The meaning of ‘Civil society inclusion in public innovation’ within CCIC

NL5_news_2Cooperation between public authorities and civil society organizations is key for innovation planning and for innovation diffusion.  But if civil society inclusion is so important, why don’t all public authorities strive to set among their primary goals the involvement of citizens in their decision-making processes?
Civil society inclusion is getting more important every day for obtaining successful public innovations. There are many theories about integrating citizens’ perspectives, and these generally seem to be positive.

According to experts in the field bringing in citizens’ perspectives on innovation in the process of decision-making within the public sector can provide learning sources and can give a better view on the importance and urgency of societal goals. By successfully involving citizens in the decision-making process the innovation potential of public authorities can be strengthened and tapping into society’s energy and ideas can even lead to improved public policies.

Cooperation between public authorities and civil society organizations is key for innovation planning and for innovation diffusion.  Civil society could become one of the diffusion channels of successful innovations and could act with credibility as a body of knowledge. By involving civil society, services and products will be publicly approved and more easily accepted.

But if civil society inclusion is so important, why don’t all public authorities strive to set among their primary goals the involvement of citizens in their decision-making processes?

The CCIC partners had a meeting in Tartu (Estonia) to discuss the theme of ‘Civil Society Inclusion in Innovation’ and some of the key questions put forward were: What are the mechanisms in place to solicit public feedback? What kinds of services or products are concerned? How are civil society organisations relied upon for (or involved in) the evaluation/recognition of innovations? Which social issues have the greatest relevance to public sector innovation? In this connection, themes such as environmental degradation, garbage recycling and waste management, transport efficiency and reliability, etc. were also widely discussed.

These thematic group discussions among the CCIC partners are expected to lead to general conclusions on the role of civil society in sustaining the effects of public sector innovation, while examining some practical examples of CCIC partners that show certain satisfactory results.