Setting up an inclusive participation project is easier said than done. Luckily, there are a few things that’ll get you on the right track in no time.
For more advice on inclusivity, download our full guide here.
Digital participation is inclusive when you reach every group in your community (irrespective of demographics such as gender, social class, age, or location), and when they have the necessary tools to fully participate. But while setting up a participation project, you might find that some groups are harder to reach than others.
So how do you launch a participation project that is truly inclusive? One thing is certain: you’ll have to evaluate the process and adjust accordingly. But there are a few small pointers that can have a great impact on the inclusive value of your project.
- Keep an eye on the language you use to communicate throughout the project. Make sure that it is neutral, doesn’t affirm stereotypes, and doesn’t make assumptions about your audience. Also evaluate which languages are spoken in your community, and make sure that you offer project communication in those languages if necessary.
- Not only your written language should be inclusive, but so should your visual communication. Make sure that your visuals reflect a diversity of cultures, ethnicities, genders and ages.
- When launching your project, it’s a good idea to communicate as widely as possible. If you’re using targeted ads online, consider the widest possible target audience. If you’re communicating through local press, consider which media are covering your project and which audiences they’ll reach. Tip: a great way to reach as many citizens as possible is to collaborate with community influencers.
- Protect your users’ privacy. State clearly why you’re asking for personal data, what you plan to do with it, and (if this applies) offer them options to particiate anonymously.
- Mix offline and online participation approaches to reach a wider audience. Combining a digital platform and an offline strategy (flyers, posters, newspaper ads, postcards, …) will help you to reach both millennial digital nomads and older people who prefer the hard copy.
- If you have a digital participation platform, make sure that its UX is as clear as possible, that it is compatible with all kinds of devices. The software should also cater to visually impaired citizens.
- Measure your results along the way and adjust your strategy if needed. Setting up an inclusive project can be a process of trial and error. Keeping an eye on the project data and changing course whenever you spot problems can make all the difference.
Do you want to learn more about inclusivity and citizen participation? Download our full e-inclusion guide, or head to our resource page. If you have any questions or want to see the platform in action, don’t hesitate to get in touch!