Public-i ePetitions system


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Public-i ePetitions system

  1. 1. ePetitions user workshop <ul><li>Project initiation workshop: site / date </li></ul>
  2. 2. What to expect: <ul><li>Agree a common understanding of what we mean by petitions </li></ul><ul><li>Get an introduction to the system </li></ul><ul><li>Start a discussion about petition moderation </li></ul><ul><li>Do some project planning and get a list of actions together </li></ul>
  3. 3. Agenda 15 minutes Welcome and coffee 45 minutes Introduction to Petitioning 1 hour Discussion of workflow and walkthrough of workflow of current petitions system 30 minutes Training on petitions system including: 45 minutes Discussion on petition moderation 30 minutes Marketing of petitions 15 minutes Project planning and Wrap up:
  4. 4. <ul><li>Introduction to Petitioning </li></ul>
  5. 5. Introduction to Petitioning <ul><li>What is a petition? </li></ul><ul><li>noun 1 a formal written request, typically one signed by many people, appealing to authority concerning a cause. 2 an appeal or request. 3 Law an application to a court for a writ, judicial action, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Oxford English Dictionary </li></ul><ul><li>Different things in different places: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Petitions can be used a formal tool or just as an awareness raising mechanism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the UK the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill is in the process of making Petitions statutory for UK Local Authorities </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Introduction to Petitioning 10 Downing Street : The Scottish Parliament German Bundestag Website Bristol ePetition website Kingston ePetition website Dutch ePetition Website
  7. 7. Introduction to Petitioning 10 Downing Street : “ We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to.. ” Launched in November 2006 the No 10 Petitions website has become one of the the largest non-partisan democracy sites by volume of users ever, with over 8m signatures from over 5m unique email addresses, representing around 10% of the entire UK population. 200 signatures on an ePetition will trigger an email response from the UK Government.
  8. 8. Introduction to Petitioning In July 1999 the Scottish Parliament was officially opened, and by December 1999 the Scottish Parliament accepted its first e-petition working with its newly established Public Petitions Committee. As there are large rural areas in Scotland, their ePetition system allows citizens to collect support widely for their petition. It also allows petitioners in different parts of the country to co-ordinate their campaigns and is useful for the Parliament in identifying where an issue has widespread support. The Scottish Parliament
  9. 9. Introduction to Petitioning Through the Bundestag ’ s ‘ Online-Petition, ’ any person in Germany, upon entering his personal data, is able to submit a petition online. Citizens are can contribute their own personal suggestions and complaints to the political process. Alternatively, a form can be downloaded and submitted per post. German Bundestag Website
  10. 10. Introduction to Petitioning Live since 2005, the Petities.NL website allows the Dutch population to create and sign petitions. By the end of 2009 the site is looking to be connected to all municipalities and to the Lower House of the Dutch government. Dutch ePetition Website
  11. 11. Introduction to Petitioning Public-i worked with Bristol, with help from Napier University, to rewrite the system as a piece of open source technology The views and opinions of citizens living in the Bristol region can now be collected and discussed through their ePetition and Askbristol site. The discussion results are forwarded to government officials and media representatives. The goal is to thereby achieve the citizen-oriented design of future plans for the Bristol region. Bristol ePetition website
  12. 12. Introduction to Petitioning The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames offers the option of submitting petitions online as well as supporting or commenting on the requests of other petitioners. Kingston ePetition website
  13. 13. Why the excitement? <ul><li>What democratic purpose can petitions serve? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It provides a mechanism by which citizens can ensure that their concerns and ideas are formally addressed by an authority. It is a chance for the public to contribute to the agenda and not just the debate </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Citizens ’ Perspective <ul><li>People get petitioning – it has a big impact </li></ul><ul><li>Openness, trust, ease of use </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting a cause is very easy: no registration, just provide a few details about yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Access to information is easy </li></ul>
