Governments and organisations across the globe are increasingly recognising the importance of online stakeholder engagement and management in enabling more stakeholders to participate in deliberative dialogue whilst improving efficiencies, resulting in more accountability and better outcomes.
20 Questions to ask online citizen engagement software vendors:
Security and Data
- How robust is the security infrastructure and practices put in place?
- Who has access to your user data and how is it encrypted?
- Is your platform hosted in a secure data centre?
- Is the data centre located in a country which is not subject to the USA Patriot Act 2001?
- Is the installation of SSL/TLS Encryption included within your licence fee?
- Is the software proprietary or is it built on risky open source frameworks?
Compliance and Accessibility
- Is the platform compliant with government privacy legislation and regulation?
- Does the platform comply the global web accessibility protocol WCAG 2.0?
- To enable participation by all stakeholders, is a language translator built in?
Support and Advice
- What level of support is included with your software licence?
- Is a 24/7 technical help desk provided?
- Does the business provide additional expert stakeholder engagement services?
Functionality and Features
- Does the platform meet your objectives?
- Are there an array of versatile tools available to suit different types of consultations?
- Is a stakeholder management tool built-in to record offline and online activity in addition to communicating with your stakeholders?
- Does the platform enable the tagging of qualitative comments for quick issues/trends reporting?
- How collaboratively does the business work with clients to develop new features?
- How frequently are new features deployed?
Value for Money
- Does the platform provide value for money?
- Does the platform include administrative tools to reduce your time in managing consultation and stakeholders and in reporting?