Innovate and co-create with citizens online (draft)


Keep up to date with best practice in engaging large numbers

The Taskforce ran a competition called ShowUsABetterWay which generated around 500 ideas for uses of public sector data.  This exceeded our expectations and proved to be a very positive experience in terms of the breadth and quality of ideas and the broader interest generated in the Power of Information agenda.

This is part of a growing trend of developing methods to harness the public’s ideas for improving products and services.  The Taskforce believes that there are important lessons that can be learnt from these exercises that would be of benefit to the public services.  The greatest value will be generated if there is a mechanism within government for seeking and sharing best practice in this rapidly developing field.


Stay at the leading edge of customer driven service improvement.  The Permanent Secretary Government Communiations should regularly publish best practice and innovation in engaging large number of people online such as Show Us a Better Way, Dell Ideastorm, Apps for Democracy, etc. An initial readout should be published on the Cabinet Office website by Q3 2009.

RSS feed of comments 5 Responses to “Keep up to date with best practice in engaging large numbers”

  1. Tony Hirst says:

    cf. also initiatives such as the US Citizens’ Briefing Book [ ] and commercial suggestion boxes such as Dell’s Ideastorm [ ] or MyStarbucksIdea

  2. Vivek Kundra is seeking to expand the Apps for Democracy competition with a £500,000 reward to solve some of the most pressing problems in Government. Maybe a competition like this i.e. an extension of Show Us a Better Way could provide interesting results.

  3. Steph Gray says:

    A basic cross-government platform for this (like the No 10 e-petitions platform) would be a big help in accelerating take-up within the public sector. Ideas generation from customers is a great idea, but often one which is difficult to make the business case for currently especially if platform development needs to be costed in each time.

  4. Tony Hirst says:

    Although it’s still early days for the site yet, WriteToReply (, a platform for commenting on public documents at the paragraph level inspired by systems used on the POIT review suggests a model for a publishing site capable of hosting commentable upon versions of public documents, where agents can upload and publish their own “for comment” documents.

  5. Paul Walk says:

    I think this process of chunking the beta report for comment is great, and I love the way has applied this process to the general case. You have raised the bar on public consultation.

    This approach works well for soliciting comment at the detailed, paragraph level.

    I wonder if the approach of issuing an ‘official tag’ – e.g. ‘poit2009′ and letting the bloggers and twitterers etc. have at it would be useful for comment on the document as a whole.