toolkit for policy workshops

There’s nothing scarier than giving someone a blank piece of paper and saying, ‘Go, give me all your ideas.’

Cindy Chang | Intercom

In this section a complete toolkit for the conduction of policy workshops is provided – for each tool there are instructions and practical tips on how to use the tools itself, in which phase of the process/workshop they can be applied and which benefits are to be expected.

Apart from the instruments indicated for the several thematic areas, this toolkit has been specifically put together to be used all together in a complete policy workshop.

All tools are available for download and print.



General tips for conducting
a policy workshop

  • It takes clear and deliberate planning to conduct a co-creation workshop
  • It is recommended to have participants representing all the different stakeholders of the project or the system
  • Working groups should be mixed in terms of age, gender and groups of interest
  • The duration for an entire workshop from problem definition to a concept should be planned for at least half a day
  • The leaders of the workshop should function as facilitators during the working sessions, sitting with the groups and be available to give some input or answer questions
  • Keep track of time during the exercises and announce it to the working groups 
  • There should not be any hierarchies among participants – no matter what position of power they may hold outside the situation
  • Accurately plan your workshop, but be prepared for last minute changes and difficulties and to adapt to those (e.g. cutting the time of an exercise, mix up groups,…) 
  • Participate in similar workshops yourself to get an impression of how things work, what you appreciated and what not

Opening the workshop

  • Prepare some slides for the introduction
  • Give an introduction on the workshop and why the participants have been invited
  • Provide an overview of the agenda to the participants
  • Determine the goal of the workshop
  • Present the participant/the organizations they represent