Once you’ve set up your platform, you will be able to use the below functionality:
Create projects to collect feedback and input
You can choose from different modes of participation, including ideation, gathering input and feedback on specific topics, participatory budgeting (where people are given a budget and asked which projects they would spend that budget on), and conducting polls and surveys. The platform has a basic polling functionality or an advanced in-platform survey builder. If you’d like to use a different survey provider, it's also possible to embed Google Form, Typeform or others.
You can set up a project as a stand-alone with a single participation method. Alternatively, you can set up a project that has multiple consecutivee phases (what we refer to as a timeline project), where each subsequent phase has a different participation method. For instance, you could create a project with four phases: Phase 1 to collect ideas, Phase 2 to ask people to vote on their top ideas, Phase 3 to conduct a survey and get specific feedback on idea implementation, and Phase 4 to let participants know the final outcome and next steps. To make this process easy, you can copy/move ideas and inputs between the phases through the admin interface.
Platform administrators can access an admin interface where they can set up, manage and configure the projects; and use the activity manager to view and respond to posts submitted to the platform. They can also set whether a project is visible to everyone or only certain groups of participants using the access rights and manual groups functionalities.
Proposals are a separate page on the platform where people can submit their own ideas and initiatives. Instead of following the structured call for input of a participation project, it allows people to set their own agenda of what topics and issues they would like to discuss and bring attention to. To provide some transparency and accountability to the process, platform administrators commit to take a specific action (such as a formal deliberation of the proposal or providing an official response) once the submissions have gained enough support. You can define how many votes a submission must receive and a timeline for that vote threshold to be met (for instance, 100 votes in 30 days). Once that threshold is met, you’ll be alerted via email to take the next steps.
With the exception of taking embedded surveys, visitors need to register/log-in to take any actions on the platform (submitting an idea, voting, commenting, etc.). This helps to ensure legitimacy and accountability amongst the participants. Platform administrators can invite people to register on the platform. The ‘User’ tab in the admin interface also allows you to see and manage people who have registered on the platform.
You can also set up your platform so that participants can log in with either their Facebook or Google credentials.
How to get started
- Configure your platform - add in your organisation name, logo, colours, description etc. to display on the platform
- Set up your projects - create new engagement opportunities, add images, descriptions and configure the project phases
- Invite participants - bring people on board, invite them to register and participate
- Manage your projects - respond to ideas, inputs and comments, and update project phases with new information
- Communicate with participants - send emails and add updates to keep everyone informed
Want to test out the functionality yourself? A demo platform has been set up where you participate and view the admin interface.
You may find it helpful to reference the support centre to guide you on the different functionalities.