Youth Lead the Change - Communication

Objectives:

to support the participative budget process in Boston – in which young people from 12 to 25 years of age decide how the city should spend one million dollars – with mobile solutions for collecting proposals, institutional messages about the project and promotion of engagement, and a survey conducted about visions for the community and civic engagement.

Highlight:

mobile channels attract the participation of a wider audience than meetings in person, enabling minors to engage in the process.

Parameters:

  • Registration: Through SMS invitations to the list of contacts of the Youth Engagement department of the council, self-activation at the in-person events, or through nomination by participants;
  • Audience: 8000 invitations to participate, and about 1500 active contacts throughout the process;
  • Phraseology:Interactive SMS campaigns with institutional messages and to promote engagement. Twenty questions about the social-demographic profile, community participation and views about democracy in the baseline and after the process had closed;
  • Incentives:Entry to a lottery for USD 20 gift cards from Amazon for those that nominated other contacts or answered all of the surveys.

MGov solutions:

  • Self-activation and participative registration;
  • Automated interactive communication by SMS;
  • Voice Response Unit calls.

Main results:

  • Mobile channels attract the participation of a wider audience than meetings in person, enabling minors to engage in the process.
 
 

Youth Lead the Change - Impact Assessment

Objectives:

to assess the impact of the communication strategies for promoting engagement in the Boston participatory budget process – in which young people from 12 to 25 years old decide how the city should spend one million dollars – and to assess the impact of participating in the process on civic engagement and views about democracy.

Highlights:

the project demonstrated that using SMS increased the perception that individuals can influence policy.

Parameters:

  • Registration:Through SMS invitations to the list of contacts of the Youth Engagement department of the council;
  • Audience: 10,000 invitations to participate, and 4000 contacts assigned to the active communication strategies;
  • Phraseology: Two types of communication by SMS, over the 5 weeks: formal and low intensity, and informal and high intensity. Fifteen questions about community participation and views about democracy after the process had closed;
  • Incentives: USD5.00 gift cards from Amazon for those who completed the whole survey.

MGov solutions:

  • Correction of the failure of the randomization using SMS;
  • Automated interactive communication by SMS;
  • Voice Response Unit calls.

Main results:

  • Low intensity, formal communication by SMS makes people feel more comfortable about working in groups;
  • Using SMS also increased the perception that individuals can influence policy.
 
English