eParticipation is decision-making using online tools. Digital and mobile participation enables citizens to take part in more efficient decision-making, independent from time and place. Young people want to voice their ideas and opinions in particular, and most use technology to communicate. Active youth participation can be effectively enabled through a combination of online tools and offline activities. If you would like to share your ideas and join the community of eParticipation professionals and practitioners, the Facebook group "eparticipation" is made for you: https://www.facebook.com/groups/eparticipation/
OPIN is a European-wide youth participation platform available for public administrations and youth organisations of any size and level to set up participative processes. Interested initiators can start their own participation processes on the platform. Through using OPIN, municipal authorities, youth organisations, educational institutions, youth clubs, and similar institutions have the possibility to engage young people actively in decision-making processes online. OPIN is an all-in-one digital and mobile participation toolbox, easily embedded on web sites. OPIN provides participation projects with a digital home. All stages of participation processes are transparent and supported by OPIN’s software:
OPIN is a result of a research and innovation project called “EUth - Tools and Tips for Mobile and Digital Youth Participation in and across Europe”. This project is implemented by 11 partners in 8 European countries in various sectors.
EUth is funded by the EU research and innovation program "HORIZON2020". The aim of EUth is to have more young people involved in political decision-making and to increase their trust in European political institutions. EUth and its partners developed youth-friendly digital and mobile participation tools and set up attractive participation projects to achieve this aim. OPIN was created as a solution to these targets. Read more on www.euth.net or on our About-page. To stay informed on current developments follow EUth on Facebook and Twitter.
Currently, three participation processes are offered by OPIN: "collecting ideas", "collaborative text work" and "mobile polling".
For your participation project, you can choose one or several of these processes and invite participants to take part. Your participants can join online discussions, comment, make proposals and vote on specific or open topics or texts. The results of discussions and voting can be displayed transparently on the platform.
As an initiator, you will have the possibility to take over the role as moderator, which enables you to manage your community, send messages to your members, comment on their proposals and define the status of the proposals put forward (accepted, denied, in discussion, etc). After a participation process is completed, it can be closed by the initiator.
If you wish to start a new participation process on OPIN in 2016 or 2017, please contact us at info(at)opin.me. We will be delighted to further assist you. If you wish to join an existing participation process, you have most likely been invited via an automatic email from your organisation. Follow the instructions in this invitation email. After joining OPIN, you enter the participation process of your organisation. Then you have a chance to express your opinion, vote and comment on other ideas.
OPIN allows you to invite new members to your participation process on the platform. Naturally, this must comply with data protection and privacy rules. We ask you to check whether these rules apply to your organisation or in your municipality. A user import follows these steps:
• Preparation of an excel file with basic information on participants (including user names, email addresses and user roles in the participation process)
• Invitation text to be send out automatically and is standardized
• Both need to be sent to opin (at) liqd.de at least 2 weeks before you wish to start your participation process.
Organisations who apply a user import receive a template for the excel file as well as for the invitation text. In addition, an explanatory text will be provided. When the user import is conducted, a single OPIN user account is generated automatically for every participant on the excel list. An generated invitation email is issued by OPIN and sent out to the email address of the participant. This email contains a invitation text you provide based on a template, as well as a link to your participation project and a pre-generated password. Once the user clicks on this link, their user account is activated and they are asked to change the password immediately. Please note that user import can only be applied to „collecting ideas“ and „collaborative text work“-processes.
As OPIN is developed as part of the research project "EUth- Tools and Tips for Mobile and Digital Youth Participation in and across Europe" we need to provide anonymized user names for all participants under the age of 18. Please make sure that the user names of the participants on the excel-template are anonymized in case you make use of the user import.
OPIN offers three basic participation processes: "collecting ideas", "collaborative text work" and "mobile polling". These processes are realised through two software tools: the software Adhocracy, which provides OPIN with web-based functionality for online idea collection and collaborative text work, and the mobile application FlashPoll which enables quick contextual mobile polling.
"Collecting Ideas" is of great benefit for consulting youth on a specific topic or conducting a general agenda-setting process. The functionality of OPIN processes enables young people to put forward and develop proposals, comment on existing ideas and vote.
"Collaborative text work" is especially helpful for youth organisations, youth councils or public administrations that frequently develop position papers, statements or working programs with youth and wish to be able to do this with the help of digital tools. The process allows initiators to set up a draft text, paragraph by paragraph, on the platform. They can subsequently invite youth to comment on each paragraph and to vote upon the best comments.
"Mobile polling" provides a quick way of involving youth into decision making processes with location-based poling. FlashPoll is a free mobile app, which can be downloaded on the App store and the Play store. It allows decision-makers to create professional geo-localized surveys and promote them to local youth at defined moments and places, so that they can answer the poll directly on their mobile phones.
OPIN is currently available in English, Danish, French, Slovenian, German, Swedish, and Italian. However, as a truly European platform we aim to break language barriers and provide OPIN in as many languages as possible. If you would like to use OPIN in your native language, you can help us. Please contact translation[at]opin.me /opin[at]liqd.de to find out more about taking part in the community-based translation process of the software.
The security of our users’ personal data is very important to us. You can be assured that we will handle your data with care and sensibility in order to ensure a high standard of security. OPIN is hosted on European Servers where European data protection laws apply. Every OPIN account is tied to a verified email address. Each user sets up an account with a password.
OPIN will be developed in three phases, this allows us to ensure the principle of participation by design. We take user feedback seriously into account for each of the phases. OPIN was launched in 2017. If you would like to follow development there are a couple of options: