The work of the Public Engagement Observatory, and underpinning approaches to mapping participation and ecologies of participation developed in our 3S Research Group and UKERC research, is increasingly being taken up and applied by others around the world. Here we showcase some of these examples within the fields of energy, climate change, emerging technologies, and beyond.

Public participation in a West of England energy transition

A study published in 2019 by Jake Barnes at the University of Oxford drew heavily on our mapping participation method and ecologies of participation framework to map public participation with energy systems occurring in the West of England. In total 435 participatory events were identified across the West of England between 2015 and 2017, which provides a useful local and regional focus in comparison the national dataset of the UKERC Observatory.

Just Public Algorithms Project

The Just Public Algorithms was funded by Not Equal EPSRC Network+: Social Justice through the Digital Economy. It ran September 2019 – April 2020. The project was led by Helen Pallett, supported by Jason Chilvers and Catherine Price at UEA, and Simon Burall at Involve.

The main aim of the ‘Just public algorithms’ project was to improve the governance of the social dimensions of the use of algorithms in public services. The project mapped examples of public engagement around the use of algorithms in public services in the UK, finding and analysing 77 cases through a web search and literature review. This project provided the most comprehensive picture yet of citizen responses to the ways in which algorithms are being adopted in and around UK public services, from welfare payments to policing, healthcare and immigration. Project findings are summarised in this research report.