Accelerating engagement through online citizen participation

17-03-2023

It doesn’t matter if you call it citizen engagement or citizen participation; public sector organizations have a legal and moral duty to consult with the public on new projects.

Gaining residents’ views, insights, and opinions is critical to building trust in your new service, development, or innovation. In a digital world, old-fashioned engagement activities aren’t effective. Learn why more and more public sector bodies are embracing the power of online citizen participation to accelerate engagement.

Convenient consultations

Imagine you’re a parent of two young children invited to a planning meeting at 8 pm. Tired from a day at work and without childcare, you can’t attend. Decisions will be made that impact you and your family – but your voice isn’t heard.

The reality is that in-person citizen panels, town-hall meetings, and self-completion questionnaires only engage a small section of your population – leaving a large proportion without a voice.

The solution? Building an online citizen’s panel with CMNTY.

Why? Because online citizen engagement platforms empower residents, enabling them to participate when they want and on their chosen device – independent of having to be in one place at one time.

Citizens can share their views and participate in conversations and activities about the themes that matter to them. Councils, municipalities, and Government bodies can design interactive experiences that make sharing ideas fun.

Public sector bodies that build an online community benefit from much higher levels of engagement – particularly among hard-to-reach groups, such as Gen Z.

Building trust

Removing barriers encourages conversation, something critical to building trust. Residents and stakeholders want to know they are listened to and can influence outcomes.

One of the key benefits of online citizen engagement is speed. Using CMNTY, consultation exercises can be created quickly and shared with participants. Results are available in real-time – providing a powerful communication channel between your public sector body and the people you represent.

While online citizen participation is suitable for all consultations, it’s ideally suited for large and complex projects. Examples include housing, construction, liveability, and sustainability developments impacting individuals and communities. Through CMNTY, you can share visuals and provide crucial context for participants. Without time constraints, they can engage with material multiple times, forming their own opinion – without influence from others. CMNTY provides a digital “safe space” where participants can be genuinely open and honest in their feedback.

Accelerating engagement

Online citizen engagement is convenient and cost-effective. Organizations can manage large consultation exercises involving hundreds or even thousands of residents at a fraction of the cost of traditional engagement activities.

Digital solutions like CMNTY are transforming engagement, giving individuals of any age, gender, race, or economic group a voice. Simple processing and data capture provides instant access to insights, enabling operators to listen, learn, and act with total confidence. It’s the future of citizen engagement.