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Showing posts from March, 2018

Accountability: getting information about public the public

When it comes to democracy one term that gets floated around often is the notion of accountability. But what does accountability actually mean? What does it look like? Further, in the context of government bodies, elected representatives, and the myriad different organizations that provide civil services in our communities, how does accountability happen? And what's required for a community institution to be able to say it is accountable? The answer is different, for different institutions. For example, we often focus on the accountability of elected officials and government representatives. But what about Crown corporations, or state companies? In Canada, Crown corporations are publicly held entities that provide a public service, but that are not directly managed or overseen by any elected official. The first federal Crown Corporation was the Canadian National Railway, established in 1922, and there are now a diverse array of publicly owned autonomous public entities in di

Collaborative Governance in Action

Government: one participant amongst many In a previous post we highlighted the need to go beyond voting for robust democratic participation. But if that's the case then the question becomes - how? Where do we create places for collaboration, discussion, and dialogue surrounding key issues facing our communities? One possibility is to set up opportunities for collaborative governance. Now remember, governance is distinct from government; governance refers to decision-making practices and structures, and also   the broader systems in which decisions about our communities are made. A government is a specific entity endowed with decision-making authority over something. Collaborative governance simply refers to decision-making where multiple different organizations are involved. In these forums, governments are one of the participants amongst many, as opposed to being the sole arbiter over final decisions. Decision-making takes place between both state and non-state entities, a