Discourse used for participatory governance/transparency/idea generation?

(Christoph Berendes) #1

[Updated to add reference to Taiwan’s apparent use of Discourse for this kind of project.]

In brief: has Discourse been used for participatory government projects (aka transparency, ideation, participatory budgeting)?


I just mocked up a set of demos comparing

  1. Uservoice.com
  2. Useresponse.com, and
  3. Discourse.org

as online portals for proposing and discussing infrastructure investment ideas for a regional US government. E.g. “resurface the XYZ river bridge”, “put in green roofs on all the government office buildings”, etc.

Discourse came out pretty well, thanks to

  • highly configurable moderation and flagging
  • ensured data export
  • ability to turn off voting
  • catching possibly duplicate topics (aka project ideas) before they’re posted
  • highly configurable categories and home screen

It seems to me that Discourse could be tuned to mimic uservoice and other ideation, as well as “discussion” tools like mySidewalk.com.

Which got me to wondering: has Discourse.org been used for participatory government projects before? I see a couple of threads on meta for possible future use, but that’s it.


PS After I posted this, I found this write-up of a Taiwanese project: vTaiwan: Public Participation Methods on the Cyberpunk Frontier of Democracy | Civic Hall

via ParticipateDB: The Digital Engagement Tool Directory

(Sam Saffron) #2

Note, we also have the feature voting plugin by @joebuhlig