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, or 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.
To allocate your city’s ARPA funds it’s important to engage your community so your spending meets their priority needs. 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.
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.
With a population of around 94,000, the Stirling Council area sits right in the heart of Scotland. When the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic sent shockwaves to communities around the world, Stirling Council found itself with a conundrum: how could they get valuable community input without in-person meetings?Learn more
How do you cross the digital divide and blend online and offline (traditional) community engagement? What about during a pandemic? The City of Lancaster used online, offline, and blended approaches to ensure their diverse population was well represented in the City’s new engagement initiatives, which ranged from policing to mobility planning.Learn more
Participatory budgeting can be a powerful tool for cities to educate, engage, and empower communities. As one of the methods ranking highest on the participation ladder, this kind of engagement project transfers considerable decision-making power to residents and stakeholders and thus maximizes the many benefits of community engagement.Learn more
More and more local governments are engaging their communities in decision-making. Whether it’s to increase trust or create more inclusive policies, community engagement has become a central part of local government and we’ve found that digital engagement with CitizenLab leads to 12x more participation on average.Learn more
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a $350 billion funding plan aiming at supporting post-COVID-19 recovery, is often dubbed a once-in-a-generation opportunity for state and local governments. While the main premise may be to solve current issues, there is also hope that this ambitious plan can make communities more resilient to shocks to (inevitably) come in the future.Learn more
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.