One of our main goals the last months has been the completion of Work Package 1, with particularly strong efforts going into completing a catalogue compiling what we believe to be some of the most innovative public engagement initiatives in Europe and beyond. The main purpose of the catalogue is to explore and understand innovative public engagement as well as providing a platform for international inspiration. Now we stand near the finishing line and therefore an update seems in order.
I work as a student assistant at Aarhus University, and my involvement in the project began in November 2014. The other participants in the PE2020 project had already been working intensely on the project long before my participation started, but I have had the privilege of being part of administering the development of the catalogue. Back in November we were working on the selection of innovative and exciting public engagement initiatives. The cases selected for the catalogue were carefully evaluated and nominated by the full consortium and the international advisory board. The selection of the cases was based on the contents of the previous report D.1.1 which consists of impressive 250 completed or ongoing European public engagement cases. In total 62 out of these were nominated for the catalogue, in which particularly interesting cases are described in-depth.
After the nomination process, we started identifying informants for the 62 cases. The process of obtaining contact with the various informants some times proved more challenging than first expected and we were ultimately not able to obtain contact information regarding all 62 nominated initiatives. However we managed to collect contact information for 56 cases and in end November we sent out questionnaires over three rounds. We received the first completed questionnaire the 26th of November and the creation of the catalogue began. Over the next months we continually received replies up until now where we have 38 cutting edge cases descriptions and a near completed catalogue with approximately 200 pages of public engagement initiatives. The catalogue consists of a variety of different innovative cases such as youth councils, science shops, citizen’s summits, consensus conference, electronic town meetings and so forth. The remaining task is for the informants to verify and accept the catalogue and their contribution to it. If everything goes according to our plan, this procedure will be completed by the 14th of April.
The next step in the process once the catalogue is fully compiled will be to make it interactive in order do to create a net-based version. This will aid in our aim of evaluating and transferring innovative PE practices across the European landscape. We are very excited to see the final interactive catalogue and have high hopes for its potential in inspiring practitioners and analysts within the PE field.
Lastly I would like to take this chance to thank all of the contributors who have made the creation of the catalogue possible. Their case descriptions have been tremendously fascinating to read and hopefully other users of the catalogue across Europe will appreciate this as well and find inspiration in these innovative initiatives.