…on something that’s already been done. Arrgghh!

Update 2009.05.02: I discover tonight that my presentation was wrong on one key point: that there weren’t any major experments in electronic/online participatory budgeting going on. Ha ha ha. I need to read more. Much more.

The southwestern German city of Freiburg im Breisgau, population ~218K, conducted an ePB trial April 7 to May 9, 2008. They combined online discourse, face-to-face discussions, and surveys.

The online tool is Demos-Budget, interactive planning software — server-side database, users need nothing but a browser. It has a graphical interface with budget sliders.

The online trial elicited the following participation:

  • 1861 registered users
  • 15K visits
  • 240K page views
  • 757 discussion forum articles
  • 1291 budgets with 914 text explanations
  • 22 issue-specific wikis

City government was on board 100%, funding the project and committing to incorporating the results in the actual budget.

“Lessons Learnt”:

  1. Aggregate the data for regular users; have detailed data ready for those who request it.
  2. Expect gamers and gunners; get moderation.
  3. Integrate online and offline activities; they each make the other better.
  4. Participants have to know this isn’t just a game; make it count! Get the city on board!

Read the details at ePractice.eu. By the way, Frieburg im Breisgau has a remarkable reputation as one of the greenest cities in the world.

——————original post, 2009.04.18———————–

Hey! I presented today! It was fun! Thanks to all who attended. If you’d like a copy of the presentation, you can download that (in .pptx format) right here. The full paper is available in the conference proceedings. Enjoy!

—And now I’ve just learned how to embed slideshows via Slideshare in WordPress! Kudos to Joe Bartmann, who always knows which button to press!