IGP Director Professor Henrietta Moore calls for empowering decision making by local communities through the training of Citizen Social Scientists.
Could we adjust our current political framework to local government where no overall control was the norm?
In an opinion piece for the Local Government Chronicle, IGP Director Professor Henrietta Moore argues that even after two years of tinkering with systems in local government to try and improve local decision making, there is still no improvement for citizens to effectively have their say in in a political system dominated by political party ideology.
Councils should recruit and train citizen social scientists to help communities identify issues and solutions...
At the IGP, we propose that local authorities work with locally recruited citizen social scientists (CSS), to identify and understand factors that limit their prosperity, allowing local people to define and implement locally delivered public services to improve their overall wellbeing and propriety.
One such example is IGP’s first ever citizen-led prosperity index for east London which uses CSS principles to identify and mitigate factors limiting a neighbourhoods prosperity. This includes studying various metrics from things such as access to broadband and transport, to the need for affordable childcare and food. By broadening the measure of prosperity through the use of locally defined metrics (like IGP’s Prosperity Index), we can begin to reflect the difference between GDP and collective wellbeing and provide alternative insights into social progress.
Political parties must cede decision making to neighbourhoods and the people who live there.
Local government has the greatest impact on day-to-day lives. As such, we must train and provide the tools required to effectively allow local citizens to be heard and empowered, taking decision making out of the hands of Party members and into the hands of the local community.
Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash
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