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Civil Service

Sir Jeremy Heywood on open policy making

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Examples and findings, Thought Pieces

Open Policy Making is about improving the way we work and the policy advice we provide to Ministers. Making open policy the default across government means moving away from traditionally insular and restrictive processes and methods, to a position where the starting point is asking three questions: who are the people I need to engage with inside and outside Whitehall to make sure the advice I prepare is well informed; what new techniques or methods can I use to ensure my advice is creative and cutting edge; and how do I best engage with those who will have to implement the policy so that we iterate towards policy that works not just in theory but also in practice?

On this blog, the Open Policy Making team are modelling both the Civil Service’s ambition to become a global exemplar of open policy making and what this actually looks like in practice. You can find case studies, access to tools and platforms that have been tried and tested, and most importantly you can find other civil servants and experts with whom to link up. From this blog you can also access Civil Service Quarterly – a publication where we celebrate the best of the UK Civil Service.

But I also want us to use this blog to be more outward-facing and to really practice open policy making by connecting with new audiences and experts and asking them to contribute to this debate we’ve started – what does excellence look like, and how are other organisations and countries approaching similar challenges to raise standards in policy making? How can we raise awareness that open policy making is not risky – but rather de-risks the policy development process? And what is the difference between open policy making and transparency?

At last week’s Civil Service Live in London, UK I set out five things that policy makers should do. You can read about them here. My ask of you is this: subscribe to this blog, stay connected, contribute to the debate that we’re starting with feedback and views and – be ambitious – contact the team and write a guest blog. It is only through sharing stories of the best and exchanging ideas and innovative ways of solving problems that we can improve.


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