Collaborative legislation

2.3.1 What is it for?

The "Collaborative legislation" module is the platform's most versatile one. Although specifically designed to organize participative processes around creating formal rules, laws or regulations, the module is also fully equipped to open any type of text to citizen contributions and, more generally, even to receive contributions to any (non-legislative) initiative that is launched by the public institution.

The module allows administrators to configure each "Collaborative Legislation" process with up to five phases (all optional). Once the participative process is finished, a fourth "Follow-up" phase can be added too.

  1. The Debate phase allows opening several questions. Users can give open-ended answers to questions or select possible pre-existing answers, and vote on other users' answers.

  1. The Proposals phase allows users to write proposals for the document's text and support proposals from other users.

  1. The Drafting phase allows you to publish a text. Users can select any part of the text, make comments and vote on other users' comments.

  1. Follow-up phase this section is used to publish information about what has happened after the participation process. It allows administrators to include milestones and percentage progress bars.

Additionally, a "Draft" phase where the content is not yet public, and which allows selecting a "presentation" phase where the process is published, but no proposals or comments are allowed.

2.3.2 Permissions and Tips

Government proposals module

Discussion phase

Answer questions posed

Verified users

Proposal phase

Create proposals

Registered users

Support proposals

Verified users

Feedback phase

Comment text

Registered users

Support comments

Registered users


  • This module is very versatile and allows opening diverse collaborative drafting processes. Consider whether the name “collaborative legislation” is the one that best suits the participation process you're looking to create. You may opt for a more generic name such as “Municipal proposal” or just focus on the topic at hand. The module's name cannot be modified from the backend.

  • Although usually the different phases are correlative (one begins when the previous ends), all the phases can be open at the same time.

  • Note that the "Debates" and "Proposals" phases are reminiscent of the similarly names modules. However, they differ in two important respects:

    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

By clicking on the "New process" button (top right) you can create a new Collaborative Legislation process. Next, 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 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 UN 2030 SDG Agenda.

Once the process is created, by clicking on it you can see different tabs to define each phase:

  • Information. Features all the basic information entered while creating the process in the previous step.

  • Homepage. In addition to the general header with information on the process, it can have a first 'home' page where we give more detailed information before entering any of the phases. This tab shows a box to tick and activate the homepage and a field where we can enter the page's content: text, images, links and tables.

  • 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 this is optional. By default, answers 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 in those categories.

  • Drafting. The Drafting phase allows you to upload 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 here).

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" which will save your changes automatically and then on the "Create version" button.

  • Follow-up. This section is used to post information about what has happened after the participation process.

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 following the "Manage statuses" link), 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 add percentage bars to the Milestones that indicate how much of each 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

The Cabildo used this module to develop a process in which citizens made proposals on how to combat COVID-19, which were later discussed in a Workshop-Lab for Participatory Design of Public Policies using a simultaneous face-to-face and virtual format. 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 the "Collaborative Legislation" module to collect proposals from citizens on how to modify the Digital Services Law (DSA) and the Digital Market Law (DMA) and take them to the European Parliament.

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