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Beyond tokenistic approaches: How can engaging with vulnerable groups shape the policy-making process?
Monday, 27/June/2022:
11:30am - 1:00pm

Session Chair: Silvia Pau, University of the Arts London
Session Chair: Natalia Villaman, University of Helsinki
Location: BA04 Bizkaia Aretoa_Room Arriaga, 2nd floor

Main venue, Second floor

This conversation will be hosted in-person and accessible online.

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Beyond tokenistic approaches: How can engaging with vulnerable groups shape the policy-making process?

Silvia Pau1, Natalia Villaman2

1University of the Arts London, United Kingdom; 2University of Helsinki, Finland

As researchers in the areas of participation, design and policy, we pay particular attention to discourses and contributions around the need for increased participation of vulnerable groups in policy processes (Opazo et al., 2017; Whicher, 2020). Oftentimes, these are either commonly linked to the importance of widening the existing base of participation, or to the positive effects that participation would have on the policy outcomes (e.g. by preventing policy failures or fostering compliance) (Durose and Richardson, 2016). However, we notice a gap in literature around the effects that such inclusive participation might have on the policy-making process as such.

For this DRS conversation, we would like to engage participants in an exploration to jointly consider possible ways through which the participation of vulnerable groups can strengthen, shape and benefit the policy-making process itself. Furthermore, we would also like to gather a multiplicity of reflections and experiences on the role of design to facilitate a type of participation that goes beyond tokenistic inclusion of vulnerable groups in the policy-making context.

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