Cities of all sizes are tasked with creating strategic plans and budgets. Often, this involves collaborating with multiple departments and juggling short and long-term priorities.
Whether you’re working on a 4-year strategic plan, a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, pr a plan for allocating ARPA funds, community engagement can help you set the right priorities for your local residents and stakeholders.
Participatory budgeting is one of the most direct ways to give your community a say. Your residents can easily share ideas, develop proposals, and vote on their top priorities so you can efficiently allocate your funds.
One of the biggest challenges councils face is setting an annual budget that delivers what residents need despite budgets getting tighter and demands for services increasing. Engaging residents from the early stages can help you gain a better understanding of your community’s current priorities and make better decisions.
Plans should be created alongside your community to ensure you’re meeting the needs and aspirations of your residents and stakeholders. Engage them in your planning process to get ideas or break down plans to get feedback on your progress.
CitizenLab’s community engagement platform helps you launch projects using a variety of consultation methods, without having to juggle different tools.
Use a survey to ask your community specific questions and better understand their needs and expectations, or implement a poll to get feedback on a specific topic to quickly understand priorities.
Co-create ideas and solutions together with your community members by enabling residents to share and discuss their own ideas on the platform or live in virtual workshops.
Let your community members allocate a budget to their favorite project ideas, and get insights into what they think you should invest in.
To make the most of our communities’ collective intelligence, and to allocate our time and resources in a more efficient and sustainable way, we have to maximize the way we use digital solutions.
This guide will walk you through the basics of digital community engagement, but it’s meant to serve as a resource for beginners and seasoned practitioners alike.
We believe that community engagement doesn’t have to be hard. To enable all local governments to tap into the benefits of community engagement, we’ve put together inspirational case studies and practical blog posts showing real examples of how our platform has been deployed as a solution for various use cases.