From an article by CitizenLab
Over the last few years in many countries, especially in cities and local government, there’s been a shift from top-down governance to more horizontally organised types of government. Cities and local government tap into their citizens’ wisdom through citizen engagement initiatives. The idea behind citizen engagement is that citizens should have some powers over the decisions that affect their lives. One key example has been participatory budgeting.
Citizen engagement requires an active, intentional dialogue between citizens and public decision makers. It is a top-down initiative and is instigated by a governmental body such as a city or a town. The city officials are the ones encouraging citizens to discuss, assess policies and contribute to projects. To do so, they have to provide them with tools to consult and access public information, discuss with elected representatives and monitor the implementation of the projects.
One such tool is CitizenLab. This is citizen engagement platform for local governments. It helps reach more citizens, manage their ideas efficiently, and make decisions based on real-time data. It introduces local democracies to the digital age.
Cities and towns use CitizenLab as a way to collaborate with their citizens, to better understand their preferences and aspirations. It allows citizens to co-create their area or city. It makes decision-making more democratic, transparent and collaborative. CitizenLab aims at making tomorrow’s governments more citizen-centric, through user-friendly cloud software, insightful data analytics and a focus on mobile.
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