Benefits of Online Budget Consultation

Traditionally, governments have held public consultations to solicit feedback on budgets, laws and projects. While these processes are beneficial to the community, traditional consultations have significant limitations. A typical public consultation can be costly and stretch over many months. They are often poorly attended and can attract vocal groups with specific interests who may not represent the average citizen's needs. This is where digital tools come into play.

Trends in Internet use are favorable to an online approach. With the vast majority of people now online, the trend towards online budget consultation has been gaining considerable momentum in North America and elsewhere.

Moving your budget consultations online has multiple benefits for you,
your team and your residents:

  • check Brings greater transparency for your budget planning process
  • check Facilitates an internal discussion on the benefits of online engagement as you and your team work together in designing the tool
  • check All responses aggregated and analyzed, saving staff time sorting through print responses
  • check Far more cost-effective than in-person meetings/workshops
  • check Broadens the consultation beyond special interest groups to the entire community, resulting in an exponential increase in resident participation over public meetings
  • check Lets you make better decisions with better data
  • check Allows seniors, busy professionals, the physically handicapped, single parents and youth to easily participate
  • check Information-rich. With an online budget consultation, you have an opportunity to give residents a clear picture of how much different services cost and of the budgetary constraints your municipality faces
  • check Residents can participate on their own time, from anywhere, at their own pace
  • check Online budget consultations also facilitate a more fair and comprehensive process. Unlike a traditional consultation, where each speaker’s time is limited, an online system lets participants voice their views on each budget priority
  • check Provides limitless educational opportunities for your residents on your programs and services and associated costs and tradeoffs
  • check Available in any language to help you reach under-represented segments
  • check Provides an opportunity to share results subsequently with your residents