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About CitizenLab

CitizenLab is a digital democracy platform that facilitates community participation and co-creation. Participants can post ideas, contribute to discussion, or choose to vote and prioritize community projects. Whether it’s through a poll, a participatory budget, or idea collection, the CitizenLab platform offers multiple ways to make your community participatie. During the projects, you easily follow up on its progress and the input you receive. In the end, you can use the input from your community to shape your policies, increase legitimacy, and gain trust.

About CitizenLab#

CitizenLab, a social impact scale-up with its HQ in Brussels, aims to make public decision-making more participatory, inclusive, and responsive. The platform is already being used by over 275+ governments and organizations around the world to engage, consult, and deliberate with their community members. Since it was founded in 2015, CitizenLab gave +750,000 citizens a direct voice in public decision-making and got recognized as 'Best Social Impact Startup in Europe'.

Video - Our mission at CitizenLab

About the platform#

How does the CitizenLab platform work?#

  1. Engage your community: Collect new ideas, receive feedback on your plans, gather votes to gauge support, or host online discussions. All your projects on one platform.
  2. Manage their contributions: Seamlessly moderate all comments, process community input, and collaborate with your team to give feedback.
  3. Decide based on insights: Save time processing inputs and gain a granular understanding of citizens' needs, using the integrated insights tools. Have a look at our Product Sheet if you like to learn more about the different functionalities.

You can also try out our demo platform!

Why should I use the CitizenLab platform?#

Below are the aspects on which the CitizenLab platform stands out compared to other online participation tools available. If you're looking for a platform to bundle all your engagement projects, with a focus on interactive discussions and voting, CitizenLab could be a great fit.

  • Complete engagement toolbox: The platform consists of more than 10 engagement methods that can be used independently or mixed to give your projects shape. The methods follow the so-called Spectrum of Participation (IAP2), ranging from closed surveys to open deliberation and voting.
  • Ease of use: Launching new projects and collecting inputs on the platform is super easy. We've designed the platform with the end user in mind at each step of the process, to ensure that community participation can be most inclusive.
  • Powerful back-office: Every participation context is different. The admin tools give you full control to customize the platform and manage the inputs efficiently. With communication tools built in, you keep your community in the loop about the process.
  • Online workshops (Premium feature): Bring your public meetings online and host workshops to deliberate on topics. In combination with other methods, workshops are most powerful to deepen the conversation face-to-face and find group consensus.
  • Text analytics & insights (Premium feature): As community input keeps flowing in, save precious time processing all data thanks to our AI-powered reporting module. CitizenLab makes use of natural language processing (NLP) techniques to analyze textual input and present you with the community’s main priorities.

Open source#

Why is open-source important to us?#

We made our platform open source because we are committed to further lowering the threshold to participation and to increasing transparency along the way. By making the core of our platform freely available, we hope to empower civic and public organisations with the tools needed to engage their community and make decision-making more participatory and inclusive.

Open-source at CitizenLab

What are our future open-source plans?#

Sharing our code with the world is just a first step on CitizenLab’s “going open” roadmap. In the coming months, we will further enable you to use the software and build on top of it, by further documenting the code base and installing a plug-in development system. Once the plug-in system is in place, you will be able to develop

Open-source roadmap#

✅ Make core functionalities open-source under AGPL (Q1/21) \ ✅ Make our source code publicly available (Q1/21)\ ❌ Make Workshops and NLP modules source-available (Q2/21)\ ❌ Document our APIs to enable data integrations (Q2/21)\ ❌ Install and document the plug-in architecture (Q3/21)\ ❌ Launch a marketplace of community plug-ins (Q4/21)

Get in touch#

We'd love to hear from you how you plan to use the CitizenLab platform, which questions you might have, or what you'd like to build on top of the platform. Reach out to us via hello@citizenlab.co.