All Our Ideas: All Our Ideas is a data collection tool that has the scale, speed, and quantification of a survey while still allowing for new information to “bubble up” from respondents as happens in interviews, participant observation, and focus groups.
bCisive: The bCisive platform allows participants to make decision maps that capture discussions, organize ideas, explore options, test hypotheses, and analyze reasoning.
Brigade: Participants can express how they stand on an issue and see how they compare with their peers.
California Budget Challenge: The California Budget Challenge educates Californians on the challenges of building the state’s General Fund budget. Participants can explore the pros and cons of budget allocation for numerous state funded programs like education, healthcare, and human services.
Countable: Participants are able to review upcoming and active federal legislation and give feedback on whether they support or oppose the bills. The platform also allows participants to see how their elected officials voted on recent legislation.
CrowdHall: Launched in 2011, CrowdHall allows participants to host interactive online town halls. Participants can post and vote for their favorite ideas, crowdsourcing the discussion.
Crowdpac: To help people become more engaged in the political process, Crowdpac uses data on political candidates to display a more transparent view of the political positions held by elected leaders and, where possible, their positions on specific issues.
DebateGraph: Launched in 2008, DebateGraph is a web-based idea visualization tool focusing on complex public policy issues.
The Deliberatorium: Developed at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Collective Intelligence, the Deliberatorium is a platform that allows large groups of participants to organize insights into an “argumentation map” that can be used to help understand public opinion and potential ways to solve complex multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary problems.
Engage the Power: Launched in 2003, Engage the Power promotes public engagement by posing daily questions from participants through online, broadcast, and print media. Engage the Power seeks to encourage representation of people who are often not represented in public dialogue.
Grade DC: Established in 2012, Grade DC allows participants to submit comments about the performance of DC government agencies. Grade DC also analyzes comments posted to social media sites to calculate a grade for each DC agency.
Infrastructure Report Card: The American Society of Civil Engineers developed the Infrastructure Report Card to communicate the physical condition and needed fiscal investment for improving the nation’s public infrastructure through the assignment of letter grades.
The Living Voters Guide: Launched in 2012 at the University of Washington, the Living Voters Guide allows participants to discuss the pros and cons of ballot measures in order to inform their final vote. Participants contribute their views on a ballot measure and choose the best and worst ideas put forward by other participants. To confirm the veracity of claims posted, the Seattle Public Library provides fact-checking for any flagged claims.
Mike Gatto Crowdsourced Legislation: California Assemblyman Mike Gatto has encouraged Californians to assist in the drafting of probate legislation through a Wikipedia-style drafting process.
Open Town Hall: Established in 2007, Peak Democracy’s Open Town Hall is a cloud-based online civic engagement platform that enables and expands civic participation through online discussion forums.
POPVOX: Established in 2010, POPVOX provides a “transparent, nonpartisan, neutral platform for advocacy and legislative data.” POPVOX allows participants to communicate whether they support or oppose specific legislation and why to Congress. The goal of POPVOX is to increase the impact of public input to Congress by assisting participants in tailoring their messages for actionable policy outcomes.
Public Policy Institute of California: The Public Policy Institute of California has created statewide survey interactive tools that allow participants to create customized tables and charts from an extensive data set covering topics such as approval ratings of elected officials, the environment, health care reform, K-12 education, and many more.
Rationale: Rationale is a web-based decision mapping tool that allows participants to structure arguments, analyze reasoning, identify assumptions, and evaluate evidence.
The Regulation Room: Designed and operated by the Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative, the Regulation Room allows participants to learn about, discuss, and react to regulations proposed by federal agencies.
SeeClickFix: SeeClickFix is a platform that allows participants to report non-emergency issues and for government to “track, manage, and reply” to these issues. SeeClickFix seeks to promote transparency, cooperation, and collaboration between government representatives and constituents.
Students First: The State Policy Report Card seeks to raise awareness on state-level education policies and to empower participants to be advocates for change in their schools.
Textizen: Established in 2012, Textizen uses text messaging technology to allow participants to voice their opinions and give feedback on community issues.
Research Resources Related to Electronic Direct Democracy
Electronic Direct Democracy is the use of Internet platforms to promote direct democracy whereby the public can collaborate and decide policy initiatives.
Citizen Participation and Technology, published by the National Democratic Institute, explores the role of digital technologies in increasing citizen participation and fostering accountability in government. The report includes cases from Myanmar, Mexico, Egypt, Peru, Ghana, and Uganda.
Making All Voices Count: Making All Voices Count supports the development of tools that improve government performance and accountability by empowering constituents to give feedback on government performance.
Participedia: Participedia allows researchers and practitioners to catalog and compare participatory political processes occurring around the world.
Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom
Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson
The Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World by Marina Gorbis
Personal Democracy Forum: Since 2004, the annual Personal Democracy Forum has brought awareness to “how the Internet is changing politics, governance, and advocacy.”
We welcome suggestions for additional platforms and resources for this list. Please contact Brandie Nonnecke, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have a suggestion.