Policy: from the outside in
Developing policy ‘from the outside in’ was the challenge facing the municipality of Leusden. Traditionally, policy is usually devised and developed by civil servants. The Municipal Council of Leusden wanted to turn this concept on its head by instead helping to implement ideas put forward by the public. It also wanted to place more initiative in the hands of collaboration partners and connect more directly to the wishes of societal stakeholders.
The second challenge was to increase efficiency and improve the quality of the policy-making process. It was possible to increase efficiency by expediting the process from drawing table to concrete implementation, and to improve quality by regularly evaluating agreements and implementation and learning from these evaluations.
Together with the municipal management, Möbius developed an approach based on the following principles:
- Clear vision: the foundations of the new policy process will be determined through workshops and interviews. This vision clearly promotes policy-making based on a participatory, integral and educational process.
- Business case: the project started with a business case containing a detailed financial statement of the investments and savings required to implement the new policy process.
- Support base: the new process entails a change in employees’ working methods. Employees are closely involved in developing the process. The animated film below gives an example of just one of the communication channels.
Thanks to this approach we achieved the following results:
- From the outside in: ideas and initiatives from society serve to trigger the policy-making process. The municipal council supports policy-making and determines policy with input from society.
- Unambiguous way of working: everyone knows what the municipal council is doing and how they are doing it.
- Efficient: The process consists of clearly defined phases: initiatives, policy-making, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Superfluous activities have been removed from the process.
- Educational impact: policy is continuously honed and improved through the evaluation of agreements on implementation and the forwarding of new ideas.
- The right employee in the right place: various roles, each with clear responsibilities have been outlined for the new process.
Together, we have defined issues and thought them through thoroughly. The solution is apt and innovative. It provides both certainty and clarity. And the results are impressive!