Guide to Online Participation From ParticipatioNZ

posted Feb 7, 2011, 3:05 PM by Jess Maher

Guide to Online Participation

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The Guide to Online Participation will help State servants identify and develop exciting and innovative ways to engage with New Zealanders in policy and service design and delivery.

This work contributes to achieving a world-class professional State Services. The current Guide to Online Participation is the first step in an evolving area of theory and practice - it will be tested and refined, and we require your help to improve its contents.

To comment on the guide or share your ideas and experiences about online participation, please email to be set up with access to the ParticipatioNZ wiki.

How to use the Guide

The principles, processes and tools set out in this Guide are a starting point for making online participation work in your own context. Critically, there are no checklists: this Guide offers a basic walkthrough of the issues and risks associated with online participation. Your own judgement, experience, knowledge and creativity are needed for your success.

For new practitioners, this Guide is a practical primer for engaging people online. For more experienced practitioners, it is a call to find creative and effective ways of engaging the public, using information and communication technology, especially Web 2.0 technologies and social media.

This Guide focuses on online participation only. It does not cover electronic voting (e-voting) in elections which falls under the responsibility of the Chief Electoral Office.

The Guide was drafted online which is reflected in its structure and format. The sections are interconnected and relevant resources are hyperlinked to allow you to follow alternative paths through the material, depending on your interests and focus. There are three main parts.

  • Overview - provides a brief but holistic introduction to Online Participation for all readers.
  • Snapshot - offers a strategic review of each section's essential elements for policy officials and business managers.
  • Full story - provides indepth assessment and more operational detail for those responsible for putting it all into practice.

Overview - Introducing Online Participation

A guide for navigating online participation. This section provides a quick introductory tour of the main issues addressed in the Guide to Online Participation.


Why have a guide? This section defines the scope and purpose of the Guide to Online Participation.


Sound principles can stand the test of time. This section sets out the core principles for online participation.


Good design puts principles into practice. This section describes how to design successful online participation.

Project management is where design hits reality. This section describes how to successfully manage online participation.

Evaluating to learn, learning to evaluate. This section provides guidance for evaluating online participation.


Want more? Need help? Look here. This section provides tools, case studies,a glossary and links to useful resources for online participation projects.