We want high quality decisions made with integrity, which requires both the best possible decision-making basis and insight from decision-makers and the citizens. Our response to this requirement is the creation of Transparency Arenas for political insight and accountability. This is arenas where all arguments are put forward and challenged in a structured way.
We don't aim for consensus per se. Our approach can lead to increasing consensus, but not necessarily so. Equally, we are not looking for "acceptance" since that would mean we know from the beginning what should be the result. On the other hand, the challenging of arguments is not aimed for a more polarized debate but for increased clarity and understanding. We do , aim for a structured debate and the clarification of the factual and value-laden issues. The only one aim is to create an arena where all stakeholders increase their awareness.
A transparency project is done with the the ITA ProcessTM (ITA = Institutionalised Transparency and Accountability):
First we organize a Project Team, which does most of the work, Members must have competence in process, and competence in the subject being addressed. All members of the Project Team must make a declaration of interest.
Then we set up a Reference Group which shall have stakeholder participation (e.g. industry, academia, authorities, NGO:s) This group advises on aim and conduct of the project.
The Parties represented in the Reference Group set up an Agreement between themselves that covers the objective of the Project, its organization, activities to be performed, economic reimbursement and reporting.
The participants may need to build a common base of knowledge before the stretching takls place. Therefore seminars can be arranged for subjects the reference group agrees on.
The main events are hearings with stretching , meaning that stakeholder arguments are challenged in a structured way from different angles. This is a tailored hearing format to gain transparency. The actual hearings may be combined with group work activities. It is not our aim to create unnecessary polarization but to increase clarity about factual and value-laden issues.
Here you can download the report that describes the ITA ProcessTM (ITA = Institutionalised Transparency and Accountability)
The ITA Process report (PDF, 498 kB)