Free Guides to How Government Works

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Are you working for policy change?  Are you keen to get your voice heard? Do you know where to start to look for official information or query government decisions?

TASC, the Think Tank for Action on Social Change, has developed a set of ten online guides that shine a light on how government works and show how we can all play an active role in shaping decisions that affect our lives.

Each guide in the Toolkit to Open Government contains practical information, tips, case studies and resources that will help citizens and civil society groups to ask questions, seek information, query public policy decisions and promote alternatives.

The guides cover the following areas:

Decision-Making A-Z

1. Policy-Making: Mapping how national polices are made, including plans and strategies, and key ways to influence them.

2. Public Spending: A primer on how public funds are raised and spent, focusing on how the annual Budget process works and how groups and citizens can campaign for Budget measures.

3. Law-Making: How laws are made and influenced and how to work with law makers to set agendas.

4. European Union: Practical guidance on how the EU makes laws that affects us, and how to play a part as a citizen of Europe.

Putting Knowledge to Work 

5. Finding Official Information: Key pointers on where to look for official information and how to put it to good use.

6. Freedom of Information: A step-by-step guide to requesting information from public bodies and how to make the most of your legal 'right to know’.

7. Open Data: A guide to open government data and how it can put power in the hands of citizens.

Engaging as Citizens

8. Citizens and the Environment: Setting out ways we can all play a part in decisions about our environment.

9. Local Government: How local government works and how to get involved in your city or county council.

10. Citizen Watchdogs: Outlining key ways citizens can work to improve public life and services.

Feedback welcome

TASC has designed these guides as online resources so that they can be updated and expanded. We hope you will find them useful. We welcome feedback and suggestions to Nuala Haughey:

TASC training

TASC also provides training on topics covered in the Toolkit guides.

We regularly run training events in conjunction with The Wheel. Find out about forthcoming training workshops.

We are also available to deliver training to groups. See our Training Brochure (PDF) below.

PDF icon TASC Training 244.81 KB