On the second part of the testing in Warsaw we made a consultation workshop with participation experts. During the meeting we heard their comments on the content of the toolkit.
On 22 April 2021, we’ve met online with practitioners and experts of participation. There were 16 people representing a very wide range of experts. Among them:
- officials involved in public consultation and implementation of municipal participatory budgets,
- NGO workers involved in participatory activities, including education about PBs,
- academics and researchers working in the field of civil society and participatory activities.
The invited group represented 4 large cities in Poland: Warsaw, Krakow, Gdynia and Lublin.
The aim of our meeting was to discuss the content that we have developed so far within the toolbox in Youth PB Accelerator. Before the meeting, the participants received a specially prepared handout with the working material. We presented them with the approach used in the toolbox and materials such as enabling conditions, values and PB stages. The participants’ task was to read these materials and share loose reflections based on them. An important aspect of the discussion was to relate these materials (which sometimes represent an abstract model) to real experiences of social participation.
A very fruitful discussion ensued, the greatest value of which was that the participants shared their own experiences. We could hear whether the presented materials were, in their opinion, accurately described. The experts particularly appreciated the freshness of some of the ideas, while pointing out that the tools developed on the basis of the presented content should be usable in the Polish context.
Now the task before us is to sum up the first and second stage of testing in Warsaw. We need to summarise the conclusions from the workshops and decide what changes we need to introduce to the toolbox so that it meets the needs of interested groups.
We would like to thank all the participants for coming to the workshop, for the great atmosphere and the accurate comments!