A growing number of cities and counties are experimenting with “online public participation” software. Many see these online platforms as an opportunity to enhance existing public participation processes by reaching out to residents who may not already be currently engaged. These articles and tip sheets are intended to help local officials both select and implement these tools in a way that they more fully achieve the benefits this new technology offers.
This paper provides local officials with a guide to both choosing and using software specifically designed to enable consulting with the public online to enhance local decision-making. It reviews strategies, specific examples by topic, tips for software selection and implementation.
Although the Institute endeavors to help local officials understand technical and legal concepts that apply to their public service, these materials are not technical or legal advice. Officials are encouraged to consult technical experts, attorneys and/or relevant regulatory authorities for up-to-date information and advice on specific situations.