Billing itself as a “digital democracy company,” Delib is an established firm based In the United Kingdom. Serving a mix of national clients, such as federal agencies, and smaller clients such as municipalities in a variety of countries (including the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States) Delib uses a combination of largely ready-made apps and more customized consultation software to address a variety of public engagement needs.
Of the providers discussed here, Delib is one of the most established, with more than 10 years’ experience, a broad range of experience, and operations in multiple countries. Because its approaches reflect the more formalized public engagement methods that are embodied in UK and Commonwealth planning and development regulations, the apps provide a relatively high level of structure, particularly as compared to some of the more open-ended idea generation and commenting platforms. Functioning as a Software as Service (SaaS) provider, Delib services are provided on an annual license subscription basis, and prices range depending on the product and level of customization desired. Prospective clients can expect to pay roughly $3,000 for a basic Budget Simulator app, to over $6,000 for the Dialogue App. Apps can also be readily combined and reconfigured, giving the platform a relatively high level of flexibility. Two of the more commonly used apps are outlined below.
CitizenSpace: A cloud-based software for managing, publicizing, and archiving all public feedback activity, this app features a topic finder with search function and a suite of online survey tools, and allows users to analyze, report, and export gathered information to Excel and SPSS. Administrators are empowered to edit and manage content, and to group users and assign them roles. This app is scalable and proven over a variety of diverse clients, but it may be particularly suited for large, complex projects, such as highway or other infrastructure engineering projects.
Dialogue App: Designed in collaboration with the United States’ National Academy of Public Administration, the Dialogue App facilitates policy-related discussion. Similar to the approach taken by other ideation platforms, the Dialogue App allows participants to submit their ideas on a policy; rate and comment on others’ ideas; and share content through social media platforms. A tag function aids in the identification of themes across topics.