Digital Participation in Times of Covid 19: We have revised selected approaches

With social distancing measures likely to be around for some time and with challenging questions and decisions in front of us, we have seen a the need for high-quality digital engagement flourish.

There is an opportunity to try new online approaches, see what works and what doesn’t, and combine it with as much face-to-face interaction as possible.

Now is the time to leverage on hybrid options combining the best of online with the best of offline. Therefore we have upgraded our toolbox of methods and approaches in terms of what works best for what purpose and process, and what the workarounds can be for translating practice online.

Two of the main changes we undertook included:

  • trying even harder to foster inclusion and supporting participation when taking established practices online, as the space for face-to-face interaction is shrinking daily;
  • adapting estimated timelines to allow for more time in planning an online process as well as in design and in supporting participants. Moving more and more processes online can not rely on simple “drag and drop” but needs to allow for realistic and adjusted schedules as the world regathers itself.

COVID-19 has also meant central decision-making and a transfer of trust to experts. However, there are difficult choices ahead, and the public needs to be even more so empowered to make their voices heard amid all this.

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