Imagine Jersey 2035 was a project that consulted the citizens of Jersey on how the island government should tackle the challenges of the ageing population.
Jersey’s population is changing. The number of elderly people is growing fast and there are fewer younger people of working age. This means that in the long term fewer people will be paying tax and contributing to the cost of running public services. This will be costing the Island more because of increasing demands on health and pensions. It will also become more difficult for businesses to find workers. Because of the small size of Jersey, these developments pose particular challenges for its community. In order to help Jersey's government decide how it is going to meet these challenges, Involve ran a dialogue process where citizens were asked to share their thoughts, concerns and priorities for the future of their island.
The aim was to build the capacity of the States of Jersey to engage the public and develop policies reflecting citizens’ informed views. This included raising awareness and understanding among the general public of the challenges and tradeoffs facing the States of Jersey and for the Government in turn to understand the public’s views and preferences on these issues.
Involve designed a process which was tailored to the specific situation in Jersey and which built on the skills of the government. The consultation combined:
• Two deliberative conferences (one for citizens of mixed ages and one for young people)
• An online survey
• A written consultation
The results of these were analysed and produced in a final report.
As part of the preparations, Involve ran a one day training session on public engagement and facilitation to build the skills of States of Jersey staff to organise and run future consultations.
At the conferences, participants watched presentations on the ageing society and some possible policy choices and then discussed the issues in small groups, facilitated by trained State officials. After the discussions, the participants used electronic voting pads to vote on pre-agreed questions. In the cases where participants were unhappy about the wording of the questions these were clarified or changed accordingly on the spot.
The conferences also used a bespoke approach called the “tradeoff game” to support discussion around the compromises that will be needed. Participants were given cards with different policy options showing how much money each option would generate or save. Each group had to choose a combination of policies to address the projected annual deficit for 2035. This encouraged participants to consider the options as part of the wider whole and recognise the tradeoffs involved.
A changed political climate increased public confidence and ownership over future decisions around the ageing society, as well as more informed decisions and increased awareness amongst the general public of the challenges facing Jersey. States of Jersey gained a much clearer understanding of which options the public would support, accept or oppose.
Institutional capacity building enabled the States of Jersey to take an active role in drafting the agenda, managing conferences, and facilitating discussions on the day.
The project outputs include:
• Online Survey
• Data on the voting pattern of individuals on the day
• Data broken down by different subsections of the population
• Written report
States of Jersey website (for reports and contact details).
Edward Andersson, Edward@involve.org.uk
Gather individual pre-existing opinions
Number of participants
A Group which broadly reflects the Demographic make up of a certain community or population
Level of awareness and interest
participants need information and cannot articulate their interests
participants know about some aspects/can roughly articulate some interest
Health and well-being
Limit search to...
... face to face processes
... online processes
Level of involvement