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How can we engage effectively?
Everyone should participate on the basis of the same data
May 11, 2013 Leong D

One of the biggest obstacles to effective participation in my opinion is the greatly asymmetrical distribution of data between the public and the government. Often, the government has lots of data that it can raise to support its arguments, while the public has little data, and what it has tends to be seen as less reliable and very narrow. This allows the government to dismiss lots of arguments from the public.

Before starting an engagement, both sides should be working on the basis of the same dataset. Ideally, government data should be open. But if not, the government should share all relevant data with the public before engagement (of course there's a question of who gets to decide what is "relevant"). Also, the public should engage in its own data collection, so it can verify or debunk the government data.

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