We’ve won at the Open Government Awards!

Glasgow’s Citizen Power work has been recognised in the Inspirational Reforms category at the 2023 Global Open Government Awards!

Two people, one wearing red, the other black. They're laughing in front of a sheet being used in a workshop

The Centre for Civic Innovation are pleased to announce that our work to embed Citizen Power in Glasgow has been acknowledged at the Global Open Government Awards in Estonia.

The Open Government Partnership includes 75 countries and 104 local governments – representing more than two billion people – and thousands of civil society organizations. The Open Government Partnership is based on the idea that an open government is more accessible, more responsive, and more accountable to citizens and that improving the relationship between people and their government has long-term, exponential benefits for everyone.

This year, the Open Government Award recognises inspirational projects and developments that are reforming the way local government engages with their people.

CCI has been rewarded for their innovative and sector-leading engagement with citizens across the city and for empowering the people of Glasgow to shape decisions that directly affect their lives.

The current model for delivering public services is grounded in underlying assumptions and is subject to changing demands from citizens. Glasgow needs to find new, creative and innovative ways to solve our challenges. As a team, CCI use design-led methods across their workflows to empower citizens to co-design the city they want to live in.

Citizen Power in Glasgow is developing an inspiring network of designers and solvers across the city to enthuse and empower citizens. Combining creative and inclusive approaches, place-making principles, design thinking, research, storytelling and data science to understand and help solve complex problems - difficult to articulate, challenging to solve, and have no single solution.

Using design, data and innovation techniques the team foster a culture that enables new ways of working across the city. With a range of highly rated research and development programmes CCI have co-designed and tested a range of innovative interventions with citizens to inform Glasgow’s future participatory models for people, place and planet.

Glasgow is talking with, listening to and empowering the people of Glasgow to co-design a future Glasgow of which we are proud of and where everyone can benefit.

2 boxes on  a table surrounded by leaflets and posters with a hand coming from right of frame to fill in a NIIF form

Your Citizen Voice – a model for participation in local neighbourhoods

Glasgow’s Neighbourhood Infrastructure Improvement Fund has made £23 million pounds available for local infrastructure improvements across the city and want as many citizens as possible to participate in deciding how the money is spent. To support this, CCI have co-designed a system with over 200 citizens that allows Area Partnerships, the local governance panels, to make decisions based on the ideas and opinions of as many local people as possible.

The CCI has spoken with citizens, citizens community groups, area partnerships and the council network to understand the ways people want to be involved and in a way that is easy and hassle free. They then developed engagement tools, both physical and digital, and prototyped these in the communities of Calton and Greater Pollok. In just three weeks over 700 ideas were submitted showing that citizens are passionate about being involved in decision-making that impacts their neighbourhoods and communities. In order to create the city, we all want to live in, we need to enable and trust communities to imagine the future they want to see.

You can learn more about our work on the Neighbourhood Infrastructure Improvement Fund here: https://cciglasgow.org/projects/niif/

Including Young People’s Voices – putting our young people at the heart of our city

In collaboration with the Village Storytelling Centre, CCI are celebrating and elevating the voices of young people in our communities and co-designing a consistent model of participation with them in civic society.

This Project builds on the previous work of the Including Young People's Voices project and aligns with Glasgow City Council's Citizen Power programme goal to ensure that all citizens are involved in shaping and co-designing their city.

A young woman and two children making sculptures in a playground with hexagonal pieces

“The Including Young People’s Voices Project has been really interesting so far. We’re really excited to scale that up now and to explore again with the CCI how to make that more meaningful, more practical and look at it at a more micro-level, so young people can get involved in decision-making within their school community and on a much wider scale as well. We’re really well placed within Greater Pollok working with the CCI that this can have an influence across the city.

Helen Mill,
Executive Director,
Village Storytelling Centre
A table of people watching a presentation about the citizen designer programme

All our citizens should have a stake in the life of their city economy and no one should be left behind as it goes through change.

Glasgow Strategic Plan

Citizen Designer Programme

As well as working with citizens to co-design solutions to city-wide challenges, the CCI champion new ways of working across the council to re-design services and ensure there is an innovative and consistent model to engage and collaborate with people across the city.

As this new system emerges for people, services and planet, the CCI are passionate about ensuring citizens benefit from the opportunities that creates. One such benefit is the Citizen Designer Programme, a multi-disciplinary employability pilot to create a network of citizen designers, data scientists and storytellers across Glasgow.

Through a 24 month ILM (Intermediate Labour Market) , we will create and test a unique employability programme to recruit and/or upskill local people to become the problem solvers in their local neighbourhoods and be a catalyst for the significant system change required for a just transition. This programme will not only provide new and exciting skills and employment opportunities within local communities, it will also harness the expertise of our citizens to co-create solutions with city colleagues, together solving our collective challenges and make best use of resources. It will build community wealth and help move people towards fair work while helping us as an organisation invest in our own capacity to solve our biggest challenges.

“All our citizens should have a stake in the life of their city economy and no one should be left behind as it goes through change.” Glasgow Strategic Plan

The long-term vision for Citizen Power in Glasgow is for this way of working to become the norm. CCI’s programme of work is helping to make a difference in the lives of our people. Working with local and national government colleagues, community groups, the voluntary sector and academic institutions they are developing a new culture and way of working that embeds citizens at the heart of the city’s work.

There are a number of people who will benefit from this way of working, primarily citizens who will have more of a say in what happens in their area. I also think there are real benefits to the way the council and the country works, in terms of having experts from all areas of life at the table, helping us co-design the solutions to the challenges we collectively face.

Most of the challenges the city and the country face are bigger than one party taking part, so I think it is about developing that new way of working, building up trust and that innovation process that will allow us to make Glasgow better for everyone.

Stevie McGowan,
Design Lead at the Centre for Civic Innovation