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Launching the Open Policy Making Toolkit

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: News, Skills, tools and techniques

As you may know from some of our previous blog posts, we’ve been busy squirrelling away to create an Open Policy Making Toolkit. The aim is very simple – as the movement supporting Open Policy Making has grown, more and more civil servants were asking us not ‘why’ do we do this, but ‘how’.

We’re excited (and slightly nervous) to announce the launch of the first prototype of the toolkit. It will provide guidance to policy makers on the new tools and techniques that can help make better policy. We also hope it will be of interest to people outside government and the public in general.

This is an early version of the toolkit and we know that we can make it better. To do that we need your feedback. Tell us how we can improve the toolkit – every page has a feedback link.  Civil service rules say we cannot update the toolkit during purdah (30th March until after the election) but we will be listening and learning.

In the process of making the toolkit, it’s been important to us to practice what we preach:

Open: We have published the toolkit openly on This makes us more transparent and opens us up to challenge and debate. We also know that there is lots of great expertise outside government and we want to tap into it.

User-centred: It was essential for us to build the toolkit around the needs of users. As we’ve blogged before, we worked with Mint Digital to run workshops to understand user needs. Since then we have also done our own guerilla testing of early versions of the toolkit with help from Leisa Reichelt from GDS and done a bit of bedtime reading of Steve Krug’s book Rocket Surgery Made Easy. The navigation of the toolkit is based on what users ‘need to do’ a principle we adapted from the excellent Nesta DIY toolkit.

Agile: The toolkit is a living resource and we will continuously improve and update it. This prototype is an early version. We will gather feedback from users and publish a new and improved version after the election.

Thank you to all our colleagues in departments for their content and input and also Dem Soc and Involve for help with user research.   We look forward to hearing what you think.



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