The project concerns how responsible research and innovation is put forward in regional and municipal decision making, based on 4 municipalities and 1 region in Europe. Through the project, the participating municipalities and region prepare a specific action plan for the implementation of new initiatives within their priority policy areas, which include green transition, sustainable urban development, as well as youth unemployment and entrepreneurship. The action plans specifically reflect on how responsibility is considered in the implementation of initiatives. In this way, the project's action plan benefits citizens in the local community in question through citizen involvement processes in the municipalities and the region.
RRI Leaders focuses on examining how accountability can be integrated into policy development at regional and municipal level. This is done throughout the project via a comprehensive process of involvement – involving businesses, citizens, universities and decision-makers – to address solutions to the various challenges facing european societies.
The project is the first of its kind that links the principles of accountability in specific action plans for decision making in European municipalities and regions. It is also one of the few projects that focus on applying the concept of responsible research and innovation in a local context, making the project unique in its focus and purpose.
The project is designed to come up with solutions to societal challenges by having municipalities and regions go through a process where, in dialogue with stakeholders, they consider ethical and gender equality aspects of their policy development, and where they systematically reflect on their own assumptions and activities, to strengthen their decision-making and policy development. In short, the project must minimize the distance between accountability and policy development in local communities.
The project involves a wide range of stakeholders, including public institutions, private companies, as well as civil society and citizens. The different stakeholders are involved in different ways during the project, e.g. through ongoing collaboration, interviews and specific involvement processes.
The project will first and foremost benefit the citizens of the municipalities and regions that are involved in the project, as the project’s results will be included in decision-making processes in the respective local communities. Next, the project will benefit stakeholders who work with responsible decision-making and will contribute to the knowledge sharing and development that is taking place in the field in these years.
The primary role of DBT in the project is to support the regions and municipalities participating in the project in anchoring responsibility in their strategy development. We do this in several ways: by designing a template for the strategy, where we continuously provide feedback on the content as the project develops. By preparing a method manual for citizen involvement, which is held in each region and municipality, and where the citizens’ recommendations are subsequently analyzed and incorporated into the strategy. In addition, we have an ongoing role in communicating about the project, just as we will facilitate a workshop focusing on knowledge sharing between regions, municipalities and experts.
The project started in January 2021 and ends in December 2023.
Read more about the project, upcoming events and publications here: www.rri-leaders.eu/