The Decidim platform is one of the most complete for participatory processes and budgets. The Barcelona City Council has placed a strong bet on this free software tool and has made it grow to its current maturity. In addition, the development of new functionalities continues.
The Decidim project community and its architecture are a strong point since it is modular and you can choose which modules fit your project, discard those that you do not need and implement and develop your customized modules.
The long list of functions of the platform for participatory processes and budgets come out in large part from the social values that the Decidim community (Meta-decidim) has very clear.
VALUES OF THE PLATFORM
- COMMUNITY: Proposes, meets, decides, monitors: join democracy
- CONFIGURATION: Set up processes and participatory budgets easily
- BUDGETS: Decide where you want to allocate the budget
- OBJECTIVES: Allows people's initiatives to achieve the objectives
- INTEGRATION: Agglutinates online participation and off-line participation
- CREATES AND MANAGES: Creates and manages assemblies, committees and participation bodies.
FUNCTIONS FOR USERS
- Learn about participatory processes and budgets (with static pages)
- Make project proposals (with attached documentation)
- Start and participate in debates (relevant part of participatory processes and budgets)
- See proposals, support proposals, vote, comment...
- Answer surveys
- Vote participatory budgets in different ways. One of them is to select specific projects with certain conditions (such as a maximum of projects, or one project per neighborhood ...) and another way is shopping cart style with a budget limit. This second one is like a kind of gamification that users like a lot and it contributes a more worked information to the managers of the application.
- Track the executions of approved projects.
- Participate as an individual user or as a spokesperson for an organization.
- It allows to connect and integrate online participation with offline participation, so it allows the participation of users not registered in the platform through the use of the platform in kiosk mode.
FUNCTIONS FOR MANAGERS
- Send news to registered users on the platform
- Modify static pages through a content management system
- Integrate external content with i-frames
- Respond to the proposals (if it has been accepted, rejected, is still under study ...)
- Allows you to create surveys of different types.
- Report on the executions of approved projects and participatory budgets.
- Attach documents to participatory processes and budgets, projects and meetings.
- You can group users, or have a user who is a spokesperson for an organization.
- It allows organizing user data hierarchically (eg city, neighborhoods ...)
- Allows moderate content, proposals and inappropriate content, and address directly to the user or the community as a moderator and to optimize the information.
- It allows to organize the managers with user levels, general permissions or specific permits of specific processes.
- It allows connecting and integrating online participation with offline participation, so it has effective tools to achieve broader participation, and facilitates the implementation of the platform in the community.
- Possibility of integration with the census or a census to segment the users.
- It allows to personalize the image and part of the layout, as well as the customization of the URL.
The architecture of the Decidim platform is based on modules and "core" plugins on which software development is built and expanded. It has APIs that facilitate the development of new functions and presents many advantages for the development community to work comfortably and efficiently.
The source code is Ruby on Rails, a very good basis for the development of open source, which together with the structure of development and testing make the resulting software very reliable and well structured
ADVANTAGES OF THE OPEN SOURCE
Decidim is an open source platform, which brings many advantages and benefits. From our point of view we highlight:
- CONTRIBUTE: You can make your own extensions and contribute to the core of Decidim to benefit the whole community.
- USE THE COMMUNITY: Install once and benefit from all the future improvements the community will bring you. There are no licenses and there are no costs per license.
- TESTED AND SOLID: The requirement in technical development issues added to that there are different platforms in operation and thousands of users makes it more tested and is a very solid software.
- SECURITY: The fact of being an open source project widely used and audited gives it great strength.