14. Online consultations
The internet provides INSPIRED processes with a useful means to connect with the beneﬁciaries of the policy under discussion and ensure the outreach of its dialogue activities across the whole country.
One of the most common critiques to CSOs operating at the national level is that they are mostly based in the capital and often fail to understand and defend the specific needs and concerns of citizens from rural areas. To mind this gap, the Dialogue Host can organise polls, lists of demands or open surveys as a means of reaching out to those citizens that usually feel sidelined and integrating their views into the dialogue process. This can be done at different stages depending on their purpose, whether to collect insight during the Collective Assessment phase or to gather information about the priorities of the beneficiaries during the Consensus-building phase.
Consultations should be as inclusive as possible, which includes additional efforts to include the voice of traditionally marginalised groups –ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, LGTBQ+ people, etc. An emphasis on the intersectionality of discriminations at the origin of a lesser political engagement is thus to be done when mapping the stakeholders, so as to ensure that the policy that is being reformed provides long-term inclusive provisions for these collectives.
- Outreach of the dialogue is enhanced, both geographically (as it reaches regions or provinces beyond the capital) and socially (as it includes a diversity of social groups and ages).
- Evidence coming from citizens and final beneficiaries is integrated into the evidence base of the dialogue process.
- Public opinion is proactively informed and engaged in shaping the policy at stake.