Make democracy an ongoing process with digital technology

Open Source Politics, May 2017

France’s presidential campaign is about to end. It has been exhausting for some, because of how unpredictable it got. But also frustrating for many, because of the fact that the last months have left very little space for substantive debate. In this troubling time, we wanted to carry a slightly different message, that of everyday life, and not of electoral events.

Fortunately, thanks to digital technology, democracy no longer stops during the five years that separate two elections.

These technologies that empower citizen engagement, democratic participation and government transparency are called “civic-tech”. But concretely, what is it for?

The tools are ok, but are citizens really responsive? The question is legitimate, given the mixed success of the main participation processes that have been set up so far.

On the one hand, citizens feel like they are not involved in public decision-making. On the other hand, the elected officials and administrations that try to give life to local democracy clearly see the limits: only a handful of citizens actually take part in them.

At OSP, we are convinced that with the right methods and tools, we can solve this paradox of participatory democracy.

Contact us if you wish to engage in a consultation process that makes use of civic-tech tools!