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Brooklawn NJ captures project feedback from residents using white-labeled online engagement platform

Brooklawn, NJ

Brooklawn, NJ is using an online engagement platform to inform and obtain feedback from its residents on projects the city is proposing, and to keep the residents continually engaged for events, updates, repairs and disaster management.

Topics Covered

Open Data
Transparency
Civic Technology
Cybersecurity & Communications
Process Improvement

Cost

Initial: 1 Thousand USD

Funding

General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Status

Operational since 2022

Gov Champion

Mayor's Office

Problem Addressed

The Mayor of Brooklawn, NJ and council members from several surrounding cities recently met to discuss community engagement.

The community had no convenient or efficient way to engage with and reach the full constituency of Brooklawn. As a result, city leadership was often feeling reactive, dealing with rumors and fake news, instead of being able to proactively and productively engagement constituents around specific questions. For city leaders, the top priorities for investing in any digital engagement platform included: data privacy for residents, scalability so that engagement was continuous and not just project-by-project, low cost and easy to implement, interface that matched the expectations of the younger generation.

Solutions Used

Civy’s online platform, a software-as-a-service, has been implement as a dedicated white-labeled service for Brooklawn.

The city’s team enjoys simplicity of creating an account within Civy and finds it “as simple as using Facebook without the concerns of data privacy or third-party advertising” (actual feedback). Civy provides a streamlined workflow: Residents received targeted notifications for every project or update Brooklawn creates via Civy, which links the resident back to the project. Residents are able to provide feedback as requested and in confidence so each feedback is only visible to the city officials registered on the platform under the master-city account. Brooklawn is able to download the report for each engagement. There is a one-off deployment charge (usually less than $1000); the software-as-a-service is free to use for the city; and the city pays for downloadable reports which are capped as per agreement with city to stay within budget. Civy's multiple languages translation capability (designed to incorporate major languages spoken in US) enables the city and its residents to capture a broader audience.

Outcomes

1

1,100 residents signed up

2

City of Brooklawn has added four projects for feedback

3

The City expects that online engagement will increase by over 75%

4

Downloadable reports have enabled Brooklawn to analyze feedback data in new ways, enriching the city's understanding by combing it with other existing data sources

5

Mayor requested nearby cities consider using the platform to support regional coordination & is thinking of ways to use platform to capture resident ideas & support community-funded projects

Something Unique

Unlike other engagement solutions, to setup this platform there is a one-off deployment charge (usually less than $1,000). After that, the city is only charged when it downloads a new report - to stay within budget, the city can cap the number of reports upfront and add on as needed.

Who Should Consider

Cities that want to improve their resident engagement on a continuous basis, keep costs low, and stay in control of facts, narrative. Cities that want to engage young future leaders into the workings of city.

Last Updated

Jul 16th, 2020
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