We’re happy to announce a new feature that is going to change the way how CitizenLab is used inside your organisation. Do not longer only count on the admins to get most out of your projects. Welcome project moderators on board to take ownership over the moderation and analysis of individual projects.

We have received numerous requests from our customers to grant users special rights to projects. Cases that kept popping up were: citizen ambassadors leading moderation for their neighbourhood, colleagues from other departments (e.g. urban planning or mobility) gaining insights from citizen input on projects in their thematic scope, partners who are helping set up the participatory process for a specific project, and more.

In what follows we lay out which project moderators can do:

1. Design the participatory process

As a project moderator, you can configure how the user interacts within your project. Use the timeline to add new phases. Each of the phases can have its own behaviour with regards to idea posting, commenting, and voting.

Tip: As a best practice, we recommend at least three phases: (1) collect ideas, (2) cluster them and make your users consequently comment and vote, and finally (3) loop back about the final outcome.

2. Share good project information

In order to increase the quality of the ideas, it is key to share sufficient information: add a project description, attach images (incl. sketches and plans), and communicate all related events going on. Remember: good information precedes good participation.

Tip: In the project description, share which questions you would like to see answered by your users. Use a list of bullet points with the key priorities for the project.

3. Moderate and analyse the input

Once the project is launched, the first ideas will come in. You will receive weekly reports with all key activities, so that you stay on top of things. the ideas overview in your project moderator view help you understand which ideas got the most upvotes and downvotes.

Tip: Timely engage with the users and provide feedback on their ideas. The best way to do so is making use of the idea statuses. Through these, you can communicate whether an idea is actually considered, rejected, or approved.

If you would have any questions on how to use this new feature, do not hesitate to get in touch. We’d be happy to help!

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