Ministers tackle public concerns on Afghanistan

Ministers tackle public concerns on Afghanistan

Senior ministers have found the ideal platform to converse directly with the public to strengthen support for the war effort in Afghanistan.

Yoosk.com, the social media tool that enables direct conversations between public figures and the general public, has brought the likes of Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth and Secretary for International Development Douglas Alexander closer to the people with concerns about the situation in the war-torn region.
David Miliband has already responded to nearly 15 questions ranging from issues of tackling poverty in the region to what victory in Afghanistan will look like.
The initiative was launched in the lead up to the London Conference on Afghanistan in January, which brought together political leaders from across the world to address issues around lasting peace in the region.
Yoosk stepped in to facilitate a more people-to-people consultation between government figures and various audience groups.
In a video response to the questions, Miliband acknowledged the great concern over British casualties and said it was important that it was addressed. “The objectives are to ensure that Afghanistan is never again a place for international terrorism and I think the concerns are over whether they can be achieved,” he said.
The key driving force behind Yoosk is to encourage ordinary people to put their passion for specific social and economic issues to work by asking the right questions of key decision makers, rating their responses in a Performance League Table and fuelling further debate.
This innovative tool has received further funding from Channel 4’s 4iP investment fund and Screen West Midlands. The six-figure investment will be used to add further functionality to the service, already in use by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Justice, among others.
Central to the development of Yoosk’s toolbox will be the enhancement of its capacity to pull in questions from a wide number of online communities using widgets, Facebook applications and Twitter.
Yoosk’s vision is for elected leaders and other public figures to be available to the public for interviews and conversations online. A key motivation is to popularise participation, empowering the public to take a greater interest in the political process.

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