Participatory budgets have become one of the most demanded tools by local and regional governments. The Logroño City Council, with more than 150,000 inhabitants, needed a technology that would allow it to increase the participation rates of previous editions. At Kuorum, we’ve been helping governments and businesses increase engagement with less effort since 2013. But each client has a different problem. So, before implementing the tool, our consultants sat down with the client’s team to better understand which processes could be optimized with the new platform.
Improvements in the participation website included in the service
The peculiarity of the methodology applied in the participatory budgets of the Logroño City Council made some modifications to the tool necessary. For example, in many town councils, voting on projects is done in the style of a shopping cart, where citizens vote for as many projects as they wish until a maximum budget is reached. However, in Logroño the rule applies: one person one vote. That is why the Kuorum development team prioritized this new functionality that is already being used by various clients.
This is one of the main advantages of Kuorum’s service compared to consulting companies that install free software solutions. Our technology is proprietary and all our clients use the same code. In other words, the improvements we make for one client are automatically accessible to all the others, without the need to invest again. The economy of scale makes projects more profitable, an especially critical factor for public administrations.
More participation with less effort
In participatory budgets there are many agents involved: councilors, city council technicians, neighborhood associations, groups and citizens in general. Each one fulfills a function. And without their dedication the project would not be possible. Our technology is designed to reduce the effort that all these agents need to invest. For example, in the technical evaluation phase, associations and city council technicians collaborate to determine which proposals are technically feasible and can go on to the voting phase. With Kuorum, this team can collaborate comfortably from home thanks to a project table that allows them to filter projects by theme, order them by number of supports or assign them a budget. If necessary, they can also download the information in Excel to share it with third parties.
Something similar happens with the automatic vote count. Or with the sending of mass communications, very simple thanks to the contact manager that allows users to be filtered based on their previous activity. Technology is not an end in itself, but a means to achieve better results with less effort. And that is precisely what the Logroño City Council needed.
Information security, data protection and interoperability
Another of the characteristics that made the Logroño City Council opt for a Kuorum-based citizen participation website was security. When voting and submitting proposals, citizens must identify themselves with a process that involves the processing of personal data. Not every supplier is prepared to manage this type of process with the necessary guarantees. Kuorum complies with the National Security Scheme and with ISO27001 on Information Security ? the international standard in cybersecurity ? audited by AENOR annually.
Interoperability is not only an advantage for the City Council and citizens, it is a legal imperative. Our technology has various integration mechanisms, from APIs to widgets, which allow the Logroño City Council to connect its citizen participation website with its smart city platform.
Participatory budgets, forums, debates, surveys, voting, events and petitions
Logroño City Council chose Kuorum technology to carry out its participatory budgets. But this has not been the only functionality that has been useful. Reserved events have been very useful to control capacity during the pandemic. The forums have helped the sectoral Councils to reach agreements. And the surveys allow technicians and councilors to collect first-hand information.
Whether you are thinking of opening your town hall to continuous online participation or if you have a specific need to measure the pulse of public opinion on a specific topic, request a demo or contact us and we will advise you without obligation.