  15. 15. And how can it help? <ul><li>What possible outcomes can petitions achieve? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>considering the petition at a meeting of the authority; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>holding an inquiry; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>holding a public meeting; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>commissioning research; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>giving a written response to the petition organiser setting out the authority ’ s views about the request in the petition; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>in the case of a principal local authority operating executive </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Draft Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill 2009) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>And why do it online? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online only is never an answer but its an important additional channel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Efficiency! Repeatable ‘ bulk processing ’ tasks work well online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Democratic leverage. Signing a petition is a relatively easy step for someone to take but can lead them towards more substantial online engagement if you use it as an opportunity to market </li></ul></ul>Online or Paper
  17. 17. Evaluation <ul><li>How will you judge the success of the project? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of petitions? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of people participating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews with Members, Officers and Petitioners to find out if they found it a useful process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>EuroPetition project will be carrying out evaluation of the impact of this system </li></ul>
  18. 18. Discussion <ul><li>What is your view of the possible outcomes? What will you do with petitions? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you think there is a role for paper and ePetitions working together? </li></ul><ul><li>Who do you think will start a petition? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you want to evaluate </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>What is a petition ’ s ‘ journey ’ ? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Discussion of workflow <ul><li>Workflow should illustrate the ‘ journey ’ of a petition </li></ul><ul><li>Will indicate the different ‘ roles ’ involved in the process </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome: Check your internal workflow against the system workflow to see where changes need to be made on either side </li></ul>
  21. 21. Stakeholders and actors <ul><li>Stakeholders and actors are any user who will interact with the system. Currently these are: </li></ul><ul><li>Petition signatory A - One-off users </li></ul><ul><li>Petition signatory B - Signed up to the mailing list </li></ul><ul><li>Logged in User – account owners who are repeat visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Petition owner – anyone instigating a petition </li></ul><ul><li>Officer – Council staff supporting the petitions </li></ul><ul><li>Site Admin – technical support and management </li></ul><ul><li>Moderator - Council staff responsible for moderating comments </li></ul>
  22. 22. Workflows <ul><li>Workflow encompasses: </li></ul><ul><li>Petition owners who are the starting point for the process </li></ul><ul><li>Council Administrators who are managing the petitioning process </li></ul><ul><li>The system itself which automates the workflow process </li></ul><ul><li>The petition lifecycle is another view of this workflow </li></ul>
  23. 23. Discussion of workflow <ul><li>Do you have the same list of actors? </li></ul><ul><li>If we walk through the process do the entry / exit points make sense? </li></ul><ul><li>Will your petitions have the same list of status? </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Introduction to the technology </li></ul>
  25. 25. Overview of ePetitioning <ul><li>Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Provide wider access to the process </li></ul><ul><li>Easy first ‘ democratic step ’ – but takes them beyond the passive </li></ul><ul><li>Simple to explain to the public </li></ul><ul><li>A small thing to do – but a big increase in participation </li></ul><ul><li>Involve more people </li></ul><ul><li>Make a paper process work harder </li></ul><ul><li>Use one of the few ways that the public have to get something on the agenda </li></ul>
  26. 26. Training on petitions system <ul><li>Key functions you will need to be able to carry out or understand: </li></ul><ul><li>Registration </li></ul><ul><li>Creating a petition </li></ul><ul><li>Moderating a petition </li></ul><ul><li>Amending a petition while it is live </li></ul><ul><li>Emailing participants </li></ul><ul><li>Reporting </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>User registration (including Terms & Conditions) </li></ul>Training on petitions system USER
  28. 28. Training on petitions system <ul><li>Creating a petition </li></ul>USER
  29. 29. <ul><li>Creating a petition </li></ul>Training on petitions system USER
