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3. Choose the right tools for online engagement

Using digital tools for your engagement can help support the goal you want to achieve, and the process to get there.

Use the tool that fits your aim

Which tool you should use depends on what you want to achieve by engaging with people, such as:

  • tell people about an issue
  • get feedback on a policy, service or issue
  • get agreement on an issue
  • work together on a policy or issue.

ParticipateDB has a full list of engagement tools.

Tools — ParticipateDB

If you want to tell people about an issue, you need a tool that can give them the information they need to understand the issue and potential options.

Meet the requirements for all tools

For every tool you use, you need to consider the following:

Security requirements

Cloud tools need to be assessed for risk.

When the Marketplace is launched, it will show a cloud confidence and risk indicator score for each product along with the supplier's answers to the cloud risk assessment questionnaire.

Marketplace

In the meantime, agencies can use a list of cloud tools that agencies have already assessed. If you would like to see the risk assessment for a tool, contact the Assurance team at the Department of Internal Affairs.

Risk assessments completed by agencies — cloud services

Email: ictassurance@dia.govt.nz

Privacy impact

You need to do a privacy impact assessment if you are collecting names, email addresses or anything that is considered personal information.

The Privacy Commissioner has more information.

What is 'personal information'?

Privacy impact assessment toolkit

Using the cloud

Web accessibility standards

NZ government agency websites need to meet the NZ web standards.

Web accessibility standard

Tools need to be able to be used by people with disabilities who use assistive technology. For example:

  • videos need to have captions and a transcript
  • survey forms need to be keyboard accessible, and include instructions
  • PDF and Word documents need to be accessible, or you need to provide accessible versions like HTML
  • content must be tagged with the correct language, such as <html lang="mi"> to show a page is in Māori
  • any images that aren’t decorative need alt text
  • any infographics need a long description.

Tell people about an issue

What to think about

  • Know who the audience for your engagement is and make your information engaging for them.
  • As a baseline, all the content needs to be easy to understand and accessible.

Tools

Social media platforms that have had cloud risk assessments done by government agencies include:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Cloud tools that have had risk assessments

Web platforms (like an agency’s own content management system) are another tool.

Get feedback on a policy, service or issue

What to think about

  • Make the content easy to understand and engaging — large discussion documents are hard for people to read and understand.
  • Think ahead about how you’re going to analyse the content before you set it up. Quantitative questions are faster to analyse and get insights from. If you have open questions, it will be harder to analyse unless you have access to a policy tool.
  • Think about how you will publish the submissions and whether you will give the option for anonymous feedback. It will need to be part of the set-up.
  • If you have a multilingual survey, make sure the tool you’re going to use can do this and you can access translation skills.

Tools

Survey tools that have had cloud risk assessments done by government agencies include:

  • Survey Gizmo
  • Survey Monkey
  • Formsite
  • CitzenSpace (Delib)

Cloud tools that have had risk assessments

Get agreement on an issue

What to think about

  • Sensitive subjects (like state abuse) may need closed or invite-only forums.
  • Facilitating and moderating discussions takes time. You also need skills to help bring people with very different opinions together.
  • Check you’ve got enough trained people to support it.

Tools

Discussion and consensus decision making tools that have had cloud risk assessments done by government agencies include:

  • Loomio
  • Dialogue (Delib)

Cloud tools that have had risk assessments

Service design tools (such as focus groups and intercept interviews) can provide the in-person method to support the tool.

Service design tools

Work together on a policy or issue

If you want to work together on a policy or issue, you need a tool where you can ask for points of view, concerns and ideas with no pre-set direction. It's about building a community.

What to think about

  • It takes time to collaborate with people. Make sure this fits with the time you’ve got for an engagement.
  • Genuine community building is a long-term commitment.
  • You need skills to help bring people together.
  • Check you’ve got enough trained people to support it.
  • Set expectations with people on the time needed for them to be involved and the impact it will have.
  • If you are using co-design techniques, make sure people are able to have decision-making power.

Tools

Discussion and consensus decision-making tools that have had cloud risk assessments done by government agencies include:

  • Loomio
  • Dialogue (Delib)

Cloud tools that have had risk assessments

Service design tools (such as focus groups and intercept interviews) can provide the in-person method to support the tool.

Service design tools

Design thinking and co-design are part of this and are powerful tools for understanding problems and working with the public.

Design thinking

Utility links and page information

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