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Publication - Consultation Responses

Meeting global challenges and making a difference - aligning international development policy with global goals: analysis of responses

Published: 29 Sep 2016
Part of:

Analysis of responses received during consultation on international development policy.

91 page PDF


91 page PDF


Meeting global challenges and making a difference - aligning international development policy with global goals: analysis of responses
Annex 6: Views on the consultation process

91 page PDF


Annex 6: Views on the consultation process

The online survey included two final questions which asked respondents for their views on (i) the consultation process and (ii) using the Scottish Government's online consultation hub: [12]

Evaluation Question 1: How satisfied were you with this consultation?

Evaluation Question 2: How would you rate your satisfaction with using this platform (Citizen Space) to respond to this consultation?

Each question asked respondents to rate their satisfaction (very satisfied to very dissatisfied), and included a space for providing further comments.

Satisfaction with the consultation and online platform

At total of 113 respondents completed Evaluation Question 1 - tick-box, and 112 respondents completed Evaluation Question 2 - tick-box.

Table A6.1: EQ1 - How satisfied were you with this consultation?

Respondent type Organisations Individuals All
  n % n % n %
Very satisfied 34 44% 14 40% 48 42%
Slightly satisfied 24 31% 13 37% 37 33%
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 12 15% 4 11% 16 14%
Slightly dissatisfied 6 8% 2 6% 8 7%
Very dissatisfied 2 3% 2 6% 4 4%
Total 78 100% 35 100% 113 100%

Table A6.2: EQ2 - How would you rate your satisfaction with using this platform (Citizen Space) to respond to this consultation?

Respondent type Organisations Individuals All
  n % n % n %
Very satisfied 42 54% 19 56% 61 54%
Slightly satisfied 20 26% 7 21% 27 24%
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 10 13% 4 12% 14 13%
Slightly dissatisfied 3 4% 2 6% 5 4%
Very dissatisfied 3 4% 2 6% 5 4%
Total 78 100% 34 100% 112 100%

Both tables show a similar pattern, with around three-quarters of respondents - organisations and individuals - stating they were satisfied with both the consultation (75% very or slightly satisfied) and the experience of responding using the online platform (78% very or slightly satisfied). A higher proportion of respondents were, however, 'very satisfied' with the consultation compared to the online platform.

Views of respondents

Fifty-four respondents provided additional comments at one or both of the questions - 49 respondents provided comments at EQ1 (two of whom did not complete the tick-box part of the question); 32 respondents provided comments at EQ2 (one of whom did not complete the tick-box part of the question). The comments made have, however, been analysed together as respondents often referred to both the consultation process in general and the online platform in their comments at individual questions (particularly at EQ2).

Views on the consultation

There was a range of views on the consultation, the consultation paper and the consultation questions.

The consultation

Those commenting at a very general level were, for the most part, very positive about the process. They welcomed what they saw as an open and engaging consultation on an important issue, and appreciated the opportunity to give their views. Those qualifying their general support made two points: they suggested that the consultation focused too much about on international development, without taking account more account of the domestic aspect of the SDGs; and they hoped 'target' countries have had a chance to give their views.

There were a number of positive comments from those who had attended - and enjoyed participating in - the consultation events.

On the negative side, one respondent thought the consultation was 'farcical' and another expressed some scepticism about the process, saying that their level of satisfaction depended on 'the degree of interest in the responses'.

There were two specific suggestions for how the consultation process might be improved: by offering two versions of the consultation questionnaire - one brief and one more detailed; by sending reminders to potential respondents.

The consultation paper

A few respondents commented on the consultation paper. While some were positive about the document, welcoming it as 'comprehensive and insightful', and 'inclusiveness, open and consultative', others thought it was overlong and criticised it for containing too much outdated jargon.

The consultation questionnaire

The aspect of the consultation which attracted most comment was the questionnaire, with a wide range of mixed views expressed.

Those commenting on the questionnaire at a general level commented on two main issues:

  • Length: Respondents had found the questionnaire long and / or time consuming to complete. Some indicated that this was why they had not completed the questionnaire, while others were concerned that this may have deterred others from contributing their views. This was seen as a particular issue for individuals. One respondent used the phrase 'death by questionnaire'.
  • Complexity of the issues covered: Respondents indicated that they had not always felt they had the knowledge or expertise to answer the questions posed. One respondent thought this highlighted the 'limits of public consultations'.

Those offering positive comments thought there was good range of questions, which were well organised, clear and focused. They further thought that the questions allowed respondent to say what they wanted, and give scope for thinking and reflection.

More often, however, respondents were critical of the individual questions, and offered the following main points:

  • The questions were seen as repetitive, overlapping or too similar.
  • Some questions (and the way they were to be answered) were criticised for being unclear, confusing or meaningless.
  • Some of the questions - Question 1 in particular - were regarded as 'leading'.
  • Some questions were too restrictive - e.g. because of tick-box structure, and filtering - and had not allowed people to respond in the way they wanted. The absence of an open-text box at Question 1 was highlighted.
  • Some questions were not suitable for non-experts.
  • Some questions ( e.g. the questions on priority countries) offered limited value in that they merely invited people to respond in line with their own interests.

One respondent suggested the questions would have benefited from 'pre-testing', and another suggested a question on grant management policies and practices would have been helpful.

Views on the online platform (Citizen Space)

Those who were positive about the experience of using the online platform typically commented that they found it to be 'easy' or 'straight forward' to use, or described it as 'user friendly'.

The comments from those with less positive experience focused on two main issues: technical functionality and the process of completing the questionnaire.

Respondents reported frustrations with accessing the survey using the unique code, and losing a part completed response as a result of a power-cut. There were suggestions for the option of being able to save responses and return for later completion, and being able to review a full response prior to submission. One respondent had encountered problems when weblinks did not work when included as part of a response, and another thought an option to upload supporting documents would have been useful.

Several respondents commented on the extent to which the platform supported the process of completion. Some commented that they would have liked a downloadable version of the questionnaire for completion or for assisting them in preparing their response; others wished to have a way of sharing the consultation with others as part of collaborative completion process.