While representative democracy is always at a risk of corruption, Involving citizens in decision making process is a great challenge.
A web app that can be used for public participation in policy shaping, from the municipality level to the nation state level.
This is the total amount allocated to Decentralizing Government
When People are excluded from the decision making process their chances to improve their live are very low. Creating a governance systems that are transparent, open and inclusive can pave a pass towards improvements in many aspects of life.
Institutional corruption can be reduced by implementing and practicing public participation in decision making processes. To do that in large scale we need decentralized tools that will be efficient, secure, user friendly and trustworthy.
Consenz is a tool that open a way to address large crowds, get their advice, and listen to their ideas without being overwhelmed with noise. It does this by focusing the discussion on one document that has been edited by all users, in a democratic manner. The users can vote for alternative text suggestions, comment on them, and publish suggestions of their own. The process is based on an automatic algorithm that calculates the level of consensus that the document as a whole achieved during the discussion.
Consenz is designed to
Consenz has been used in public participation processes by municipalities and NGOs in Israel, and by doing so helped to create the processes of decision making to be more efficient, more transparent, while widening the circle of citizens that choose to take part in them.
Our solution offers a simple and intuitive application that gives users a new way to express their views on matters that impact their lives, and gives policy shaping institutions a new way to hear the public and respond to them.
The Project Status
Since 2018 we have been building a prototype of Consenz (until lately it was available only in Hebrew) and in 2020-2021 we have completed a proof-of-concept phase. The app prototype has been used by diverse groups for different purposes in Israel, among them:
Many poor nations tend to suffer from governmental corruption. Democratize decision making in those countries from the top (current government institutes) down is almost impossible because of inherent corruption in those institutes.
By providing a bottom-up solution for decision making for communities and local level agencies we can contribute to encourage a new culture of managing the common goods that may, eventually, create a long term impact on the national level.
More on the connection between corruption and poverty see:
Opening the process of decision making may be vulnerable to trolling, bots using and other harmful activities.
We plan to mitigate this risk by creating a community driven moderation system that will encourage trustworthy participants to identify and report those bad actors without using centralized censorship.
In order to provide this tool for the use of communities and governmental agencies such as municipalities and other of the purpose of public participation in decision making, we plan to:
Total: 28,400 USD
Consenz is partner of ADAgov.org, Software Development Cooperative. Funded F3, F4, F5.
Consenz founder and project manager: Aharon Porath, a techno-social entrepreneur. Since 2011, Aharon has been involved in a few tech and non-tech ventures to develop consensus-based decision-making methods and platforms for distributed public participation goals.
Aharon has 6 years of experience as a project manager of web platforms and apps, among them - "Open Committee", a web app that enables environmental activists, NGOs and citizens to participate in the decision-making process of Israel's planning department, funded by the government's Israel Innovation Authority.
Social UX Advisor: Niels Kijf. Niels (Master Digital Media Design, Oxford) is a digital design innovator pur sang . He started the Social Design Academy to deliver UX 3.0 education. Our current software design is still targeting the individual, yet web3 is designing shared experiences for groups, a fresh new field that needs a new educational program. Levelling up UX into Social UX is one of the SDA missions for 2022.
Design and Development: Sofi is a software cooperative that provides solutions for municipalities, universities, startups, well-established companies, entrepreneurs and NGOs.
The coop model relies on decentralized, consensus-based decision making, as well as total influence and wage equality for all present and future members.
Product Manager: Roy Golan. Sofi Coop co-founder. Civic participation & collaboration tools enthusiast since 2012.
Community Manager & Business Development: Ofry Erlich. Sofi's business development director. Political activist with exepertise in political parties campaigns & internal processes.
UI/UX Designer: Tzur Sherzer. After managing a big design department, Tzur has joined the team as a lead designer, and is dedicated to the challenge of making the advanced deliberative democratic discussion interface accessible for people from all communities and backgrounds.
Software Architects and Developers: Aviran Katz, Nadav Moreno*.* With vast experience from dosens of projects, Aviran and Nadav will be leading the development team, with the backup of the entire Sofi development department, as well as external developers.
Our main goal is to provide Consenz to the small governmental agencies around the world. We have already been contacted from some potential costumers as Tel Aviv municipality , , and we hope to start onboarding them as soon as we finish developing and testing the MVP version of Consenz.
Success metrics will includes number of agencies using Consenz platform, and number of active users registered and returning.
Targets for 6 months after MVP lunch:
Success of this project will be that consenz platform will become the standard tool for drafting and creating agreements by communities, municipalities and government agencies.
Fund 6: "Consenz: A Virtual Parliament App" - not funded.
Fund 7: "₳GOV: Policy Registry" - not funded.
Fund 7: "₳GOV: Agreements Building Platform" - funded.
This is a resubmission of our F7 proposal for the Nation Building dApps challenge.
Other consenz Fund8 proposals:
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
17.16 Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
17.17 Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships
Key Performance Indicator (KPI):
11.3.2 Proportion of cities with a direct participation structure of civil society in urban planning and management that operate regularly and democratically
16.3.3 Proportion of the population who have experienced a dispute in the past two years and who accessed a formal or informal dispute resolution mechanism, by type of mechanism
16.6.2 Proportion of population satisfied with their last experience of public services
16.7.1 Proportions of positions in national and local institutions, including (a) the legislatures; (b) the public service; and (c) the judiciary, compared to national distributions, by sex, age, persons with disabilities and population groups
16.7.2 Proportion of population who believe decision-making is inclusive and responsive, by sex, age, disability and population group
17.16.1 Number of countries reporting progress in multi-stakeholder development effectiveness monitoring frameworks that support the achievement of the sustainable development goals
17.17.1 Amount in United States dollars committed to public-private partnerships for infrastructure
10 years of working with governmental officials and municipalities to build and promote apps for public participation in decision making