Policy is a very abstract function of government. It has its own language and policy outputs are generally reports that are intended only for internal communication in the public sector. Even some of our policy making participants in this event said some policy makers talk not understandable. It is however critically important to influence and support policy makers. We may not know the policies directly but they have a huge, real-world impact in the decisions about funding priorities in the public sector and so on our daily lives.
The problem for policy makers is that creative, engaging engagement activates often result in outputs like videos, drawings and animations that talk to the people involved with the engagement process but these are really difficulty to translate into policy insights.
This scoping session with policy makers was the first step in a co-design process to help policy makers translate the results of creative engagement and also to communicate the effects of new policy to young people. In this session there was a great deal of positivity in the room about the need to consult with young people but this was placed in a framework of incredible time pressure and demands by management to produce policy quickly. One of the overriding requests was something to help policy makers communicate to others where consultation could contribute to policy development.
We are in the process of developing a co-design program to work with policy makers.