Building on our ongoing Developing Coproductive Capacities research with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), we invited Arnau Monterde – a supervisor of Barcelona’s Decidim platform – to share Barcelona’s experience in integrating digital platforms as part of a wider transformation of the democratic process.
Digital tools are increasingly used by urban decision-makers and citizens to engage with each other. This user-centred enquiry looked at the evidence, desirability, feasibility and viability for digital democratic innovations which support women’s engagement in policy initiation and design across Greater Manchester.
The principles of human-centred design and community organising informed our approach throughout the project. We shared reflections throughout the journey with blog posts reflecting on a field trip to Barcelona, and gatherings of our Greater Manchester-based partnership group.
How have women been involved in and impacted by digital democratic innovation?
What do women in Greater Manchester need and want in order to meaningfully participate in digital democracy?
What forms of digital democratic innovation are possible in GM?
How can digital democratic innovation be realised in GM?
In our exploration of these questions, GM Decides drew lessons from an international advisory board, worked with a partnership group to ground these lessons in a city-regional context, and conducted a series of public input sessions to harvest knowledge, seed ideas and nurture a network of people interested in digital democratic innovation. We found it was important to go back to basics and think about what kinds of space invite people to participate well.
The delivery partners for this project were Katie Finney of Amity and Alice Toomer-McAlpine with At The Moment Productions.