Digital Engagement Tools

How can Authorities use online platforms to facilitate meaningful participation?

Although digital engagement tools have been available for some time, many Authorities have used them for the first time in the past year due to the COVID-19 crisis. The sheer range of tools available, and their differing functionalities, means that the processes of engagement have had to be re-learned. And, as restrictions ease, the move to a blended model raises further issues of best practice.

This Practice Note, written by Eleni Katrini and Yanni Pitsillides, examines the range of digital tools available for community engagement by Authorities involved in regeneration, masterplanning, planning policy consultation and co-design more broadly. Drawing on experiences during 18-month placements at the London Borough of Newham, the resource identifies four different types of engagement and makes a series of recommendations for best practice including:

  • Go wide with digital engagement and go deep with face-to-face engagement
  • Define a clear scope and use relevant messaging to help residents build trust in the process
  • Select appropriate tools to make the engagement as inclusive as possible
  • Be transparent about data and make it accessible
  • Move beyond risk aversion
  • Adopt an iterative process

To find out more about the evidence behind these recommedations and learn how to put them into practice, download the PDF below. In addition to this Practice Note, the Digital Engagement Tools Comparison Matrix gathers commonly used digital tools and organises them by function to help officers select the best tools for their needs.

Tags: #Digital, #CommunityEngagement