Digitally enabled community engagement in policy and programme design

Digitally enabled process to provide a faster, lower cost and broader based consultation and co-design process to enable business and community organisations to participate in the design of policies and programmes by Australian Government Agencies.

Status: The funding round closed on 30 November 2016. Grant applications are no longer being accepted.


Governments are facing increasing pressure to be more responsive and to accommodate greater citizen and interest group involvement in the policy and programme development process. There is evidence that co-design, collaboration and consultation in the development of government policy and programmes can lead to both improved outcomes and higher levels of citizen satisfaction.  Notwithstanding this, the gap between what governments achieve and what citizens expect continues to grow. 

At the heart of this problem are the current consultation and co-design methods which are time and cost prohibitive for both government agencies and business and community groups.  Limited adoption consequently slows development of experience with co-design and consultation.  Innovation in the digitisation of communication, information handling, data analytics and social media tools potentially offers the opportunity to develop new co-design and consultation methods. Supported by new software tools these new methods would enable co-design and consultation to achieve high quality outcomes more quickly and at lower cost for both government agencies and stakeholders and with larger numbers of contributors.  These contributors can be generated using social media networks rather than identification by the government agency. The ability to enable effective analysis of a substantially larger volume of consultation or co-design inputs is also a requirement of any future process.

Combining these new methods and tools into a platform that consistently engages business and community stakeholders can result in a “virtuous circle” where there is greater confidence by the community in the development of government policy leading to more productive consultation and co-design.  Successful co-design and consultation in turn leads government to increase investment and improve skills.

Watch the BRII challenge 3: Digitally enabled community engagement in policy and programme design video.

What are the deliverables?

Deliverables would include:

  • methods and processes to develop an identified community of interest relevant to an identified policy or programme issue
  • co-design, collaboration and consultation process specifications and methodologies, including one-to-one and one-to-many models 
  • a demonstration of a range of software tools that can tailor a particular co-design or consultation process
  • data analysis capability to enable the public sector agency to consider a significant number of inputs from businesses and community organisations
  • management of co-design and consultation processes including audit features and the ability to provide an emotionally safe and controlled environment for the discussion of sensitive subjects
  • high level security features

It is possible that the proposed solution will require skilled inputs in terms of the design and management of a consultation.  It may not be a software only solution.  Current commercial consultation platforms are generally considered to not meet requirements.

Information sessions

Missed the information sessions held around the country? Watch the Community Engagement webcast and read the FAQs.

Before applying

Before applying you should read the:

I’m ready to apply

To apply:

  • complete the online application
  • provide all the information required for us to assess your application
  • address all eligibility and merit criteria
  • include all mandatory attachments.


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