Reading: Summary of Module 3
In Module 3, we have learnt about why policy processes need to be transparent, and how digital technologies can support citizens in monitoring policy making and policy implementation.
This aspect is important for citizens in general, but especially for youth generations. If citizens and youth people, in particular, are involved in policy making (consultation, deliberation, monitoring and implementation) the policies will be a reflection of their real interests and points of view. In the case of youth, this could be crucial for their future.
Firstly, it is important to understand how policy making works. We have seen the stages of the Howlett and Ramesh model: agenda setting, policy formulation, adoption (or decision making), implementation and evaluation. Also, we have learnt important concepts for good governance and policy monitoring, such as transparency and accountability as crucial elements for democracy; citizen-driven oversight in order to review government activities and ensure this is transparent and accountable; and open government data and freedom of information as mechanisms to apply this oversight.
Freedom of information (FOI) is the right we have as citizens to access and request information from a public body in order to know what governments do. Open government data is technology driven policy that pushes public institutions to make the release of their datasets on their website their everyday routine, available to everyone and accessible by anyone interested.
To put things in practice, some digital tools and civic-tech practices for policy monitoring have been presented, such as tools; to assess a governing politician or party fulfillment of a campaign promises, which are known as Promise Trackers (Trump-O-Meter in USA or Lui President in France); to monitor public procurement (Red flags in Hungary or MojPorez.ba in Bosnia); and to fight corruption (Global Corruption Barometer; 40 City Halls under the magnifying glass in Guatemala; Cumuleo in Belgium; or Mari Corupti in Romania).
Finally, as an inspiration on a civic-tech practice for monitoring policy, we have seen a particular case study of, Vouliwatch, a digital interactive platform that allows Greek citizens to participate and monitor the Greek legislative process.