Our work

Citizens for public services

Citizens for Public Services focuses on public service reform and on strengthening the voice of citizens in debates around service provision. The programme builds and expands on Involve’s work in the health sector, where we have delivered successful deliberative engagement programmes for the NHS and Clinical Commissioning Groups – as well as on our work in social care, transport, and education.
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We’re recruiting! 4 x Freelance Youth Engagement Coordinators for MH:2K

Blog October 31, 2017 – Sarah Allan

4 x Freelance Youth Engagement Coordinators for MH:2K  One role in each of: Birmingham Central Lancashire North Tyneside Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Deadline for applications: 5pm on Wednesday 22 November Download an application pack here.    The Opportunity MH:2K is an innovative project to enable young people to influence decisions about emotional wellbeing and mental health.…

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Apply to be part of MH:2K: opportunity for young people

Blog September 15, 2017 – Sarah Allan

Are you 14-25 years old and living in Birmingham or North Tyneside (including Wallsend, Howdon, North Shields, Whitley Bay, Longbenton, Killingworth)? Do you work with young people in these areas? We’re looking for young people to become Citizen Researchers on our youth mental health project MH:2K. As a Citizen Researcher you will: Join a new…

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MH:2K is expanding! Four more areas adopt our youth-led approach to tackling mental ill-health

Blog September 12, 2017 – Sarah Allan

We are delighted to announce that our youth mental health project, MH:2K, is expanding to four more areas from this September. The areas are Birmingham, Central Lancashire, North Tyneside, and Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. We also want to say a big welcome to the project’s new National Advisory Panel. Made up of representatives from leading decision-making,…

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Announcing the MH:2K National Advisory Panel

Blog September 12, 2017 – Sarah Allan

As our youth-led mental health project 'MH:2K' expands to four more areas, we want to say a big welcome to its new National Advisory Panel. Its members are, in alphabetical order: Professor Kathryn Abel, NIHR National Specialty Lead for Mental Health Polly Ashmore and Sally Milne, Children and Young People’s Mental Health Team, NHS England Cassandra Cameron,…

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Citizens & science

Involve's Citizens and Science programme is developing more effective ways for citizens to be involved in the development and application of scientific and technological innovations. It aims to ensure that technological innovations continue to contribute to the growth of our economy by meeting the real needs, hopes and desires of the public.
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I robot, you society, let’s talk

Blog November 3, 2017 – Simon Burall

Isaac Asimov’s fiction paints a largely utopian technological future in which scientists develop new technology at a distance from society, but with its best interests at heart. All our real world experience, however, shows that what we really need is a science that is fully engaged with, and held accountable by, society. Isaac Asimov’s three…

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On technocrats, the public and red herrings

Blog July 27, 2017 – Simon Burall

The economist and BBC presenter Tim Harford wrote an article earlier in the year called, “Some things are best left to the technocrats”. I stumbled across it again today and this time I have a little time to write a response. Harford is a good writer and compelling story teller. He has a knack of…

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There’s benefits in talking about data sharing

Blog July 17, 2017 – Kaela Scott

Over the past 3 weeks Involve has led a series of 6 workshops, in diverse range of local authority areas across England, exploring how professionals from the public and voluntary sectors understand the ‘public benefits’ of data sharing for the purpose of delivering public services. Previous public engagement work has tended to suggest that people…

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Data sharing: six local area partners announced

Blog May 16, 2017 – Simon Burall

Government stores and uses personal data about citizens as part of the way it does its work. Effective use of this data means that government can deliver more effective and efficient public services to the public. However, the storage and use of, what can sometimes be, highly personal data raises concerns about both privacy and security. Our…

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Open government

Involve is working with civil society and government in the UK and internationally to make government more transparent, engaging and accountable. We coordinate the UK Open Government Civil Society Network and are piloting models of open policy making.
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Improving public services through open government

Publications May 22, 2017 – Tim Hughes

As citizens, we rely on public services being accessible and high quality - to give us an education, keep us healthy, make our communities a safe place to be, and ensure our basic needs are met. Public services are critical to our wellbeing and life chances, and building stronger and more prosperous societies. Open government…

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Is open government going to make a difference to citizens?

Blog May 11, 2017 – Simon Burall

Involve has been proud to coordinate the UK Open Government Civil Society Network for the last five years. We’ve contributed, alongside many other individuals and organisations, to some tangible outcomes for open government. To pick three notable examples, in the 2013-2015 Action Plan on beneficial ownership and transparency of the extractive industry, and in the…

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Help us find inspiring examples of open local government

Blog April 27, 2017 – Tim Hughes

Involve is working with the Council of Europe to develop a report on open local government. We are looking for inspirational examples of local governments embedding open government initiatives and reforms, and are particularly interested in case studies from Council of Europe member states. The report will be structured around a simple framework based on the different…

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People & participation

Involve’s People & participation programme examines how to reconnect the public with politicians, decision-makers and political institutions. We take a three-pronged approach: working from the top down with political institutions, from the bottom up with the public, and building the evidence base for what works.
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Public prefer Single Market membership to no Brexit deal – Statement from the Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit

Blog October 26, 2017 – Tim Hughes

The public would rather remain in the Single Market than see the UK face ‘no deal’, a representative ‘Citizens’ Assembly’ of voters has found [1].  The findings follow speculation that the UK is heading towards a ‘no deal’ Brexit[2]. However, an impartial process found that while voters want Theresa May to seek a bespoke trade…

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The Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit: how did it work?

