Tonight’s the night of the Delib Christmas party, which means only one thing: the hotly-anticipated Secret Santa gift exchange! (I’m hoping for some kind of novelty mug.)
Oh, OK, it means two things: it’s also time for our annual look back at how the past year has gone.
So: 2016, eh? Let’s leave world events to one side for a moment – there’s been no shortage of those this year (both the events and the leaving of them to one side to focus on oneself, you might say) – but that’s for other people to cover. Here’s a few snippets of what 2016 has looked like for us:
We’ve hit some pleasing milestone figures – including:
- Dialogue now used by more than 60 organisations
- Budget Simulator now used by more than 90 organisations
- 10,000+ consultations run on Citizen Space
- 1.5m+ responses submitted via Citizen Space
For us, these are encouraging signs that – even in the midst of incredibly stretched budgets and unpredictable political climates – public bodies remain committed to involving people in the decisions that affect them. And that ‘digital’ continues to become more ingrained as just an obvious and important channel for public involvement (you might be surprised how much this is not to be taken for granted!)
We love seeing the huge range of topics that are consulted on using our tools. From headline-grabbing national issues to hyperlocal pilot schemes; entire city spending priorities to early experiments in participatory budgeting – whenever there’s a decision that matters to people, we’re proud to see it opened up on one of our platforms.
Here’s a smattering of examples from this year:
— DfE (@educationgovuk) December 12, 2016
The Australian Government is conducting a review of the National Landcare Programme and is seeking your input…. https://t.co/SLEe7tVBGR
— NRM North (@nrmnorth) October 3, 2016
— Digital Engagement (@ScotGovEngage) October 28, 2016
— Liverpool Council (@lpoolcouncil) December 15, 2016
— This is Edinburgh (@edinburgh) December 10, 2016
As every year, we’ve continued to work on improving our products. The biggest development for us in 2016 was probably the release of Citizen Space v3. A huge amount of work went into this major overhaul, which makes it more responsive, more customisable, easier to use and just straight-up prettier. The vast majority of our 100+ Citizen Space customers are now using the new and improved v3, and it feels good to see their sites looking great and being well-used. Celebratory tapas were had.
We had our first Dialogue user group in April, up in Scotland. We also had a whole round of user groups for our Citizen Space customers in Australia and New Zealand.
And, of course, that whole Boaty McBoatface thing happened – without dampening our enthusiasm for public participation.
We also picked the hottest few days of the year to have our annual team holiday in Dorset (who said 2016 was short on reasons to be cheerful?!)
Lastly, a quick thank you to our customers. There’s been plenty of despair and vexation washing around about politics, government, democracy and so on – perhaps more so this year than usual. Be that as it may, we do lots of work with public bodies and government organisations and the vast majority of our experience – with civil servants, local government officers etc etc – is of people who are deeply dedicated to their work, to serving the public and the common good and who work hard to improve government and civic life generally. So thanks especially to them, for keeping our chins and general levels of optimism up 🙂
Here’s to 2017…