Citizen Dialogue on Complex Issues

This project has the ambition to increase understanding about possibilities and limitation, success factors and obstacles, related to deliberation on wicked sustainability issues. The aims is to provide support to Swedish municipalities that are engaging in citizen dialogues on complex sustainability issues, such as integration of immigrants, physical planning, shutting down schools etc.

The project is based on a bilateral agreement and cooperation between SWEDESD and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR). It is meant to provide a support to a network of ten Swedish municipalities or city districts working with citizen dialogues. These are Sollentuna, Enköping, Ljusnarsberg, Fagersta, Svenljunga, Burlöv, Linköping, Östhammar, Uppsala municipalities and Enskede Årsta Vantör (city district in Stockholm). The topics of the citizen dialogues include physical planning processes, gang criminality/feelings of insecurity, integration of immigrants, marginalised areas in cities, organisation of schooling and recreation facilities. The work also involves one consultancy firm-dialogues.

While SALAR contributes to research, policy and practice guidance and public debate on deliberative planning, SWEDESD provides mentoring and training, as well as research based knowledge. SWEDESD role is mainly to develop tools that help involve civil servants and politicians in the municipalities to reflect upon their progress and think critically about how they prepare, design and implement dialogues. SWEDESD supports SALAR to design meetings where involved people at the municipalities meet to receive knowledge input and share experiences with each other.

SWEDESD input is based on previous cooperation with SALAR related to commissioned research in 2015 on two more citizen dialogues; one on school development in Upplands Väsby and one on how to set up a legitimate structure for consultations between the city and the Roma population in Gothenburg.