Blog October 2, 2017 – Sarah Allan

Yesterday saw the finale of the Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit (CAB) and the announcement of its results. By its end, fifty members of the public – broadly representative of the UK population in terms of age, sex, ethnicity, social class, where they lived, and how they voted in last year’s referendum – had spent around twenty-eight…

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Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit: results and initial reflections

Blog October 2, 2017 – Alan Renwick

The Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit reached its climax yesterday. After two weekends of intense deliberation, the members voted on a range of options for the form they want Brexit to take in relation to trade and immigration. Their conclusions will surprise some, and they deserve detailed attention from politicians and commentators. Assembly Director Alan Renwick…

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UK voters want soft Brexit – Statement from the Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit

Blog October 1, 2017 – Tim Hughes

Statement from the Citizens' Assembly on Brexit, for immediate release: 1st October 2017. citizensassembly.co.uk/Brexit A representative body of UK citizens today sent politicians a clear message in favour of a ‘soft’ Brexit. Faced with the range of possible outcomes, they chose to retain free movement of labour, but with the UK government exercising all available controls…

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Scotland

Involve is working in Scotland to develop, design and facilitate high quality participation processes that, building on the momentum already established across the country, will contribute to realising a culture of deeper democratic engagement in all aspects of Scottish public life.
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Beyond Buzzword Bingo: opening up the language of Open Government

Blog December 16, 2016 – Kaela Scott

Open Government has its own buzzwords – open data, transparency, accountability, participation, scrutiny, anti-corruption, freedom of information, open contracting, digital commons etc. Just like any other policy community this shared language unites those involved, but from the outside it can appear to set a somewhat technocratic and procedural agenda. As someone relatively new to the…

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Bringing public voices into parliamentary business

Blog November 30, 2016 – Kaela Scott

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to the Commission on Parliamentary Reform, at the Scottish Parliament, about opportunities for widening and deepening public participation in parliamentary processes. This independent Commission was set up in October 2016 to look at how Parliament can engage better with the people of Scotland and how its work…

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Opening the lid on Open Government in Scotland

Blog August 30, 2016 – Kaela Scott

One of the key challenges for the Open Government Network in Scotland is opening up the open government agenda to wider civil society, in ways that encourage open government to be understood as a movement for change, rather than a technocratic process. All too often the language associated with Open Government (data, open-contracting, anti-corruption, scrutiny…

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Democratic Participation in a Citizen’s Europe: What Next for the EU? – School of Law and Social Justice – University of Liverpool

Blog March 9, 2016 – Josephine Suherman-Bailey

A collaborative conference bringing practitioner experience and academic research together to assess, discover and develop citizen involvement in EU public policy. Thursday, 5 May 2016 University of Liverpool Foresight Centre – Liverpool, England As the European Union faces multiple crises, this timely event will explore current challenges and future opportunities for enhancing the participation of…

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Past projects


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Using deliberative engagement to make small businesses more sustainable

Published: January 6, 2014

Involve worked with Leeds Beckett University and various partners across Europe to deliver a project that aimed to help small and medium-sized businesses to be more sustainable and resilient. Part of the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme, the project was funded with support from the European Commission. It used deliberative engagement methods to engage business leaders in developing…

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Review of Research Councils UK dialogues

Publications January 3, 2014 – Ingrid Prikken

Research Councils UK (RCUK) commissioned Involve to conduct a review of RCUK dialogue and consultation exercises in order to identify what could be learnt more generally about public perspectives on emerging science and technology. The Research Councils have a good deal of experience of public dialogues. Various independent dialogues have been conducted around major RCUK…

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Envisioning the library of the future

Publications January 2, 2014 – Tim Hughes

Involve and Dialogue by Design (DbyD) were commissioned by the Arts Council England (ACE) to explore with citizens the purpose and value of public libraries. Over the course of September Involve ran a series of deliberative workshops across England and an online consultation to gather people's views – as citizens and taxpayers – on what…

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EU future energy mix scenarios

Publications May 24, 2012 – Ingrid Prikken

Involve has been commissioned by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) to carry out a study on “Future national energy mix scenarios: public engagement processes in the EU and elsewhere”. Involve worked in partnership with Dr. Paul Dorfman from Warwick University who is Senior Researcher Global Energy at Warwick Business School (WBS) and Joseph…

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Creative Councils

Published: January 23, 2012

Involve was commissioned by NESTA to provide community engagement support to councils participating in the Creative Councils programme. Creative Councils is a programme from NESTA, working with the Local Government Group, to support local authorities to develop and implement radical innovations that meet the challenges of tomorrow. Involve provided support to three Creative Councils projects:…

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