Tuesday, 20 Sep 2022  |  Reading time:  8 mins  | Read online

Community engagement through tech

Community engagement in cyberspace? Here’s how it might work...

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Is the future of democracy digital? Uptake not only relies on connectivity but how accessible and familiar those digital tools are. If you’re in local government, you’ve probably made some inroads with online community engagement, seeing the challenges as well as the potential to reach groups on the margins. 

Today, we’re analysing any of the ways we might bring constituents together for consultations, suggestions, reporting or viewing proposals. Together, they’re fighting the tide of democratic fatigue. 

Read our free preview of how digital engagement has grown beyond the pandemic, through web portals, streaming archives and hybrid centres. You’ll bring more people into the projects they should care about. 

In Brief: featured content

Canada Bay Connects

By Sarah Corry – Engagement Coordinator, City of Canada Bay

In this guest article for LGIU, Sarah Corry, Engagement Coordinator for the City of Canada Bay in New South Wales (Australia), takes us through some of the ways they adapted during the pandemic to maintain access to community services and keep citizens connected and supported through the challenging months.

This article was originally released as part of an LGIU series reflecting upon the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic. Each new story explored what this significant and unexpected impact on our way of life meant to individuals, communities and of course, local government. You can check out other inspiring stories here: Unlocked: local stories from a global pandemic.

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Global Local is a subscriber-only weekly newsletter enhanced by detailed policy briefings, which connects you with a community of like minded professionals who are innovating in the local government space.

LGIU Global Local Highlights

🔒 Using technology for public participation
In this guest article for LGIU, the City of Canada Bay in New South Wales (Australia) take us through some of the ways they adapted to the pandemic to maintain access to community services and keep citizens connected and supported through the challenging months. Subscribe to Global Local to read this briefing.

🔒 Insights from Scotland: digital progress by local government
Covid-19 has increased the pace at which Scotland’s councils are delivering services through digital technology. A new report from Accounts Commission finds that councils are at different stages of digital transformation and that greater collaboration, use of shared expertise, citizen engagement and strategic planning are needed to fully realise the potential. Subscribe to Global Local to read this briefing.

🔒 Understanding the value of digital transformation for local government
In this briefing, developed as part of a scoping exercise for a potential collaboration between LGiU Australia and Western Sydney Councils examining the value of digital transformation for local government and how to achieve it, LGiU Associate Richard Leeming draws on his experience in the UK to explore the value of digitisation for local governments. Subscribe to Global Local to read this briefing.

Innovation & Inspiration

Curated case studies and news from around the globe

Iceland: A Citizen Hub For Ground-Up Projects

Better Reykjavik, a debate forum for ground-up policy creation, lets residents log in and pitch their idea to the city – anything from park access and graffiti cleans to appropriate land for development. Other users can vote but not comment. It’s left an indelible mark upon Iceland’s capital, with more than 700 proposals receiving the green light from Reykjavik’s governing board; to date, around 60% of citizens have used the portal. Neighbourhood councils have their say too. Furthermore, 5% of the city’s capital investment budget is earmarked for these proposals, giving leaders a clearer direction for making them a reality. 
University of Birmingham 

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Policy & Resources

Resources: MySociety: Digital Tools For Citizens Assemblies
This toolkit aimed at Western Australian local governments provides a comprehensive yet easy-to-follow guide to the key questions and stages of getting started with a workforce planning strategy, including practice examples, tips and checklists.

Case Study: Emerald: Does Social Media Transform City Government?
The case for social media in local governance appears easy – almost every municipality has one, so surely they must be contributing something to debate awareness or helping residents field their thoughts? However, some governments do it better than others. Emerald’s comparison views three cities (Phuket, Iligan and Bandung) in light of their social efforts for citizen engagement. 

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This week's Global Local bulletin, next week's In Brief

Our paid subscriber edition this week covers short-term rental regulation and how local government has been affected. As always, it includes international best practice from councils learning to successfully regulate the sector.

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