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Participation online survey -

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Participation online survey


Survey Postponed - Due to a clarification of funder priorities, work concentrated on our very successful Inclusive Social Media effort. This initiative may be restarted officially with future interest. Note the All Our Ideas survey for Q4 as well as the Sunshine 2.0 indicators effort.

Please comment on this draft to:

To get involved now, join the online working groups linked from the Participation 3.0. We will also be using the CityCamp Exchange and the Democracies Online Exchange for input on this draft survey.

Update pending - We have decide to run two surveys - the one minute short form and the ten minute long form. The draft below remains a too long version of the long form.

DRAFT Survey Questions

Welcome to the Participation 3.0 start-up survey.

Your response matters. It will shape the Ford Foundation-funded Next Generation Ideas process led by

By the end of 2010, we will collaboratively propose the top ten ideas for "what should be universal to all local communities" with the next generation of local online civic engagement - transparency, participation, collaboration, problem-solving, inclusion and community building.

To make something "universal" we will explore system changing ideas and foster proposals that help define the foundation for what is required to be an effective local democracy and a vibrant open community using emerging communication technologies. Past generations brought us the freedom of speech and assembly, elections with the right to vote for all, public meetings and notice laws, Freedom of Information rights, community service and more. What ideas do we have that will truly transform governance and community during this cross road of history using the new tools of our era?

Every question is optional.

Because we are focusing on a specific range of ideas and perspectives, the question introductions are quite detailed.

Q1 - Updated

1. Updates - Would you like important updates on the Participation 3.0 initiative?

If yes, simply enter your e-mail address:

Q2 Your Perspective

2. Your Perspective - Please select the identities or perspectives that best represents you (up to three).

Public and Community

  • General Public - Everyday Citizen
  • Active Citizen - Political
  • Active Citizen - Neighborhood or Community Service Volunteer
  • Non-Profit Organization
  • Researcher


  • Civil Servant - General
  • Elected Official or Staff Member
  • Government "Webmaster"
  • Government IT - Tech-oriented
  • Government Communications Staff
  • Librarian


  • Open Government Advocate
  • Participatory/Deliberative Democracy Proponent
  • Direct Democracy Proponent
  • Blogger
  • Journalist


  • Technologist - Software Developer, Web Developer, Geek, etc.
  • Creative - Internet/Social Media/Online Design Expert
  • Business - Government Technology Provider/Company


Q3 Open Question

3. Open Question - You came to this survey for a reason. So what matters to you? What big idea do you have? Or more specifically, what would you like to see "online" for your local community? What matters most to you with local online civic engagement? Share your hopes, desires, or current successes online in your local community that you think should be everywhere.

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Q4 Sharpening Priorities

4. Sharpening Priorities - In a world of limited resources and time, there is confusion about what should be tackled first (and be led by whom). The lack of clear "where should we start" in our community first guidance is leading to no action in the vast majority of places. Potential local community leaders or instigators (be it an elected official, a community leader, or fresh face in local public life) ready to take up this cause get lost in the sea of what's possible and cannot find what is more likely to succeed as a first step.

Further, when it comes to participation and transparency online, "demand" is often not expressed nor measured. The public does not "comparison shop" between local government, media, or community sites far away, so they do not tend to ask for something they haven't seen or envisioned.

This is where you come in. Let's tentatively prioritize "the demand" for innovation and action to guide our next explorations over the next few months. We will be using your prioritization input to help craft the top ten themes/proposal for the next generation of online civic engagement. Each theme might contain multiple features and ideas including new ideas you submit under "Other."

Select up to three ideas or features in each category that you think should be universal to all local communities in democracy or at least interest you the most.

(options will be rotated)

* Transparency

    • Timely, personalized information access online - to all public decision-making documents, meeting agendas, etc., with personalized notifications of new government information and events based on keywords, interests and/or geography
    • Digitally record and webcast all public meetings (audio and/or video)
    • Open data catalog platform - for use by multiple local governments and open standards efforts
    • Local transparency promotion - educational campaign for local officials and citizens a like
    • Update laws - Open government requirements updating open meeting laws, freedom of information, dissemination requirements, privacy, open standards, etc. to enable greater use of online opportunities in governance
    • Detailed government spending information (beyond proposed budgets)
    • Public document registers - comprehensive "public=online" listing of all legally public documents (like Estonia)
    • Inbox transparency tool - a system for public transparency into electronic communication influencing government decision-making
    • Digital sunshine index - rate and compare local open government efforts online

* Participation

    • Public meetings online - Encourage public comments on agenda items before, after in-person meetings as well as real-time participation including remote "Skype" testimony
    • Elected officials online toolkit - to better represent their constituents, understand and respond to electronic correspondence, have an interactive voice in governance well beyond the flat photo and bio on the local government website
    • Local online town halls - two-way consultations and exchanges on local public issues
    • Community survey platform - frequent questions from local government, community groups, and the public with results weighted by demographics
    • E-petitions - Hosted by government connected into official processes
    • Participation Week and Directory - i.e. Sunshine Week (
    • Local e-advocacy tools and advice - Help like minds in a community better organize to pursue their shared local political goals
    • Community task force tools - Transparent online working groups for government committees, community alliances, and others working to address a local public challenge
    • Idea competitions and small-scale funding platform - New ways to resource creative solutions at the local level
    • Assured Identity - Enable public rights based on stronger, verified identity to provide fully personalized democratic and government services that a verified identity can provide

