'Unheard Voices' initiative underway
Efforts to draw up smart solutions to encourage engagement of the 'unheard voices' in decision-making about the future of their communities are underway.
The initiative is being co-ordinated by Fingal County Council and Cork City Council, as part of Enterprise Ireland's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR).
Fingal County Council is seeking ideas from small businesses to assist in identifying and engaging the people who are the 'Unheard Voices'.
The aim is to select the appropriate dialogue methods, be innovative and look for methods which people find enjoyable in order to inclusively engage.
Speaking about the SBIR Challenge 'Unheard Voices' AnnMarie Farrelly, Director of Planning and Strategic Infrastructure at Fingal County Council said: 'The initiative provides an exciting opportunity for local authorities to explore innovative methods to inclusively engage and, to also, provide support to different communities of stakeholders in articulating their needs throughout the engagement process.
'It is hoped that going beyond the range of conventional communication and public consultation methods will help to actively involve all communities in discussions about the future of their place.'
The Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, Paul Reid, said: 'The Unheard Voices initiative is a great opportunity for both local authorities and small businesses.
'In order for a local authority to serve its residents, there needs to be opportunity for engagement with all groups in our communities and to identify these groups, we need innovative and effective solutions.'
Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Mary McCamley said: 'All of our residents are affected by local government decision making so I am delighted that Fingal County Council are beginning the process of reaching out to the unheard voices in our county to give them an opportunity to engage with decisions made in their communities.'
The Unheard Voices Challenge is open for applications on www.Etender.ie until June 11 at 12 pm. Further information is available at http://smartdublin.ie/smartchallenges/unheardvoices/