Exploring Online Engagement in Public Policy Consultation: The Crowd or the Few?

Helen K. Liu in Australian Journal of Public Administration: “Governments are increasingly adopting online platforms to engage the public and allow a broad and diverse group of citizens to participate in the planning of government policies. To understand the role of crowds in the online public policy process, we analyse participant contributions over time in two crowd-based policy processes, the Future Melbourne wiki and the Open Government Dialogue. Although past evaluations have shown the significance of public consultations by expanding the engaged population within a short period of time, our empirical case studies suggest that a small number of participants contribute a disproportionate share of ideas and opinions. We discuss the implications of our initial examination for the future design of engagement platforms….(More)”