* Inclusion, Community Building, Collaboration and Problem-solving

    • Neighbor to neighbor social networking/Electronic block clubs - Networking to connect nearest neighbors for community life, crime prevention, and things neighborly
    • Inclusion outreach - Major efforts to engage lower income, immigrant, diverse communities, youth, etc. in a full range of online civic engagement activity (beyond Internet access and more social service related information)
    • Community solutions and exchange - Tools to support ad-hoc community action and service among local people as well as idea exchange among community leaders (broadly defined) across all communities
    • Community calendar networks - Sharing and aggregating all government, community center, parks, schools and related events in a standardized way across a community
    • Community portals - Major starting point for local community information and news from across local public and non-profit institutions, often publicly supported in part
    • Multi-lingual guides and training - simple online guides on how to participate locally for reuse across many local sites
    • Community participation training online
    • Better voter guides - Who is on local ballot, comprehensive local voter guide information well beyond names
    • Register to vote online, update address
    • Overseas remote electronic voting for military personal and others
    • Secure remote electronic voting for any absentee voter
    • Locals Online - Community-wide public forums, e-lists, blogs, social networking

Other - This rough list of ideas is by no means complete. Let us know what is missing to help shape our deliberations:

Q5 Open Data

5. Open Data - There is a big idea out there - governments should release more "open data" from the databases they create and maintain. The released data would be reused by third-parties to present the public with innovative ways to query, monitor, "mash-up," and be alerted in a personalized and timely way about new information that matters to them.

The current real-life example is that the National Weather Service and the dissemination of weather information. With government-funded weather data, you tend to access your localized information through the media or online rather than from the government directly.

Getting this often real-time data out of governments as well as organized into standard formats is a major undertaking that requires prioritization to muster the resources and political will required. Leading governments themselves are also interested in providing better tools that provide deep access to or directly disseminate the resulting information and knowledge that comes from data they hold.

First, who are you?

  • A. Public - An end user seeking access to information
  • B. Data Re-User - Someone who obtain and reuse raw data
  • C. Data Holder - My government organization holds or is responsible for data

Data Reuser - Based on your perspective, what data theme do you want to gain real-time/frequent access to with the greatest priority?

Data Holder - Based on your perspective, what information services do you want to enhance and provide to the public directly with the greatest priority?

End-user - Based on your needs or interests, what information or personalized "what's new" alerts do you want with the greatest priority?

Pick up to three. This list includes data on general government services that would allow you to see the results of your tax dollars being spent.

  1. Decision-Making Information - Meeting notices, agendas, documents, minutes, votes, who represents me, voter registration
  2. Crime - 911 Calls, Incident Reports, Arrests, Convictions, Dropped Charges, Child abuse/neglect, Probation/offenders
  3. Property - Housing and Buildings, Permits, Code enforcement/violations, Valuations/Taxes, Vacant properties, etc.
  4. Quality of Service/Life - 311 requests, Graffiti, Litter reports, Civil tickets, Self-serve directory information
  5. License Applications - Business, liquor, special permits, etc.
  6. Zoning and Development Applications - Planning alerts, Development plans, New construction permits/variances
  7. Health - Health code inspections/violations, Disease outbreaks, Public health trends, Hospital admissions by cause, births/deaths
  8. Transportation - Real-time traffic or mass transit data, road closures, repair requests/schedules/conditions
  9. Public Assistance - Application, spending trends
  10. Pollution - Air, water, ground, etc.
  11. Education - Enrollment/class sizes, Daily truancy, School performance/testing, Free and reduced lunch populations
  12. Government Spending - Details through year not just budgets, Purchase orders
  13. Government Contracts - Available, awarded
  14. Campaign Finance - Donations to Local Candidates
  15. Ethics Filings - Elected officials, top civil servants, lobbyists
  16. Public Employees - Directory, Salaries, Hiring, Terminations
  17. Local Map and Geographic Information System Data
  18. Business Trends - Employment, unemployment, small business loans
  19. Real Time Super Pak
  20. Events - Community calendars from community centers, libraries, parks, schools, etc.

Next page

Q6 Open Government Directive Themes and Local Government

6. Should the "transparency, participation, and collaboration" themes from federal Open Government Directive be actively addressed or examined by your local governments? If yes, answer how? If no, why not?

Q7 Get Connected Options

7. Get connected/informed options

Responses to the survey questions above will not be attributed by name if you share contact information below.

  • Name:
  • Org:
  • Etc.

Check how you would like to participate. These are possible channels for engagement, not promises.

  • [ ] Follow updates via e-newsletter
  • [ ] Follow updates via project blog
  • [ ] Follow updates via Twitter
  • [ ] Follow updates via Facebook Fan page
  • [ ] Webinars - Teleconferences (Schedule available)
  • [ ] Time-limited online conference/forum
  • [ ] Online working groups/e-lists
  • [ ] Idea competitions (using IdeaScale, UserVoice, etc.)
  • [ ] Future online surveys
  • [ ] In-person discussions tied to existing conferences
  • [ ] Online group writing and editing sessions
  • [ ] Final proposals/partnerships drafting group retreat (travel, lodging at your cost)

8. Are you a current participant on any of or related forums:

  • A. Local city-wide Issues Forums
  • B. CityCamp online community
  • C. Any of the Participation 3.0 Online Working Groups
  • D. GovLoop
  • E. Democracies Online Exchange or Newswire
  • F .

How did you find out about this survey:

Check here if you are responding from outside the United States.

Exit page:

1. Invite others to complete from:

2. Join online working groups.

3. Sign-up for the opening input webinar/teleconference of greatest interest.


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