Promoting Citizen Engagement and Equity Using CivicPlus Technology

Written by CivicPlus

It is the local government’s responsibility to ensure that all citizens feel represented, accepted, and included as valued members of the community in which they live. Positive societal change is more likely to occur in environments where citizen engagement is high, but more importantly, where all citizens feel like a represented part of the place they call home. People want to know that their voices are heard, that their input has value, and that their contributions are an encouraged and welcomed ingredient in the recipe of their community’s short and long-term success and wellbeing.

Progress toward inclusivity can’t happen passively. It’s not enough to say that things will change. Diligent planning and thoughtful dialogue in tandem with enacted evolving policies and a culture of openness and transparency are necessary. Communication of not only your progress but also of your shortcomings and potential roadblocks shows your commitment to perpetual betterment and your willingness to improve.

At CivicPlus®, we are committed to equality and inclusion and support communities who share in our endeavor to create more equitable and inclusive spaces for citizens of every race and ethnicity as well as for those with special needs or disabilities so that they may have equal access to valuable information and feel empowered to be involved in their communities. The following are examples of how some of our solutions can assist you in achieving such results.

Your CivicEngage® Website

Create a page or a site section dedicated to your organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative, and then make sure said resource is given proper visibility on your website by featuring it somewhere on your homepage utilizing a Spotlight, Quick Link, or updates in the form of news items. Several tools exist within the CivicEngage solution to help you create a robust resource that effectively communicates your care and concern.

Share your mission statement on the page, along with documentation and transparent content to show your progress and development to achieve DEI goals. Utilize the calendar to highlight upcoming community engagement events and take advantage of linked social media accounts to amplify messages. Create opportunities for citizens to provide valuable feedback via form submissions, surveys, the Citizen Request Tracker (CRT), and Community Voice features. Create a blog dedicated to specific topics such as racial equality and digital accessibility standards, where your organization’s leaders can share lessons they have learned, the progress they have made, and what goals they’re working to achieve.

Civil Space Public Consultation Platform

Civil Space is designed to facilitate a dialogue in which citizens and government work together to build a better future for every community member. The online bulletin board and gathering place provides a hub for community-driven ideas and allows local leaders to collaborate with people on decisions that impact them. Educate and provide context to issues, raise engagement levels, and harness the feedback that matters.

It can often be difficult to bring the necessary attention to campaigns of great importance; Civil Space allows you to track your citizens’ engagement from start to finish and gives you a better chance at reaching a wider audience.

CivicRec® Recreation Management Software

CivicRec® provides one more avenue for citizens to explore activities and become an active participant in their community. It’s important to audit your programming to ensure that you’re offering the types of activities, events, and classes that foster cultural awareness and enable inclusion. Remove barriers that hinder inclusivity and work to provide a more diverse catalog of options that are mindful of all populations.

Each community’s needs are unique and require data-driven research to be comprehensive and embrace people’s varying backgrounds, experiences, cultures, and preferences. CivicRec, in conjunction with your other digital tools like Civil Space, can provide opportunities to utilize citizen feedback so that you can create thorough, creative solutions that may be nontraditional to supplement existing programs and activities. Ensure your citizens know that your offerings are inclusive and welcoming by incorporating that specific messaging into your recreation catalog and any content or communication that goes along with it.

AudioEye Accessibility Remediation Software

Your website serves as a primary conduit between citizens and government, and so everyone coming to access information and interact with your organization must have an equivalent opportunity to do so. Ensure your website is digitally accessible and meeting the necessary standards to accommodate those citizens with any disability that may require the use of assistive technology like screen readers to access your online data, tools, and resources. AudioEye is software that ensures accessibility issues on your website are being identified and addressed and provides users with a wide range of tools to enhance and customize their online experience to meet their specific needs. AudioEye enables all citizens to consume and interact with the important information your organization presents to its public and, in turn, increases users’ engagement who otherwise might be at a disadvantage.

SeeClickFix 311 and Citizen Request Management Software

SeeClickFix allows citizens to have a direct communication line with their governing body by providing an interface wherein users can submit questions, concerns, and general feedback on various topics, projects, and initiatives in the community. SeeClickFix helps municipalities keep their finger on the pulse of citizen sentiments by aggregating like-comments and identifying trends. If there are concerns about equitable local opportunities or other issues related to diversity and inclusion, SeeClickFix can help elevate those concerns and bring them to the attention of community leaders who can make a difference and provide solutions.

CivicHR® Talent Management Software

When seeking candidates for positions within your government organization, utilize your CivicHR talent and employee management tool to communicate your desire to access a broad and diverse applicant base. Leverage multiple channels in tandem with CivicHR, such as third-party professional recruitment tools, social media, your CivicEngage website, and any other sources that may exist within your community network to reach audiences from all backgrounds. If you have a specific diversity hiring initiative or plan to put one in place, communicate that message to your citizens. Convey your interest in having an applicant pool that reflects your community’s population and share your plan for implementing this inclusive approach.

In Review

Consider where your most effective communications platforms exist within your digital toolkit to broadcast and convey emphatic inclusivity messages. Create improvement plans based on feedback and data. Work to ensure that all community members know that their local government prioritizes equality and celebrates diversity by giving these topics their own deserved spotlights across your digital solutions.