Designing for digital democracy

Amelia Loye

26 Apr 2017, 12:15 p.m.
Room 9

Engagement is an activity that generates information and relationships. Governments need to effectively manage these relationships if democracy is to be participatory, and the information gathered from citizens through engagement needs to be considered or utilised if democracy is to be truly representative. This is the sweet sauce of genuinely open, transparent and accountable government.

There are so many tools available for online engagement and digital democracy so it can be challenging to make sense of the market and which tools to use in different situations. But this focus is distracting us from the real issue: how governments can use citizen ‘input’ (data they invite from citizens during engagement on policies, programs and services), and leverage the goodwill of those who want to participate in democracy and communities.

Amelia argues that this is the most important impact we need to measure when evaluating the effect of technology on democracy, sharing three case studies of how technology is being used across Australia and New Zealand for engagement, including during disaster communications, urban planning and open government initiatives. She will discuss how 'EngageTech' has helped contribute to successful outcomes, and the challenges that can also arise.

EngageTech, not just online engagement, is critical for representative democracy. How are governments now designing for digital democracy? Let’s discuss ways in which the international Civic Tech industry can help.

Continue the discussion on Twitter with Amelia @emotivate and engage2 @engage2govern.