Author: Allison Zupan
Alberta city shows that online engagement is still important for reaching audiences even after the lockdowns
Earlier this week, the City of Brooks Alberta launched their new online public engagement platform. Brooks launched the new platform with their annual budget survey. This new platform, using 76engage, replaces the linear survey they have used in the past and provides an intuitive web experience for community members to engage with their municipal government.
The non-linear design of this years budget survey allows for participants to move through the engagement initiative at their own pace in an order that makes the most sense to them. Instead of working their way through topics they are not interested in, community members can jump right to the departments they care about most. This design structure encourages more meaningful engagement.
The new engagement platform is fully responsive allowing for people to provide input on the go, using smartphones and tablets.
Keep an eye out for more engagement opportunities from the City of Brooks Alberta and to see how they utilize their new engagement platform!
Quantity or quality of participation? You don’t have to choose.
What should you do? Require that users register to participate or allow anonymous submissions? That is the question. In traditional online community applications, systems ask users to log in or register upfront in order to participate. As we’ve seen, asking users to register before they interact, deters some users from participating. So you end up with fewer submissions. But you don’t have to go all the way to allowing anonymous submissions. There’s a better way to do this.
Infographic: Public engagement in the Canadian mining industry
Natural Resources Canada used 76engage to power their online consultations in support of the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan. Read more to see an infographic of the early feedback received through the platform to-date.
Ongoing community engagement fosters trust and support for change
As more and more people have access to the Internet, the connected city of the future will unequivocally incorporate citizens’ input in everyday decisions. Therefore, organizations must encourage, promote, support and participate in active dialogue with the communities they serve.
On public engagement privacy, Cambridge Analytica, and user trust
Participants must feel at ease knowing that organizations will respect their privacy and protect their personal information. When trust deteriorates, participants will simply stop providing input.
Accessibility and the future of user interfaces
Visual interfaces are inherently deficient in addressing a visually-impaired audience. There is an argument to be made about embracing these limitations and seek solutions outside the CLI and GUI realms.
Online civic engagement and the digital divide
Governments are increasingly keen and open to listening to citizens through consultations and online civic engagement. A small set of data points by the Pew Research Center reminds us that while we are keen to include, the digital divide is still pretty much alive.
Digital Content Producer
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Improving the reach of public engagement
A recent IAP2 event got me thinking about why not more people participate in public engagement opportunities. One of the topics discussed was what could be done to get more people to participate in public engagement? The assumption was that even though some people do participate, more could be done to make engagements more inclusive.
If you promote it, they will come
We’ve all been there. We see a flyer on a street post inviting us to attend a town hall, only to realize that it happened last week. Or we made it to the event, but it was so crowded that the shy people at the back of the room, we didn’t feel confident enough to participate. All of this is gone when public engagement goes online.