Crowdvocacy: bridging political participation, digital campaigning platforms, and civic crowdfunding

Published on 12/05/2018 - Decide

Self-managementSharing resourcesSocial InnovationICTsTransparenciaCollective decision-makingMedia

Contributors: Platoniq

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The positive reception among citizens and the great expectation generated by the digital platforms for citizen participation of the municipalities of Madrid and Barcelona - Decide and Decidim - highlight the need to strengthen this form of direct democracy.

At the same time, only a very small number of proposals currently have the projection and visibility necessary to achieve a sufficient mass of citizen adhesion. We propose to intervene in the digital platforms that potentially stimulate direct democracy in the urban context, through the symbiosis allowed by that the fact of working with APIs and the civic crowdfunding platform called Civic crowdfunding is a powerful instrument for public participation and policy innovation, with many initiatives crossing boundaries between activism, advocacy, social entrepreneurship and social innovation

This proposal seeks to stimulate forms of digital democracy. It is based on Platoniq observations and on the data generated both in and in other platforms, which indicate that the association between platforms produces more impact, in addition to greater satisfaction in the process and therefore more engagement.

Crowdvocacy proposes to cross the two types of participation (municipalities' platforms and Goteo). We define Crowdvocacy as a distributed and coordinated process between different platforms where civic initiatives can amplify their influence, obtain resources, and stimulate the leadership from the promoters of civic initiatives in outreach activities. We seek to test this process with two pilots, one in Madrid and one in Barcelona.

The Crowdvocacy Cosmology

The first is based on what we call "progressive engagement", using a gamification approach. It focuses on providing incentives to the participants as they meet specific gradual goals and, on the other, when reaching them, rewarding them with new resources.

The second pilot seeks to design and implement a technological solution that allows linking the communities of two potentially complementary areas between and Decidim. These pilots will take us to what is known as the "plug and fund" of direct digital democracy, which ultimately seeks to stimulate participation, democratic culture and the impact of citizen initiatives on public policies.

Our plans

We will study concrete ways of implementing this combined system of Crowdvocacy from systematic data analysis and also from the comparative analysis of civic crowdfunding cases. This analysis will be led by the objective of finding ways to enhance citizen involvement and impact.

We have very valuable anonymized data that will help us understand more the profiles, geographical distribution and even the motivations of the communities of citizens who have supported proposals in both civic platforms and in Goteo.

As a way to determine a common language readable to key actors such as policymakers, we will propose a framework for measuring the impact of the proposals, common to the different platforms, and that can be integrated in widely recognised models such as the Sustainable Development Goals.

We will develop a model to connect initiatives in Goteo and other civic participation platform that will potentially team up by topic –ecological, social, political–, or by geographic scope, to design, launch and promote citizen initiatives that reach their goal.

In short, Crowdvocacy seeks to promote more direct democratic action, improving participation and the impact on public policies.
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