Citizen participation example: does the current policy still match the citizen’s wishes?

Citizen participation example: does the current policy still match the citizen’s wishes?

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management determines who and when a person has to be inspected to see if they are medically able to drive safely. What do Dutch people think of the regulation now? And what would they prefer to see different? Would they, for example, like their own general practitioner to play a greater role in medical examinations? To find answers to these questions, we conducted a participation process based on a PVE. More than 6,500 Dutch citizens participated in the survey.

What did we investigate in this participation process?

We examined Dutch people’s satisfaction with the current system. Do they want changes? And why? Or why not? Citizens were also allowed to give alternatives. This gave the ministry new ideas for improving their system and policy.

Designing the PVE together with stakeholders

During this participation process, the various stakeholders were involved as much as possible. This meant that they also participated in the design workshops! The researchers engaged with other stakeholders, such as doctors, driving school owners, patient associations and police officers to develop the consultation. These ideas played a major role in the design of the consultation. At the same time, this ensured that the PVE was useful for as many people as possible.

Why use a PVE method for evaluations?

Sometimes a regulation or government policy has been in place for a while. It is then not always clear if it still fits the needs of the citizens. A PVE is a good, scientific method to test this. A PVE provides more than just a yes/no answer. It presents a dilemma to citizens. This provides insight into why citizens make their choices. And which values are more or less important to them. Answers to these questions provide an opportunity to make (or modify) a policiy that is better aligned with the values and wishes of citizens.

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