0. Introduction to the CONSUL DEMOCRACY Use Guide
CONSUL DEMOCRACY is the software developed by Madrid City Council to facilitate citizen participa- tion. CONSUL DEMOCRACY enables a direct system of communication with the administration that
allows citizens to make proposals for action to be supported by other users, express their decision on particularly significant issues of the institutional action, participate in the process of developing regulations or decide on the destination of part of the institutional budget. CONSUL DEMOCRACY makes it possible to carry out all the most relevant participatory processes and to adapt them to the specific needs of each situation. It has been designed in a totally configurable way so that the different processes can be activated or deactivated, and configured in different ways. In this way it can be adapted to any need.
The main participation processes that can be carried out in CONSUL DEMOCRACY are the following:
- Citizen Proposals. Anyone can make proposals to improve their city. The proposals can gather supports and in case of reaching a certain threshold pass to vote.
- Voting. Voting can be carried out on proposals from both the citizenry and the institution. In addition, they can be directed to the whole territory or only to certain zones.
- Collaborative Legislation. It allows citizens to participate actively in the drafting of legislation and action plans.
- Participatory Budgets. Citizens directly propose and decide how to spend part of the institution's budget. Each person can make proposals and vote on the initiatives of others. The most voted proposals will be carried out.
- Debates. Citizens can open threads of discussion on any topic and create independent spaces where they can debate and give their opinion on a specific topic. Institutional representatives also have verified profiles in order to be able to open the debates they consider appropriate.
- Advanced Processes. The tool makes it possible to design more complex participation processes with different phases of participation that are defined specifically for each process. These phases may include open debates, selection of proposals, proposal and prioritization of measures, comments on texts, etc. In addition to the advanced process modality, which allows the configuration of customized processes, CONSUL DEMOCRACY developers from all over the world work together to include any new type of process or modality that is proposed but not contemplated. CONSUL DEMOCRACY is free software, which implies that developers around the world work together continuously to improve it, and anyone can join that development, or propose changes and new features to be included. You can also use and modify the platform directly without any restrictions. The code is yours and you can do whatever you want with it freely.
In the following sections we will present concrete examples of participatory processes that can be carried out to better understand what we can do with CONSUL DEMOCRACY.