Oulu surveyed organizations about openness – the answers are used in the development of the Open Governance Action Plan
The city of Oulu has gathered ideas and thoughts about open governance from organizations and associations working in Oulu. The survey was held in October of 2023. The survey was interested in the organizations and associations’ experiences with the understandability, openness of information and decision-making, accessibility and expertise by experience in the city of Oulu’s communication. A total of 57 responses were gathered, one of which was in English.
The responses to the survey will be used in the development and updating of the new Open Governance Action Plan.
The results of the survey by topic:
Understandability and openness of activity
Based on the responses to the survey, 66% of the respondents thought that the city of Oulu’s communication is quite or very understandable. 23% of the respondents thought that the communication is not understandable enough. 9% of the respondents could not answer and only one respondent thought the communication is not understandable at all.
When asked to elaborate, a need for clearer and more direct communication arose. Based on the responses, the communication is hoped to be easily understandable to anyone regardless of age group and that some terms of administrative language should be avoided in communication. Positive feedback was given, especially for the use of different communication channels and the understandability of information.
54% of the respondents thought that the activities of the city of Oulu are very or quite open. 28% thought that the activities are not open enough or open at all. 11% could not answer.
The organizations also had a chance to suggest how the city of Oulu could improve to ensure more open activity and explain what makes the activities very open or quite open. The participation of the voluntary sector and the residents in the entire decision-making process was suggested in the survey, as well as the consideration of all age groups and a lower threshold for meetings between decision-makers and residents.
Openness of information and decision-making
The survey inquired where information about decision-making, influencing opportunities and information concerning the residents should be found. The most popular communication channels turned out to be Oulu’s website and newspapers. Resident’s houses, libraries, youth centres and city displays were also suggested a lot. A specific mobile application was also suggested for Oulu.
When asked to elaborate, the respondents wished for the city to pay more attention to communicating about negative matters as well to improve openness, informing in time and clarity in the city’s decision-making process. The respondents also wished that the decisions would be found in one place to ensure easy access and improve openness of decision-making.
Accessibility and availability in the city of Oulu
The survey was interested in the experiences of organizations and associations in the accessibility and availability of the city of Oulu’s services. 59% of the respondents thought that the services are very or quite accessible. 7% of the respondents thought that the services are not accessible enough. 34% of the respondents could not answer.
57% of the respondents thought that the city of Oulu’s services are very or quite available. 23% of the respondents thought that the services are not available enough or available at all. 20% of the respondents could not answer.
When asked to elaborate, the responses focused on improving the equality between regions by developing public transportation for example, to improve accessibility the opinions of accessibility experts should be utilized, and the amount of multilingual communication should be increased to consider the diversity of the residents
Expertise by experience
The last topic of the survey was expertise by experience and the question whether the organizations consider that experts are sufficiently included in the design of the city of Oulu’s services. 45% of the respondents thought that the experts by experience are included well or quite well in the design. 21% of the respondents thought that the experts are not included enough or at all in the design. 34% of the respondents could not answer.
When asked to elaborate, the respondents wanted to pay attention to the people in disadvantageous positions whose voices should be considered in the design of the city’s services. The importance of listening to residents and not just decision-makers was also brought up in the responses.
The raffle of Oulu products
The raffle at the end of the survey among the respondents who wanted to participate and filled in their contact information was carried out and the winners have been notified during week 44. The city of Oulu congratulates the winners and thanks everyone who responded.
The City of Oulu Participation and Interaction plan can be found also in english: