The co-creative policy-making discussion sparked lively engagement


Nearly 50 representatives of Estonia’s most influential democracy-pushing non-governmental organizations and e-democracy experts discussed the future of democracy in Estonia in a workshop organized by the e-Governance Academy on 18 January 2023. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the role of crowdsourcing and co-creation in policymaking, inspire public institutions to practice co-creation in a meaningful way, and introduce a tool to assess the impact of e-participation and discuss how it can be used in the development, evaluation, and analysis of e-participation initiatives.

The lively discussion by panelists Margo Loor, Karmen Vilms, Tiina Randma-Liivi, Karl-Hendrik Pallo, and Liia Hänni focused on how to make the crowdsourcing more efficient in Estonia. Here´s a recap of the thoughts shared:

  • In Estonia, we still talk about information and consultation, not co-creation and partnership
  • There are many things working well in Estonia: legislation contributes to co-creation; there are good engagement practices; officials are trained to engage interest groups; communication between ministries in the preparation of legislation is public; there are digital signature options and petition environments that make engagement transparent and reliable;
  • Many things still need momentum: co-creation would need leadership at the political level, so that co-creation also proceeds from the top down, not only from the bottom up; encouragement of e-participation in the cities of Madrid and Amsterdam could also serve as an example for Estonian politicians; people need more experience to be practical partners in co-creation.
  • One out-of-the-box solution arose: citizens could form a so-called lower house at the Parliament so that every citizen would have a say in policy-making through a special app.
Photo by eGA

At the event, Liia Hänni introduced the co-creation evaluation model prepared by the e-democracy team of the e-Governance Academy. Check out the model here.

Thanks for the inspiring thoughts! Let’s continue to promote co-creation in Estonia together!

The workshop is organized by e-Governance Academy in the project “Digital Democratic Empowerment and Mobilisation for a stronger EU” (DigiDem).