Two workshops on digital participation were held this weekend within the DCP v2.0 project. The participants had the opportunity to participate in an interactive setting to discuss the overall concept and use of digital participation and their approach to it.
The workshops kicked off with introductory remarks about the overall project and an introduction to digital participation as a concept. The plenary discussed issues related to the concept itself, what such examples they have around them, their digital behaviour in recent times (with a special focus on the pandemic and post-pandemic period) and, implicitly, their participation in various initiatives using digital and how these experiences have been for them.
The second part of the workshops consisted in building a digital participation tool. Working in groups, the participants were given a specific theme to work within (the choosing process of the Thematic Year of Youth in Cluj-Napoca), the aim being the observation of how such a process can be conducted and the involving in the creation of a mechanism to better suit their needs and understandings. The workshops concluded with presentations and further discussions on digital participation processes.
DCP v2.0 aims at innovating the civic education process resulting in increased participation of young people in their communities. As part of this innovation, a user-friendly manual will be developed, which will gather and present a collection of known e-participation tools, with practical examples to enhance civic participation. In conclusion, the project attempts to assess whether investing in digital tools to enhance participation during COVID-19 is appropriate. One consideration is whether their use, post- pandemic, will maintain or extend audience participation. Additionally, activities that increase participants’ access to and interaction with planning processes, and the knowledge and data they provide, might also have positive long-term impacts on other stakeholders, such as local communities. However, we need to keep in mind that digital technologies are not neutral and should not be used blindly. As a part of the participation palette, however, they can potentially help projects to reach a larger number of stakeholders.
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If you want to know more about the project, click here.
DCP v2.0 is funded by the European Union through Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV).