London, UK, 28 November 2013 – Developed by leading IT companies, public authorities, universities and NGOs from across Europe, Puzzled by Policy reduces the complexity of policy-making by consulting with people in a way that is both fun and engaging. Combining innovative online tools with traditional face-to-face consultation techniques ensures accessibility, transparancy and inclusion, transforming the way in which policy influencers interact with the public.
The culmination of three years of development, the Puzzled by Policy supports improved policy-making through a unique combination of online and offline engagement. The online platform, which is freely available to utilise, download and install, makes it easy for any organisation to begin talking with people about the issues that affect them most. ‘Puzzled by Policy allows us to bring contributions and communities voices to our institution’s work agenda,’ said Ilda Curti, Deputy Mayor of Turin. ‘Our Administration will certainly be using the information from the Puzzled by Policy Toolkit when designing and implementing local policies.’
The web-based Policy Profiler offers a unique way for citizens to understand where their views lie on the political specturm, while the uDebate eParticipation platform enables people to freely discuss and exchange ideas. Consultation initiators (government, NGOs, research institutes, thinktanks, etc.) can access all this information in a summarised, visual form to help them understand exactly where public opinion lies on key issues.
Since its inception, the Puzzled by Policy platform has had over 200,000 pageviews with 6,600 people actively participating. Ten policy-makers from regional, national and European government engaged in the Puzzled by Policy process, as did over a hundred NGOs from Spain, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Slovenia and Ireland.
Thanks to Puzzled by Policy, all those interested in understanding public opinion now have a free, effective alternative to flat polling tools and expensive market research. Slovenian MEP Tanja Fajon believes that “Puzzled by Policy has the potential to bridge the deepening division between institutions and politics on the one hand and citizens on the other”. Ms. Fajon continues that Puzzled by Policy’s new toolkit is a “useful opportunity for us as members of the European Parliament to communicate directly with citizens”. The Municipal Council of Arona agrees, arguing that “Puzzled by Policy debates have helped our municipality define and understand our goals, including strengthening partnerships between neighbours and social actors”.
With the launch of the Puzzled by Policy adoption website, the international consortium are excited to showcase the Puzzled by Policy approach and offer it freely to potential adopters for widespread citizen engagement. Puzzled by Policy will be presented at a number of major international events over the coming weeks, including the European Commission and EESC’s ‘European Integration Forum’, the Council of Europe’s ‘World Forum for Democracy’ and the Assembly of European Regions’ ‘Building Inclusive Societies Conference’.
About Puzzled by Policy
Puzzled by Policy is the culmination of a 3 year project co-funded under the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme of the European Commission which began in September 2010. The project is led by the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway and has a consortium consisting of 12 partners from nine European Countries (Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and United Kingdom). For more information on adopting Puzzled by Policy visit our website at www.puzzledbypolicy.eu or contact Deirdre Lee, the project coordinator, at NUI Galway, Ireland, tel.: +353 (0)91 495336, email: firstname.lastname@example.org