For a while now, we’ve been watching the good work that Corinne has been doing over on Simply Understand:
Simply Understand is a unique translation service. If you are fed up with gobblydegook and jargon, and frustrated by endless sentences and hundred-page documents then we are here to help. When everything is simply readable, you can simply understand.
Likewise, WriteToReply is also trying to change the way we look at consultations by breaking them down into paragraphs with unique web links that can be the focus of comment, critique and discussion, both on WriteToReply and elsewhere on the web. We turn public consultations into locatable data that can be scrutinised in context but also exploded to elsewhere on the web.
So if Simply Understand ‘translates’ a consultation into a form that you and I might actually want to read, WriteToReply, provides you with a way to then dig into the original consultation and respond to the parts that are of interest to you. Wouldn’t it be nice if Simply Understand’s translations linked to WriteToReply’s ‘atomised’ version of the original document? Corinne does the commendable but onerous work of making sense of the document, and when you find something that makes you itch, you could go scratch that itch over on WriteToReply by commenting on the original document, knowing that your comments will reach the consulting government department.
So that’s the plan for our next consultation. We don’t know what the document will be yet because you need to vote for it over on Simply Understand. There’s a choice of three consultations:
- How alcohol is sold and supplied – from the Home Office
- A future strategy for adults with autistic spectrum conditions – from the Department of Health
- Protecting animals used in scientific research – also from the Home Office.
and you can also suggest a different consultation if you’ve got one in mind.
We’re still not sure how we’ll bring the two versions of the consultation together. There’ll probably be Corinne’s usual PDF of her translation but also an HTML version hosted on WriteToReply which will link to relevant paragraphs in the atomised version. We’re excited to see how this will work out so hop over to Simply Understand and vote now!