The ACT Carers Strategy (the Strategy) is being developed through the use of a deliberative democracy process. Deliberative democracy processes bring diverse participants together, providing them with reliable and balanced information that addresses key aspects of the issue under consideration. Participants discuss the issue at length to arrive at a shared view.
How did the deliberative panel work?
In October 2017, 49 participants from the Canberra community, including both carers and people who are not currently carers, convened over two days to form a deliberative panel to develop the Strategy.
Panel sessions were facilitated by democracyCo. Panel members heard from witnesses, including people with lived experience as carers, and engaged in discussion around the issues faced by carers in the ACT. The panel deliberated on:
- What would make Canberra a carer friendly city;
- What outcomes the community wants to see for carers; and
- What the community’s shared priorities should be.
How will it inform the ACT Carers Strategy?
The ACT Government provided an in-principle commitment to accept the vision, outcomes and priorities of the Strategy as developed by the deliberative panel. This created an authorising environment for the deliberative panel process, establishing trust between panel participants, stakeholders, Carers ACT and Government.
During the two deliberative sessions, panel members collaboratively developed the three foundational components of the Strategy: vision; outcomes; and priorities. Together, these will form the basis for the next stage of work – to develop actions and initiatives.
Who has been involved?
In May 2017, the Community Services Directorate (CSD) engaged both Carers ACT to develop the Strategy and democracyCo to provide expertise and support for a deliberative consultation process. Carers ACT and democracyCo conducted several recruitment activities to bring together a panel that included carers with a range of experiences and circumstances, and ensured diversity in gender and age across panel participants.
A number of Government officials also attended the panel sessions as observers, to ensure that the panel discussions inform subsequent work to progress the Strategy.
Next steps will build on the work of the deliberative panel. A group of Government and community sector stakeholders will be convened to progress this further policy work and develop actions and initiatives.
This group will include people who can influence policy implementation within their area of government or the community, and who also have an interest in how the Strategy intersects with their work and how they can support its implementation. These stakeholders will work together to develop actions and initiatives to deliver on the vision, outcomes and priorities agreed by the deliberative panel.
For more information, contact the Community Services Directorate on 133 427.