What questions about CivicTech are asked most often?
For participation to be done well and effectively, one needs to use the right digital tools that allow communication with the citizens and stakeholders as well as the collection of feedback – the so-called CivicTech. Participation Factory has a lot of experience in this field and we keep an eye on many different digital tools. Here are the questions we answer more often than others:
Why should we not create our own tailor-made solutions?
A significant downside of creating one’s own digital tool is a fairly high cost. This doesn’t only include the direct costs of development but also the solution design itself and making sure it meets all your requirements and serves its purpose as well as possible. It’s also necessary to update your own software continually, depending on how your requirements change. In comparison, the costs drop dramatically for an already designed tool and the high-quality ones often come with user support as well. You can also react to changes in your needs better and buy or abandon digital tools as you see fit.
Why is it impossible to have one tool for everything?
On one hand, it’s natural to want one solution capable of doing everything. On the other hand, we use trucks to transport sand even though a station wagon could do the job as well. Individual tools are specialised in much the same way and the advantage is that should you need a particular function of a tool just once a year, you don’t have to pay for it as a part of a universal tool, as you can use and pay for most tools intermittently.
Why is it hard and costly to follow the CivicTech market?
It’s a market that develops extremely fast. The number of tools is increasing; the functions, design and prices change. What are the criteria to select a tool for facilitating stakeholder suggestions for a given project? Of course, you can look up tools on your own, check their references, ask those around you for functional solutions. However, it’s very likely that even after a month of searching in such a way, you won’t be any clearer on what to pick. That’s why we watch the market so we can offer relevant advice.
Why is asking for advice beneficial?
The selection of a fitting tool is a process that begins with a detailed analysis of needs. You have to know what exactly you need the tool for and what functions you require to select the one that’s the best fit for you. We have tried and perfect this process over the course of tens of projects.
Why isn’t a website or a facebook page enough?
Social media is an important part of the communication process, though with severely limited options. Additionally, their algorithms aim to provoke emotion to start a discussion, increase the number of visits and time spent on the site. Constructive communication of several people at once is quite limited. On top of that, they will not provide relevant data that you can subsequently use for your other projects. It’s a good tool to use for citizen or stakeholder activation – however, you can’t rely solely on social media.
These are the questions we hear the most. Do you have any other questions that we haven’t answered? Are you unsure how to pick the best tool for your project? Don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an answer or a consultation.