What stakeholders want

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How not to do e-consultation.

We busted a gut! What for? I got a job … just a temporary post ... a few years ago, helping out with the [*] strategy ... and it was collecting information that had been retrieved from community groups and individuals (...) on how the service impacts on their day to day lives. And including providers and workers - so it was around wages, staffing, hours, costs, everything - the whole shebang ... I was new to that kind of field, right? And what I found was that everyone busted a gut for it, right? Fifteen hour days, people working around the clock for free, they gave up their [time] ... you know this was in addition to their normal jobs. Yeah right… so where did it go? I think we all know the answer. But there was a sort of a closing off process to that consultation process where the [senior executive] rounded up everyone involved and thanked them and there was one question asked that has always stuck in my mind and it was “Right, what happens all this now?” and that to me is the question, and the answer to the question was “Well, there is nothing we or you can do now, it's with our political masters”. And that was the answer. So you know, fair enough that’s grand, three years later there hasn’t been an inch of change [arising from] any of that consultation [process], and you might say “Well, there is budgetary considerations, or time or politics or whatever” but the simple fact is there are repercussions from that consultation that I see on a weekly or monthly basis ... particularly in community workers and that’s where the cynicism is. We busted a gut! What for? It was a political move, they consulted us for political … political reasons.

Source: Focus group discussant [*Confidentiality requirements]