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How to load a census: Decidim File Authorization Handler

Decidim is a digital opensource platform for citizen participation that has been developed thanks to the collaborative work of many people and organisations. This has allowed for a wide variety of modules that bring improvements and new possibilities, over and above the core functionalities.

Where there are a wide variety of modules, is in the authentication or verification user system. 

[What's the authorization system on Decidim? Read here!]

One of the most commonly used modules for user verification is the Decidim File Authorization Handler. It allows the verification from the data of the municipality's census: DNI and date of birth.

In this brief guide we explain to the people that manage a Decidim, how to use this module and we give the keys to have no problem with it. 


  1. What's the Decidim File Authorization Handler?
  2. How to load  the census
  3. How we prepare the file to upload
  4. How do we know if it was uploaded correctly
  5. Tips to use module

What's the Decidim File Authorization Handler?

It is a module that we can add to our Decidim and it gives us a new user verification system.

With this module, users can verify their identity by giving the identity number (DNI) and the date of birth. To do this, we'll have previously uploaded a file to Decidim with these data. If the information given by the user and the census data coincide, the user will be authorized (or verified).

Authorized user

How to load the census

Technical information about how to install the module can be found here. Once installed, the first thing we need to do is access the System panel and activate the module in the Available Authorizations section. 

Although the module's name is Decidim File Authorization Handler, we'll see it with named "Organization's census".

This done, when we access at the Decidim's back office, we find a new section in the main side menu under the name Load census

In this paragraph we are told that we should upload a CSV file with only two columns:

  • first with identity number
  • second with the date of birth in the format dd/mm/yyy

Select the file in Choose File and then click Load.

How we prepare the file to upload

To prepare this CSV file we must first open a spreadsheet and put the data into it. We can put headers on columns without problem.

REMEMBER: in the first column the DNI must be placed and in the second the date of birth.

At the time of saving the file choose CSV format and comma-separated

How do we know if it was uploaded correctly

Once we've uploaded the file, we've got a message at the top that tells us how many records have been loaded and how many have been wrong.

We have to check that the number of correctly uploaded records corresponds to those we have in our archive.

Tips to use the module

Using the module to upload a census, it's very simple, but on the day-to-day of Decidim we may have some doubts that we'll try to solve next. 

Upload two files

If we load a file when we already have another one, the first one is not removed, but the data of the two is accumulated but without duplicating those that are repeated.

What does it involve Delete all census data?

This function removes all data that had been uploaded and no one else can be verified. This, however, does not eliminate the authorisations that had been made before. That is, a person verified once, will still be verified even if we remove the census. If we want to revoke the checks we have this option in the Participants > Authorizations section.

The census is a photograph of the municipal roll on a specific day and time.

In fact, the module shows on which date the last census was loaded. However, the municipal roll is alive and his information may be constantly changing. It is therefore important to update the census file every time a participatory process where we need participants to have the status of verified is initiated. 

How can we prepare for this?

  1. We revoke all authorisations. Thus we prevent a person who is no longer empadded in the municipality (and who had been verified in an earlier process) from participating.
  2. We delete the census data. 
  3. We prepare and load a new census. We will have to point out that if a person registered on a date prior to that of the census charge wants to participate, he must contact the town hall. This way the census can be updated.