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The EngageTech Spectrum 2020 – updated

The original EngageTech Spectrum developed in 2014 has now been updated. Download the 2020 version here.

EngageTech Spectrum 2020

While drafting the Findings from the 2018 EngageTech Forums I decided that it was time to give the EngageTech spectrum an update. The EngageTech Spectrum was developed to complement the IAP2’s Public Participation Spectrum.

Over the past five years, the range of technologies available for engagement and my understanding of how they might be used by governments has evolved. In particular, I have been thinking about where digital tools for ‘deliberation’, participatory budgeting, offline engagement and visualisation fit on the spectrum.

The following four categories on the EngageTech Spectrum have been amended:

  • The Promote category now includes Recruit. This highlights the way social media and digital marketing tools can be used to recruit participants. It also emphasises the importance of a well designed user journey if you want to drive traffic to places where information can be collected. Using this type of engagetech in a strategic way is essential if you want to target your engagement, or increase the reach, diversity or representatives of your engagements.
  • The Discuss category now includes Visualisation. This includes digital communication tools that help people understand information but do not invite input.
  • The Visualise and Co-design Category is now Experience, Co-design and Budget. This includes augmented reality and the collection of feedback about scenarios in real time. It also includes tools to enable comments on documents and designs, but do not accept these changes as an edit to the document. Likewise for participatory budgeting tools that allow people to explore options and comment on them, where there is still another decision maker allocating funds. Or tools that encourage proposals from participants designing solutions.
  • The Co-deliver category now includes Co-create. This accounts for tools that allow governments to work with others, to develop documents, plans and projects together.

I will share more about some of these tools in my next blog post.

I am still surprised at how useful this image has been. I use it in meetings, presentations, masterclasses, workshops to help governments define their needs for engagement technology. The EngageTech Forum is also based on it. It doesn’t matter if I am talking to community engagement professionals, digital media specialists, software owners and civic tech developers, enterprise and information architect, they all seem to understand it and often ask me for a copy of it so they can use when talking to others. It is not perfect and I like that it is evolving along with the tools available and our understanding of them.

What do you think of these new categories? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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