9 thoughts on “Technology and Citizen Engagement: Friend or Foe?

  1. Pingback: Friday Findings

  2. Large, global, transdisciplinary Communities of Practice can be effective to support open thematic discussions on specific topics, which can in turn inform policy and practice. For example, the forum Healthcare Information For All (www.hifa2015.org) has helped to inform World Health Organization recommendations on health workers’ roles for maternal and newborn health.

  3. Great article Tiago and Catherine! This is also my experience from Australia and NZ, and I’m in Canada and the US this week to discuss the same. I’m particularly interested to learn more about yours thoughts about architecture and data. I agree with your comments about using the existing sources of data to inform better process – from the tech already trialed and used across the industry, and across Gov.
    The IT, IA and internal systems across most of the Gov agencies I have worked with are not well set up to manage and report this data (especially across IT platforms and data formats) and enable decision makers to consider it. Not just on the related project, but across them and the responsible agencies.
    This is perpetuated because many of technologies available for engagement do not provide APIs, or reporting outputs that enable data to be collated for analysis and reporting. Which means the data that is collected through often does not get collated and reported alongside other sources of input. And compounded by political and sales cycles; and licensing and procurement agreements. Privacy and data sharing are also worth examining if we are to use this information to truly engage and serve the community more effectively. Will you be at the World Democracy Forum? I’d love to discuss further.

  4. Hi Amelia, thanks for your thoughts and glad to discuss further. Unfortunately, don’t think I will be a the WDF.

  5. This is great! I really appreciate you asking the tough question: does all this technology lead to a better democracy. In our work with MetroQuest, an online public participation tool aimed primarily at planning projects, there are two sometimes competing requirements. 1. increasing the number and demographic breadth of participants and 2. making sure that the input being gathered is meaningful (informed, thoughtful, etc). Often we see one being traded off for the other. From our perspective (confirmed by numerous projects) unless both are satisfied the participation can easily be criticized for either being not representative or meaningless. Do you know of examples in which both have been achieved to satisfying levels without costing an arm and leg? Planning budgets are tight and expectations are sky high. We’ve got a few case studies that we feel hit the mark here http://metroquest.com/showcase/projects/ and we’re always on the hunt for other examples using other technologies.

    • Hello Dave,thanks for your comments. I think the way to achieve both goals is by sequencing the process (e.g. deliberation followed by aggregation). I believe the British Columbia’s Citizen Assembly or the Finland Constitutional process are two good examples of that.

  6. Pingback: Questions and answers about Online Public Engagement from NCDD (Part 1: Pre-questions) | Wise Economy

  7. Pingback: Over 40 Papers on Crowdsourcing for Politics & Policy | DemocracySpot

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