The Department of Housing’s recently revamped website has allowed for better engagement with non government organisations (NGOs) in the area of policy development.
At a recent public forum that was held for NGOs to discuss the Department’s Community Disability Housing Program (CDHP), many participants expressed that they would like to have better opportunities to provide input into policies under development at the Department.
In response to this, the Department will be using the website to consult with NGOs for the first time.
The Department’s revamped website provides a new consultation option that can assist organisations, especially indigenous NGOs and those located in rural and remote WA, to be more directly involved in policy development.
The draft CDHP policy has been placed on the Department’s new website along with an online questionnaire for agencies to provide their input. Once completed and submitted, the responses to the questionnaire will be sent to a secure Department email that can only be accessed by relevant staff.
Traditionally the only way for NGOs to provide input to the Department was through public forums, and often NGOs located in rural and regional WA may not have the budget or resources to send staff to Perth to attend these.
While this form of engagement will not replace public forums, it is hoped that using the website and the online form will make a big difference for NGOs and allow more of them to provide input on policies.
In relation to the CDHP, NGOs will still have the opportunity for the more traditional face-to-face consultation which is scheduled for 28 November 2011. The final policy document is expected to be available in early 2012.
The CDHP policy and online form can be accessed here