
o Basque housing observatory
* Support tools to design, implement and evaluate open participatory processes http://www.gardena.euskadi.eus/transparencia-general/-/contenidos/informacion/herramientas_trans_part_bgob/es_def/index.shtml
* The generous collaboration of more than 3000 people who participated in the processes
* A database of best practices in participatory processed fostered by citizens which outlines more than 100 citizen experiences.
* Training for 1065 people with technical and political responsibilities in the Basque government and public and private law professionals so they may develop the ability to track participatory processes following the White Book model. Particularly standing out is the training received on negotiation techniques and new ways of overcoming conflicts by putting the focus on citizens as the users of the service and as an opportunity for collaboration as well as in collaborative law.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
It is a radical process of change within administrative culture where transparency, participation and collaboration are the cornerstones. Fear of change and the assumption of risks have been the main obstacles. They were handled by means of an open innovation process and successful and careful experimenting with pilot projects.
Transfer: a working method based on an open innovation process was used throughout the process. In other words: no one standardised participatory method was used but rather the aim was the utmost opening of the book content creation process so everyone who wanted to was able to offer their own contributions through any channel and everything was organised and collected in the final document. Three lines were activated to guarantee the transfer of knowledge and coherence with the framework established: the development of tools (guide, manual, etc.), training and consulting from the Directorate for Citizen Services, Innovation and Administrative Improvement.
Identification of internal projects: the process of identifying inter-departmental projects that could be done in a participatory manner with citizens was not easy. Areas of citizen interest and relevance were sought which also enabled processes for testing, learning and establishing protocols to demonstrate the feasibility of the collaborative work and value generated. In order to overcome this obstacle, sessions were conducted with the various departments so they themselves could be the ones to identify the processes that could be worked on in a participatory manner. Therefore, each department measured its own capabilities and resources and determined which project they wished to develop alongside citizens.