Overview of “Collaborative Legislation” from the frontend
2.3.1 What is it for?
It is the most versatile module of CONSUL DEMOCRACY because although -as its name indicates- this module is specially designed to submit the processes of creating rules, laws or regulations to citizen participation, it is also fully indicated to open any type of text (independently of its nature) to citizen contributions and even, more generally, to receive contributions to any initiative that is launched by the institution
This versatility resides in the fact that this module allows you to configure each "Collaborative Legislation" process with up to three phases (all optional) to which a "monitoring" phase can be added once the process itself is finished:
- 1.Discussion phase allows opening several questions. Users can give open-ended answers to questions and vote on other users' answers.
- 2.Proposals phase allows users to write proposals on the topic and support proposals from other users.
- 3.Writing phase allows you to publish a text. Users can select any part of the text, make comments and vote on other comments
- 4.Follow-up phase this section is used to publish information about what has happened after the participation process. Allows you to include milestones as well as percentage progress bars
Additionally, the processes can include a "draft" phase where the content is not yet public, and allow a "presentation" phase where the process is published, but no proposals or comments are allowed.
2.3.2 Permissions and Tips
- This module is very versatile and allows opening very diverse processes. Consider whether the name “collaborative legislation” is the one that best suits the use that you are going to give it or it would be better for you to use more generic names such as “Municipal proposals”. Although remember that the name of the module cannot be modified from the backend.
- Although usually the "phases" are correlative (one begins when the other ends), all the phases can be open at the same time,
- Despite the fact that the "Debates" and "Proposals" phases are named the same as the modules we have seen before, they have different characteristics:
- 1.Discussions here are opened by the administration (not users).
- 2.The proposals here do not seek a specific number of supports.
2.3.3 How do I configure it?
The "Collaborative Legislation" processes are created and configured from their own space within the administrator interface:
Administration> Collaborative Legislation
Overview of “Collaborative Legislation” within the administration interface
By clicking on the "Create new process" button (top right) you can define which phases will be active (by clicking on the "enabled" box for each phase), the start and end dates of each phase, the information that will be displayed on the process page (title, process list summary, basic description and additional information), the basic style of the process page (header and text colours) and additional documents to be added in case it is useful in that same public page as additional information. Finally, we can also align the process with one or more of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda
Once the process is created, by clicking on it you can see different tabs to define each phase:
Tabs of the collaborative Legislation process "Citizen Proposals against COVID" once created
- Information. Basic information that defines the process.
- Homepage. In addition to the general header with information on the process, it can have a first page where we give more detailed information before entering each of the phases. This tab shows a box to activate it and a field where you can create what will be seen in it. This page may contain images, links and tables as well as text in different formats.
- Debate. The "create question" button allows you to add new questions to the phase. It is possible to define closed answers to the question, but it is optional. By default, responses will be open.
- Proposals. The "categories" field defines which categories will be suggested to the user when creating a new proposal. The categories will be listed during the process, in order to filter proposals with those categories.
- Drafting. The design phase allows you to have the first version of the text and then modify it and publish new versions. To start the process, click the "Create Version" button. At the top, you can write the title of the text and there is an optional field to write a summary of the changes compared to the last version. The status option selects between "draft" (the text will not be public, only admins can preview it) and "published". Once the process is finished, the "Final version" checkbox allows you to publish the final text (comments will not be allowed on this last publication).
The "Launch Text Editor" link can be used to load the text. Clicking on it will split the window into two parts. The left part is used to enter the text, and the right part will show how it will look on the web page. To add styles to the text (such as bold letters, italics, etc.) you must use the "markdown" format. It may look very different from traditional text editors, but it's easier than it sounds. When you have the text (or part of it) ready, click on the "close text editor" and then on the "create version" button.
- Follow-up. This section is used to post information about what has happened after the participation process.
First of all, a field named “Process monitoring” is displayed. Here you can enter a generic text that will appear at the top of the public tracking page. This text will only be visible if there is a defined milestone, as we will explain below.
By clicking on "Create a new milestone", the following information can be added: status (to categorize the projects, for example: "studying the project, contracting, building the project, finished"; possible statuses can be defined in the link below), milestone description, milestone post date, images and documents to display in the milestone. The date and description (or status instead) are the only required fields.
We will also find the "Manage progress bars" button that allows us to define concepts and a series of percentage bars that indicate how much of each concept has been completed.
The Milestones section will display a timeline on the project's public page with all the milestones.
"Citizen proposals against COVID" - Gran Canaria participa.grancanaria.com
The Cabildo used this module to develop a process in which citizens made proposals against COVID-19, which were later discussed in a Workshop-Lab for Participatory Design of Public Policies, with a simultaneous face-to-face and virtual format, where the proposals were worked on and debates arose from the consultation, the result of which was evaluated by the insular government.
“Influencing Europe”- Carlos Antwerp Foundation
The Carlos Antwerp Foundation used this module DIGITAL SERVICES LAW (DSA) AND DIGITAL MARKETS LAW (DMA) to collect proposals from citizens and take them to the European Parliament