Guide to Digital Participation Platforms

Guide by People Powered: “In the past decade, it has become increasingly common to engage citizens in various aspects of government via online platforms. In fact, in the release of their most recent data, the publishers of the PB Atlas reported an “accelerating trend toward the digitalization of participatory budgeting,” spurred on by the COVID pandemic.

To satisfy this demand, several comprehensive digital participation platforms have emerged. They help governments, civil society groups, and other institutions engage residents in all types and stages of participatory processes, ranging from planning and budgeting to citizens’ assemblies and the drafting of legislation. 

While we often think of such technological platforms in the context of advanced democracies, they have been used to facilitate participatory decision-making in a wide variety of contexts.

At their best, platforms enable decision-makers or communities to manage:

  • Community and stakeholder engagement.
  • Collective deliberation and decision-making.
  • Public communication.
  • Project tracking and monitoring.
  • Internal coordination.

If you are looking to engage your community through a digital platform, this guide is for you. It explains what they are and shows you how to choose, set up, and run them. We’ve reviewed hundreds of participatory democracy tools and platforms, and this guide shares a limited subset for your consideration (see our Digital Participation Platforms Matrix)…(More)”.