Young people in New York now have their own participatory budget

The Civic Engagement Commission
(Commission on Civic Engagement: CEC) of the City of New York organizes a participatory budget dedicated to young people. Using theDecidim tool, they will be able to collectively decide how to allocate $100,000 to projects that meet their needs and interests and strengthen youth engagement across the city.

The project is a collaboration between Open Source Politics šŸ‡«šŸ‡·, Digidem Lab šŸ‡øšŸ‡Ŗ , Coro šŸ‡ŗšŸ‡ø, specialists in engaging youth audiences in New York, and Spruce Technology šŸ‡ŗšŸ‡ø.

BP Platform New York
New York x OSP

Where OSP comes in

For 8 months, we accompanied the Commission dedicated to Citizen Engagement (CEC) of the city of New York in the implementation of the participatory budget for young people.

In the midst of a pandemic, this first case of use in the United States has allowed us to understand and adapt to the culture of New York citizen participation inspired by community organizing . A strong emphasis is placed oninclusion by multiplying the modalities of participation, partnerships with local organizations to target marginalized audiences, systematic multilingualism etc.

In partnership with Digidem Lab, we organised a series of workshops and training sessions with the CEC team to frame each step of the participatory budget in the best possible way, to think about mobilisation mechanisms and to articulate the global project with the participation functionalities offered by the Decidim tool. This first project is part of a series of participatory budgets and a global approach to participation in New York City.

Thanks to the work of the consortium of partners and despite a pandemic context that questions traditional participatory processes, the participatory budget was successfully launched on 19 November 2020. We are delighted to welcome New York City to the Decidim community.

After organizing more than 10 participatory budgets on the Decidim tool, we have a proven structure and methodology. This first project with CEC allowed us to discover a different and innovative approach.

  • The structure of the site and the contents have been thought out and adapted for a young audience. The result: the statements are short and easy to understand, the navigation is uncluttered, the colours and visuals show the dynamism of the approach;
  • Several tools and participation channels are implemented to accommodate different audiences. SMS, video-conferencing, written proposals, short questionnaires... everything is done to ensure that everyone finds what they are looking for and that participation is pleasant and progressive;
  • Special emphasis is placed on mobilizing youth associations and collectives: participation spaces are dedicated to them, they can plan video-conferences with the organizers;
  • The young people will carry out the winning projects themselves.
Decidim by OSP

How we have
deployed Decidim

We have adapted the Decidim tool to these issues:

  • The process steps ensure transparency of the process between the inhabitants and the city;
  • Documentation areas provide equal access to information ;
  • The graphic charter created by a New York graphic designer has been declined on the site;
  • The New York City Digital Identity (NYC.ID) has been implemented to facilitate connections ;
  • The platform is available in dozens of languages to enable the participation of cosmopolitan New York youth;

This project will also be an opportunity for us to test the integration with the Pol.is tool we have developed. Pol.is allows us to collect and analyse contributions in real time thanks to advanced statistics and machine learning.

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