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Scotland launches Citizen Space consultation platform

The Scottish government has launched Citizen Space, a new online platform that allows citizens to formally consult with government.

Currently Holyrood runs around 100 consultations on a wide variety of subjects annually – the process is designed to allow people a chance to have their say on government proposals or policies.

However, recently, there has been a growing need to increase the efficiency of the consultation system and so Scotland decided to develop a new platform and guidance.

The Digital Engagement Team opted for a user friendly online consultation tool developed by digital democracy company Delib.

This programme is designed to improve the accessibility and transparency of consultations in the country.

Citizen Space acts as a hub for all upcoming, active and closed consultations in an area where people can have their say on current issues and access an archive of previous consultations.

The Delib platform provides numerous options, including a variety of question formats, the ability to embed all sorts of media and a powerful search tool.

The new hub also makes it easy for residents to access public responses and succinct responses for consultations under a ‘We Asked, You Said, We Did’ tab.

Getting staff on board

Combined with the new guidance that has been published, the Scottish government hopes to make consultations a much simpler and easier to access process.

Before launching Citizen Hub, the Digital Engagement Team and a representative from Delib worked alongside central and local government to ensure the system was one both employees and users could get behind.

“This tool will help the Scottish government better engage with people across Scotland. The initial sessions were designed to help our staff develop a more thorough understanding of why we are using these tolls and how to get the most out of them,” a post on the Scotland digital blog claims.

“It was certainly useful to hear about the issues that other users had encountered and exciting to see how users are encouraged to collaborate and share their experiences.

“With sessions like this, the Citizen Space community can develop into a really useful resource, helping improve the consultation process and public engagement too,” it adds.