3 Governments Pioneering Digital Identity Authentication

PlaceSpeak has long pioneered the use of digital identity authentication for public consultation, ensuring that proponents are hearing from real, relevant people. Now, governments are starting to realize the importance of digital identity verification for online service delivery.

As people are increasingly expecting to access government services online in their own time, while ensuring the same rigour and security from an in-person experience, digital identity authentication will become the next big challenge for governments. Here are a few examples of how governments are tackling this crucial issue.

Courses and Resources for Citizen Engagement Professionals

Rapid advances in digital technologies have empowered people to participate and provide feedback in new and different ways. As citizens increasingly expect ongoing engagement with decision-makers, the field of public engagement must be ready to adapt to these changes and expectations.

Whether you’re new to the industry or an experienced engagement professional, check out these options for upgrading your skills and staying up-to-date with new techniques and technologies.

In Conversation With Ian McKinnon

Each month, PlaceSpeak presents a Q&A with experts in urbanism, public engagement, and civic technology.

This month, we spoke with Ian McKinnon, Chair of the National Statistics Council of Canada and former President of Decima Research. He has worked extensively with private and public sector clients to design and analyse survey research for both market research and policy issues, and has been a leading voice on the importance of reinstating Canada’s long-form census. Ian’s decades of experience in public opinion research and statistical analysis bring new perspectives to citizen engagement in the digital age.

Staff Spotlight: Hedi Rashidi

With over two years of experience in international urban planning, Hedi Rashidi joins the PlaceSpeak team as a Community Engagement Manager. Her interests include the transformation of cities resulting from urban planning/design, and the necessity of effective public engagement throughout the planning process.

“A lot of people are not necessarily anti-development. Often, they’re not adequately informed or don’t trust the process. If we can create a more transparent process where people are willing to be open-minded and hear each other out rather than just fighting, we can achieve the best possible results for our neighbourhoods.”

How Online Citizen Engagement Can Turn NIMBY Into YIMBY

NIMBY (“not in my backyard”) is a term used to characterize opposition by residents to nearby projects and developments (e.g. housing, infrastructure, energy, facilities for the disadvantaged, etc.) because of the perceived negative impact. As a result, NIMBYs are often viewed as selfish and/or ill-informed people who only care about their own interests.

On the other hand, people who challenge these projects claim that they are wrongly portrayed as NIMBYs in order to dismiss their concerns, such as decrease in property prices or public safety.

Regardless of which perspective you agree with, these behaviours can be disruptive and cause long-term delays in projects or developments. How can you turn NIMBY to YIMBY — “yes in my backyard”? Here are some ways that online tools can help minimize disruptions, ensure that a diversity of voices are being represented, and make the public engagement process smoother.