Evaluating Digital Civic Engagement

A new report from the World Bank Group takes an extensive look at how to evaluate the effectiveness of digital civic engagement.  While largely based on nation-level case studies, the guide provides information helpful at all levels of government, from scoping and planning a process, to determining appropriate technology and data, to analyzing information and sharing findings:

This guide offers a means of assessing the extent to which digital tools have contributed to citizen engagement and to help understand the impacts – positive or negative, intended or unintended  – that the introduction of technology has had on the engagement process. It addresses specific questions: Does adding digital technology to the citizen engagement process really provide quicker, cheaper, easier ways for citizens to engage with the state or other service providers? Can digital technologies lower interaction costs for governments and deliver improved, more targeted development outcomes? What risks come with this new technology – have certain citizens been excluded (intentionally or unintentionally) from the engagement process? Has the way in which people engage and communicate altered, for better or for worse? Has the technology affected the previously existing groups and institutions that were intermediating engagement processes before the technology was introduced?

The report addresses these and a number of other questions in a very comprehensive report including toolkits, assessment tools and more in almost 200 pages.  You can access the report here.

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