  30. 30. <ul><li>Creating a petition </li></ul>Training on petitions system Your e-petition has now been set up and is waiting for approval from the council before going live. Our aim is to process all new e-petitions within 3 working days and you will receive an email once this has happened unless we have some queries we need to discuss with you. Your signature will automatically be added to your petition once it has gone live. At this stage you will also be able to change the closing date as required and you will also be able to send out emails to people who have signed up to receive updates about your issue. If you would like to add any links or documents to the petition , you can do so at any time by clicking the My Activities option in the menu. USER
  31. 31. <ul><li>Moderating a petition – Accepting or Rejecting </li></ul>Training on petitions system ADMIN
  32. 32. <ul><li>Moderating a petition – Accepting or Rejecting </li></ul>Training on petitions system ADMIN
  33. 33. <ul><li>Moderating a petition – extra functions </li></ul>Training on petitions system ADMIN
  34. 34. <ul><li>Amending a petition while it is live </li></ul><ul><li>Signatures and Comments can be deleted if necessary </li></ul>Training on petitions system ADMIN
  35. 35. <ul><li>Emailing participants </li></ul>Training on petitions system ADMIN
  36. 36. <ul><li>Reporting </li></ul>Training on petitions system ADMIN
  37. 37. <ul><li>Petition Moderation </li></ul>
  38. 38. Discussion on petition moderation <ul><li>Moderation of petitions needs to consider three main areas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the petition valid? Is the petitioner addressing the right body for their request? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does it meet your code of conduct? Are you happy with the language and tone of the petition? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it actionable? Are they asking for something which can be done? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Outcome: Process for defining a moderation process / guidance </li></ul>
  39. 39. Discussion on petition moderation <ul><li>You will need to define what you mean by a valid petition. Criteria to be considered could be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does the petitioner live in the right place? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are you the authority responsible for what the petitioner is asking? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it something you are doing anyway? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is there a better mechanism for addressing the issue? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  40. 40. <ul><li>Draft Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill 2009 defines it as follows: </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>a “ valid petition ” , in relation to a principal local authority, is a petition made to the authority which: </li></ul><ul><li>(a)     is addressed to the authority, </li></ul><ul><li>(b)     requests the authority to take or cease to take action described in the petition, </li></ul><ul><li>(c)     is validly signed by at least the specified number of persons who live, work or study in the authority ’ s area, </li></ul><ul><li>(d)     designates one of the persons who has validly signed it as the person with whom the authority may deal in relation to the petition, </li></ul><ul><li>(e)     is not a petition made under and in accordance with any other enactment, and </li></ul><ul><li>(f)     if the petition is in electronic form, is made using the authority ’ s e-petition facility. </li></ul>Discussion on petition moderation
  41. 41. Discussion on petition moderation <ul><li>Does it meet your code of conduct? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you need to define a code of conduct? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you want to describe what kind of ‘ tone ’ you want in your democratic debate? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What kind of behaviour are you trying to encourage </li></ul></ul>
  42. 42. <ul><li>Is it actionable? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A perfectly valid petition can fail to be actionable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you think the petition actually addresses the core question? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will it give the petitioner a ‘ good ’ democratic experience? </li></ul></ul>Discussion on petition moderation
  43. 43. <ul><li>Marketing of Petitions </li></ul>
  44. 44. Marketing of petitions <ul><li>There is no point in doing this and not telling people! Some ideas to do this: </li></ul><ul><li>Use your website </li></ul><ul><li>Use democratic minutes and papers </li></ul><ul><li>Member briefings </li></ul><ul><li>Speak to your comms team </li></ul>
  45. 45. <ul><li>Discussion questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who are you trying to market to? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who will be responsible for marketing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the best channels? </li></ul></ul>Marketing of petitions
  46. 46. <ul><li>Project planning and Wrap up </li></ul>
  47. 47. Project planning and Wrap up: <ul><li>Run through list of system changes </li></ul><ul><li>Confirm process for deciding a moderation policy </li></ul><ul><li>Description of marketing ideas </li></ul><ul><li>List of key milestones within the project </li></ul>