Regional government encourages citizen participation

In 2011, former US President Barack Obama launched the Open Government Partnership program (OGP) – a process designed to make governments more open and communicative with their constituents. In accordance with the OGP, in 2013 the regional government of Extremadura passed a law that would require the region to improve citizen participation, government transparency, and political accountability.

However, four years later, in 2017 when Ignacio García Peredo was chosen to serve as Extremadura?s General Secretary of Public Administration, he was disheartened to learn that no progress had been made toward these three goals. With the promise Extremadura had made with the OGP in mind, Ignacio García Peredo decided to take action by implementing an initiative to increase citizen participation. But working on his own without an expert-level understanding of digital participation software, Peredo was unsure of where to begin.

That?s where Kuorum comes in. As a tool to help manage and increase participation, Kuorum gives clients the means to create their own websites that include features designed to aid in growth and organization every step of the way. By supporting Peredo through consultancy services, Kuorum helped set up the tool for him with correct security standards and appropriate personal data protection regulations, so that all he had to think about was responding to his citizen?s ideas. In order to jumpstart the process of citizen involvement, Ignacio used Kuorum?s forum feature to easily set up an open online forum where citizens could submit proposals for new programs or ideas that answered the question ?How do you want your government to attend to you??

During this process, which lasted for the duration of November 2017, Peredo could directly access and respond to each proposal made by a citizen on the website he had set up through Kuorum. Accordingly, through this method of response, many citizens were given a clear demonstration of the precise lines of open and fast communication that they had requested of the government in their proposals, while Peredo was able to demonstrate his commitment to community involvement and collaboration.

Kuorum was further able to help Peredo by preparing the regional government of Extremadura for future projects surrounding digital integration. Through Kuorum?s event feature, Peredo organized and carried out two training sessions for Extremadura?s personnel, thus ensuring that the government will be prepared for similar initiatives in the future.

By January, 2018, after receiving more than 70 citizen proposals and more than 4,600 views of the forum, Kuorum categorized and put together the citizens? recommendations into a comprehensive proposal of citizen actions, 33 of which were chosen by the regional government of Extremadura to look into further. As a final result, Kuorum was able to assist in Ignacio García Peredo?s goals of boosting citizen participation, and beginning to develop more ways to communicate with Extremadura?s citizens as they look to implement the agreed-upon actions in the future. And with the success of this initiative, Peredo gained recognition within both his department, and his community.