About Scaffle Engage

Scaffle has a simple mission – to help public servants do better engagement.

We want to make sure anyone with a brain and a heart can start engaging, and be bolder and more creative when engaging with stakeholders. This is how the Scaffle planning application, and Scaffle Engage came about.

Drawing on the experience of highly skilled experts in the field, Scaffle Engage catalogues a range of engagement activities, products and providers to help you kickstart your engagement planning. 

Scaffle received grant funding from the Australian Government’s Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII), and is now actively maintained by the team at Collabforge.

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What problem are we solving?

Governments are not known for their deep engagement with the public. Which is surprising, given consultation is a required step in implementing most policies or programs. With so much consultation going on, why don’t we hear more about it or trust the government?

Only 26% of the Australian public trust government to work in their interest. And our trust in democracy is at its lowest level – 60% – since 1979 (Cameron & McAllister, 2016). This is a crisis of legitimacy. And the Australian governments at all levels – local, state/territory and federal are making moves to improve or encourage public engagement and consultation as one of the possible solutions.

We don’t think engagement is falling short because of a lack of enthusiasm, empathy or available tools. But rather, that the right tools can be hard to find. And information about planning for and running engagement can be quite overwhelming.

Forcing policy-makers to engage isn’t helpful if they don’t know how. Badly done engagement can be worse than not engaging at all. And if the policies and services that result from consultation aren’t more aligned to the public interest, the statistics above aren’t likely to change much.

To increase both the quantity and quality of engagement, government departments face two immediate problems:

  1. Capability: Helping public servants not specifically trained in engagement, plan and deliver quality engagement; and
  2. Reporting: Providing evidence that decisions take the voices of stakeholders and the public into account (or if not, why not).

Some departments focus on engagement more than others. But no matter where you work, we created Scaffle to help both and your organisation to take steps to improve engagement capability and reporting.

How does Scaffle help?

We want you to feel that engagement can get better results in your work – not just be a box to be ticked.

Scaffle’s mission is to connect anyone undertaking engagement with the tools they need to work faster, better and more transparently. We deliver on this through our software product and this site – Scaffle Engage.

The Scaffle planning software helps you more easily design and collaborate on engagement plans. It connects to your organisation’s best practice and reduces the work involved in reporting back to the public. And by tracking engagement at an organisational level, it also helps organisations learn and improve.

Scaffle Engage (this site) is the second piece to the puzzle. Engage supports policy professionals or other public servants who may be taking their first steps into public engagement or consultation by providing you with a library of resources.

Whether you’re searching for the right activity, a tool, or someone to deliver engagement or guide you, we want you to feel inspired. There is a lot you can do, even if you don’t have a budget or other resources at hand. We want you to get creative and design for engagement at all stages of your work.

What makes Scaffle Engage different to other engagement resources?

There are some great resources out there and we want to help you make the most of these. We’ll help you find the right resource, supplementing rather than duplicating.

Our approach is to provide a basic level of information, with a public service lens. This helps generalist public servants who must engage as part of their process, feel more confident and inspired to do so – without specialist training.

Our goal is for our content to be light, but practically focused. We want you to get a sense of each activity. So when something sparks your interest, and you follow the links to the deeper information, it’s enabling, not overwhelming.

We welcome your feedback anywhere that you think we can improve! Use the “Give feedback” button at the bottom left of your screen to send us any thoughts.

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Get listed on Engage

We’re just getting started helping engagement teams around the world find the right tools and providers for their projects. 

If we’ve overlooked you, and you would like your product or organisation featured on our site please complete the form below and we’ll be in touch!

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