PANS: Suggestions for Developing a PAN

Developing the Policy Action Network: Concept and activities 

Democrats are Democrats because of their shared values and commitments. 

The underlying purpose  of the PAN is to provide a framework to enable people interested in a particular policy area to share knowledge and information and promote activism. Only verified DAUK members can be members of the PAN. 

We provide a 'framework', resources, coordination and oversight and the DAUK Officers and Executive Committee set the paramenters and rules, but  we expect each PAN to develop its own priorities, ways of working and types of activities.  It is conceived as a 'bottom up' opportunity to promote discussion of policy and activism within DAUK.  

Policy Areas

The unifying theme for a network could be cast very broadly or more narrowly. Broadly cast topics for future development might include Healthcare, Social Security, Taxation, Electoral Reform, Education or Civil Liberties. On the other hand, more narrowly focused PANs could be set up around issues such as Taxation and Social Security for Overseas Residents, Overseas Voting issues or Foreign Aid policies. To facilitate the growth of PANs, alongside the intial Environment and Energy Security PAN, there are groups and website pages devoted to Healthcare reform and Economic issues (with a particular focus on the financial crisis),  There are opportunities to develop other PANs on Civil Liberties, Education, and Voting and Electoral Issues. In the forums you can meet other people interested in these policies and exchange ideas about what activities you would like to pursue.

Types of Activities A Policy Action Network could undertake any or all of the following:

  • Provide links to the basic relevant policy documents of the Democratic Party or candidates via this website
  • Produce and share analyses, annotated reading lists, sets of websites recommended for information and/or action through an electronic network
  • Organize occasional discussion groups with presentations by members
  • Issue alerts when relevant legislation, debates, etc. occur – so that people can organize or participate in lobbying and campaigns
  • Alert people when there are speakers or symposia on the topic, for example DAUK events and films or non-DAUK affiliated academic conferences, public lectures, or exhibitions.
  • Organize official DAUK events with speakers/symposia for the whole membership
  • Develop and encourage discussion of proposals for the DAUK contribution to the DPCA proposals for inclusion in the Democratic Party platform 

Ways of getting involved

PANs should be able to appeal to people whose interest in the level of detail on policy varies. For example, there will be those who will want to explore and research a topic or issue systematically and in depth,  whereas others will want to compose or receive high quality but concise and brief  summaries that provide well-founded evidence and arguments to support their activist activities, advocacy, lobbying, campaigning. 

PANs should enable members to participate in any way that suits their interests and commitments. For example, people may engage through episodic or sustained involvement or through general or specialist interest.

We should try to harness the expertise of members, whether skilled in policy analysis and its development or in activism and activist links, and respond to their varied levels of commitment. For example, members could indicate their interests and subscribe to involvement on a greater or lesser scale within a network. They could choose only to receive notices about events or alerts about campaigns.

Similarly, the networks themselves could operate at different levels with some providing only basic links and alerts, while others would offer the full range of activities. It is up to you to make the Policy Action Networks work for you and DAUK! Log into the Forums or contact pancoordinator@gmail.com

Resources:

The Pan website:  has sections dedicated to each PAN and can be used and built as appropriate to  meet each PAN's needs.

Calendar of events: on the PAN website is an events section that can be used to advertise DAUK events, PAN events and selected appropriate non-DAUK events.

Forums:  on the PAN website are forums for each PAN. These are only open to registered PAN members and are private. 

Technical support:  technical support is provided for the PAN website.

Events:  The PAN has an event organizer and venue database that can support PANs planning events.

Facebook:  There are closed Facebook groups for each PAN. You can request to be invited to join. 

Other support services that it may be useful for all PANs to share may be developed. Make a suggestion! 

Created by EC