Mobile Participation

Method

Fast, on the ground, mobile participation

In today’s fast-paced world, politicians, administrators, and members of civil society in many fields, such as urban planning, need quick, concrete, and inexpensive ways to get feedback from citizens.

The FlashPoll App, which is installed on mobile devices, allows for geo-based participation.

The app directly surveys users on the location where something is planned: It can ask for users’ opinions and suggestions about particular social or political questions which affect the area or location where they are. Users then receive a response detailing the results of the survey. The app combines well with other participatory processes, as it is easily and flexibly implementable and it enables the participation of a large group of people. After the survey is completed, the results are evaluated, documented, and made available to decision makers.

Mobile Participation with FlashPoll at a Glance:

  • Quick, concrete, and inexpensive mobile participation
  • Geo-based participation for planning suggestions on location
  • Prompt responses to topical questions
  • Wide reaching participatory method

References

  • Projekt Flash-Poll-Tool for the European Institutes of Technology, Forschungsserie Digital Cities (Examples: FlashPoll for the development of recommendations for political action, FlashPoll surveying feedback of an academic conference, FlashPoll for participation in schools, FlashPoll Handbook), 2013-2015

Details

The FlashPoll app was developed and tested within the context of an international research project. Since 2013, the app has been employed across various fields in Germany, France, and Sweden (FlashPoll Project Consortium 2015). The app supports a direct flow of communication between politicians, administrators, and citizens, allowing citizens to participate in planning processes in a fast, inexpensive, and high-quality way.

“Right here, right now”: The FlashPoll App allows users to gather information about, evaluate, and make suggestions for planning processes that are happening around them using geo-based technology. FlashPoll can be easily installed on all mobile devices.

Unlike classic forms of online participation, mobile participation allows participants to form opinions and submit suggestions about a particular location while physically being in that location. It also gives users direct feedback about the overall outcomes of the survey. Such flash polls allow many different opinions to be collected and taken into consideration with minimal effort.

A FlashPoll project comprises five steps:

  1. App administrators input proposals and questions into the app
  2. Using geo-coding, users receive information about the planning proposals when they are currently at the location or in the area in question
  3. Users submit their opinions and suggestions for the project via the app
  4. After the survey is concluded, app administrators receive an end report of the results
  5. App administrators publish the results of the survey and use the report for the planning process

The nexus Institute supports clients through the entire FlashPoll process by aiding in the formulation of questions, inputting the questions and relevant materials into the app, technical assistance, and the analysis and documentation of the results.

Literature

FlashPoll Project Consortium (Ed.) (2015): FlashPoll Mobile Participation. A Manual for Successful Mobile Participation. (FlashPoll Handbook). URL: http://www.flashpoll.eu/documents/10184/16940/Flashpoll-Handbook-20151015-web01-1.pdf/383dd4fb-ef8e-4e8c-a58f-7a3ef5fe9966.