Great citizen consultation of Wallonia: the 5 keys of success.
Friday, February 26, 2021
On November 16, 2020, the Walloon government launched the largest citizen consultation ever organized on its territory, as part of its Get Up Wallonia. recovery plan.
In 5 weeks, 9,370 citizens joined the consultation, via the online platform mawallonie.be or a dedicated paper questionnaire. 51,000 contributions were recorded. A success!
Fluicity is proud to have contributed to this initiative, which marks a turning point in the implementation of massive citizen consultations.
The Fluicity team brought us a real expertise in the field and a real methodology to carry out this consultation, which was never done before in Belgium. Fluicity's ability to adapt to the government's needs and the quality of their platform were key to the success of the operation.
Axel Comhaire, Director of PWC and member of the support committee of the Walloon Investment Plan
A look back at this collaboration with Fluicity and the 5 key factors that gave meaning and impact to this consultation:
- An expertise in digital consulting
- A simple and accessible platform
- An open and continuous dialogue
- Targeted communication actions
- Analysis and reporting of results
1. Expertise in the field of digital consultation
The first asset of the Walloon consultation is undoubtedly to have understood that citizen participation cannot be improvised.
The consortium in charge of the Get Up Wallonia stimulus plan, led by PWC, relied heavily on Fluicity's expertise for all aspects of the consultation:
- framing**: advice on the duration of the consultation, the timetable, the design of the online platform, the choice of the communication agency...
- monitoring**: steering the consultation according to precise objectives, accompanying citizens, moderation, communication strategy, etc.
- the restitution** : communication of the results to the citizens, comprehensible restitution for the general public, ensuring that the citizens' proposals are taken into account in the work of the consortium...
Photo by Nicolas de Briey, Co-founder of the civic tech Fluicity](Capture-d_e_cran-2020-07-06-a_-15.23.25.png)
Our responsibility during this consultation is to allow the citizen's voice to play a full role in the debate.
Nicolas de Briey, co-founder of Fluicity.
A mission that requires an excellent knowledge of the participative process, of its methodology, and of the level of maturity of citizens and organizers on the subject.
**2. A simple and accessible platform
Precisely, how to facilitate the participation of all the Walloon inhabitants in this consultation? Most of them are new to participation and not always comfortable with digital technology. Thanks to its experience in the field, Fluicity was able to advise the government in the implementation of an accessible approach, both in terms of the platform and the methodology.
A watchword: simplicity. The mawallonie.be platform was designed around a simple design, an approach centered on the user experience and the visual identity of the Walloon project.
The consultation was organized around 5 themes predefined by the region (employment, economy, sustainable living environment, proximity and solidarity, citizenship), which helped guide citizens in their reflection.
The advantages of this thematic methodology are explained in more detail in our article published in La Libre.
A guided path was also set up to make it easier to write each proposal**, and to make it as precise and constructive as possible. A paper questionnaire was also available for the less technophiles.
- 8,810 registrations on the online platform in 5 weeks
- 6 152 proposals and 51 000 total contributions (proposals, votes, comments)
The inhabitants of Wallonia have succeeded in appropriating the platform.
3. An open and continuous dialogue
But perhaps the most differentiating element in citizen inclusion was this extra step: an open and ongoing dialogue with the participants.
The Fluicity team was present throughout the consultation to answer the questions and solicitations of citizens, and to help them participate. This was a major advantage for the region, which did not need to mobilize internal resources.
Examples of citizen support:
- creation of tutorials for the less technophile,
- regular exchanges by phone or email on specific points: use of data, processing of proposals, etc.
- moderation of content with pedagogy,
- flexibility and constant listening to users' feedback, to continuously improve the platform, etc.
These exchanges also contributed to improving the understanding of the process and the quality of participation.
Example of questions from citizens during a citizen consultation](visuel-article-expertisePlan-de-travail-72.png)
Virtuous consequence of dialogue: collective moderation !
Dialogue was also encouraged among participants, with the possibility for citizens to comment on each of the contributions. ** 9,381 comments were thus written: a means of expression much appreciated by citizens.
This open space can quickly be imagined as a saturated place of debate, like social networks On the contrary! The citizens exchanged with respect and assured themselves of the quality of the consultation, thanks to well thought-out elements :
- a button to signal hateful or irrelevant ideas,
- a less radical vocabulary than on social networks: "I support", "I do not support".
- an incentive to explain one's opinion or disagreement, to enrich the debate...
**Only 54 contents were moderated (non respect of the TOS, off-topic...) by the organizers out of 6 152 citizen proposals.
A precious saving of time and a consultation under the sign of respect.
**4. Targeted communication actions
Any [citizen consultation needs to be associated with a solid communication campaign (https://get.flui.city/blog/animer-demarches-participatives-impliquer-les-citoyens/) But above all, to a good knowledge of the citizens' habits.
The organizers were able to rely in real time on the consultation data** collected by Fluicity and on personalized recommendations.
- analysis of the number of subscribers, of ideas posted per day...
- analysis of the best communication channels,
- study of the conversion rate.
This data was invaluable in targeting certain participant profiles, adapting messages, channels, budget... and maintaining active participation throughout the 5 weeks.
Diagram showing the number of citizen contributions to the Get Up Wallonia consultation according to Fluicity's communication actions](graph-1-article-expertise-Workplan-80.png)
Examples of communication elements (videos, flyers, radios...)
- on average : 1 400 contributions/day
- 503 proposals posted on the last day of the consultation.
The Walloon consultation did not have any dead time. This dynamic is precious to motivate citizens (their proposals are visible, debated, etc.), encourage them to come back to the platform, maintain the freshness of the debates,... In short, to offer a space of exchange suitable for the emergence of innovative and collective ideas. Isn't that the purpose of the citizen consultation?
5. Analysis and restitution of the results
At the end of the 5 weeks of consultation, a last step is born: the analysis of the data and the restitution of the results to the citizens. This is undoubtedly one of the most important steps for Fluicity, which proposes a qualitative and quantitative analysis, based on data science.
This work responds to two major challenges:
- translating data into clear and actionable information for decision makers,
- to show citizens that their voice is taken into account, by transmitting the results of participation in an educational manner.
The Walloon consultation has allowed us to identify strong trends for the future of the region, which leaders and citizens can now contemplate together.
Infographic Bilan de la consultation citoyenne de la Wallonie](bilan-consultation-citoyenne-wallonie-2.png)
Despite the very particular context, this consultation has been a real success. I am delighted that the citizens of Wallonia have seized this initiative to give their opinion, make proposals and thus build their future. It is essential today to involve citizens more in political decisions and this initiative is a full part of that."
Elio di Rupo, Minister President of Wallonia
The active participation of the Walloon people has proven the appetite of citizens to take part in the public debate when they are given the framework, the means and the opportunity.
Fluicity is at the side of communities and decision makers to orchestrate this dialogue and make the most of it.