Strategies and designs to increase involvement

Monday, May 7, 2018 - Published by Herma Otter
Vechta (DE) - The University of Vechta started a large-scale economic behavioural decision-making study. Vechta’s citizens were invited to participate in citizen engagement initiatives. The aim: give Vechta’s citizens the opportunity to participate in governmental decision-making processes concerning digital transformation processes in public services.

In cooperation with the City of Vechta, a stand was opened on the local Christmas market in 2017. Citizens were asked to evaluate potential dashboard contents and to communicate their attitudes towards upcoming digital public services. As the major objective of the study will be to explore strategies that increase citizen engagement, the researchers team of Prof. Dr. Vanessa Mertins and Vivien Breitrück (University of Vechta) gathered further information on the citizen’s motives to participate in engagement processes.

The scientists succeeded in determining the citizen’s preferences for dashboard contents which will be tested for implementation by the City of Vechta. Moreover, the majority of the citizens is highly interested in local policies and considers the opportunity to co-decide more important than simple information seeking.

Based on these first results, ongoing detailed studies will be conducted in order to determine adapted empowerment strategies and designs of effective involvement of citizens.

During the upcoming LIKE! Conferences in Angus and Vechta in 2018 workshops will be hosted disseminating the research objectives and results to international and local stakeholders.