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Citizen participation:
building community engagement

The tools of citizen participation play an essential role in strengthening our representative democracy. They enable citizens to be involved continuously in decisions that affect them, even outside electoral periods.

Over the last ten years, involving citizens in public decision-making processes via online platforms for citizen interaction has become increasingly common. This trend has intensified, particularly since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a marked acceleration in the move towards digital mechanisms for participation.

To meet this growing demand, civic tech has given rise to digital participation platforms. These interactive spaces for consultation help governments, local authorities and civil society organizations to involve citizens in various participatory processes, such as planning, budgeting, citizens’ assemblies and the drafting of legislation.

What is a citizen participation platform?

To satisfy the members of your community in the long term and include them in your organization’s decisions, you need to establish an open yet controlled dialog with your stakeholders.

While we often see these digital tools in the context of democratic engagement, they have been used to facilitate participatory decision-making in a wide variety of contexts.

Whether your users are citizens, employees or experts, a public participation platform is a means of informing, engaging and involving your community in a shared future.

This online space for democratic exchange encourages joint construction by activating the collective intelligence of your organization, enabling new ideas to emerge, productive debate to take place and long-term decisions to be taken. It offers a space where citizen participation is transformed into active collaboration, contributing to the collective construction of knowledge and the definition of sustainable solutions.

This online tool for civic expression ensures a good understanding of your community’s needs, regardless of the participants’ profiles. It also enables these needs to be converted into concrete projects for the community. Your platform can host many different subjects for engagement in parallel depending on your organization’s needs.

Local life


Social and environmental impact

Land planning

Quality of life at work

Organizational transformation

Governance and organization

Strategic vision

Digital participation platform:
what is the need? what is the purpose?

Inform and engage your citizens with a participatory democracy platform

These digital participation platforms offer many advantages. For example, governments and other public institutions can now dialog with their voters online, through consultations and polls. These platforms often serve as centers of communication for communities.

Anyone with access to the internet can give an opinion, vote on a participatory budget or follow the progress of a project.

These digital democracy solutions are useful for local authorities (cities, municipalities, county or regional authorities etc.) and, more generally, any organization that wants to involve its community in public decision-making.

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Informing the community

users' expectations by adapting to new uses

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easy use

Engaging with participants

users’ procedures

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Analyzing and interpreting the results

agents’ day-to-day tasks

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Providing monitoring and reporting

the information system

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Keeping the community involved with a community engagement portal

Online platforms for citizen expression play a crucial role in keeping the community informed. These collaborative platforms circulate information about public projects, governance and participation opportunities quickly and widely.

They change the way people are informed. They provide live updates, detailed data and in-depth explanations about topical subjects.

This transparency strengthens trust in public democratic processes, ensuring that all members of the community, regardless of their location and their access to the usual means of communication, can stay informed on an equal basis. Genuine hubs for democratic participation, these digital solutions make it possible to reach:

  • People in isolated areas
  • Parents with young children
  • People with reduced mobility or disabilities

Involving participants through an online space for democratic dialog

Participant engagement is another key factor of these platforms. By providing an interactive space where citizens can express their opinions, share their ideas and collaborate on a variety of projects, these platforms for citizen interaction encourage active participation. They also make it easy to create opinion polls, calls for ideas, discussion forums and other interactive methods for gathering contributions from citizens.

This inclusive approach guarantees that the voices of diverse segments of the population can be heard, fostering a feeling of belonging and investment in community decisions as a complement to public meetings.

Analyzing and interpreting the results

These public participation portals offer advanced tools for analyzing the data collected. Sophisticated functions can summarize participants’ opinions, preferences and suggestions, transforming rich sources of feedback into concise, actionable information.

This analysis helps public decision-makers to understand trends and citizens’ foremost concerns and expectations, leading to informed decisions aligned with the community’s real needs.

The use of data analysis also makes it possible to identify areas that need particular attention.

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Ensuring monitoring and reporting

Finally, this system for consultation with citizens enables effective monitoring of your local authority’s projects and initiatives by providing transparency throughout the decision-making process. This public portal makes it easy to publish regular updates on project progress, decisions taken and future actions.

This continuous monitoring ensures that citizens stay informed and involved and also enables institutions to provide transparent reporting. This ability to monitor and report on progress reinforces the responsibility and integrity of participatory processes.

What are the benefits to be expected from user relationship management software?

Maximise the impact of citizenship


Greater transparency

Improving responsibility

Increased efficiency

Greater transparency

Les plateformes numériques de participation citoyenne contribuent à une transparence accrue dans les opérations des organisations. En offrant un accès ouvert aux informations, aux discussions et aux décisions, ces plateformes assurent que les processus sont visibles et compréhensibles pour tous les participants.

Cette transparence renforce la confiance des citoyens dans l’organisation, améliore sa réputation et son intégrité, et diminue les risques de malentendus ou de conflits.

Les organisations peuvent ainsi démontrer leur engagement envers des pratiques ouvertes et éthiques, ce qui est crucial dans l’établissement de relations durables avec la communauté.

Improving responsibility

Adopting these consultation platforms enables organizations to demonstrate greater responsibility for their actions and decisions. By reporting regularly on their progress, challenges and results, organizations show their commitment to integrity and responsibility.

This approach not only helps make the organization aware of its responsibilities; it also encourages constructive action from citizens in response, leading to continuous improvement in services and public policies. In addition, listening and taking citizens’ opinions on board shows that the organization is committed to serving its community to the full.

Increasing efficiency

Finally, these participatory programs boost the effectiveness of decision-making and project management processes. By centralizing information, facilitating quick communication and enabling in-depth data analysis, organizations can take faster, better-informed decisions.

This efficiency is reflected in shorter time scales, better resource allocation and a heightened capacity to respond promptly to the community’s needs and concerns.

Greater efficiency is essential to maintain the relevance and effectiveness of organizations in a constantly changing environment.

The essential functional building blocks of a citizen participation platform

Consultation and participation software comprises a number of essential functional modules that complement each other

Depending on the publisher, all these building blocks are packaged and delivered with the product, or can be activated as and when the customer needs them.


Collection of contributions



cheque de paiement


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Identity check

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Phygital participation

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Semantic analysis

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of French people feel they are involved in the major decisions taken by their community


would like to be more involved in decision-making


would like their local authority to set up a participatory budget

Extract from the Observatoire des usages émergents de la ville infographic

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Whatever your problem, do not hesitate to ask our user relationship experts and make use of their expertise, coupled with their on-the-job experience.