On 30 November we invited representatives of the municipalities with whom we cooperate in order to discuss the first results of the extensive surveys conducted by our research group. The focus was on the question of how the respective participation procedures are assessed by those participating and which aspects motivate or discourage such participation.
Despite the diversity of the five projects we examined (and the still small number of participants), the assessments of the people participating in such processes show a relatively high degree of agreement. Overall, the evaluations of the participation processes are rather positive with regard to the course of discussion and transparency. At the same time, however, there are also comparable challenges in all processes. For example, the representation of one’s own interests is rated as relatively good, but gaps in the representation of other opinions are perceived. Also, a balance of interests is not always achieved. Furthermore, the participants are rather sceptical about the actual impact of the participation results on the political process, even though they still deem such an impact possible.
Part of the efforts of the research group is to develop tools that support the evaluation of citizen contributions from participation processes. On 10 December 2021 the research group hosted a workshop with practitioners (including local planning officials, participation officers and planning experts) to discuss our recent developments, part of which have been published in the Proceedings of the 8th Workshop on Argument Mining.
More information on the insights from the workshop is available in German.
This term we are offering a master course in which we use proposals from online consultation processes in conjunction with individual-level survey data to analyse if social status of participants is reflected in the language they use in their written proposals. To this end, we utilize AI-based methods of Natural Language Processing.
Our first practical workshop in summer 2020 focused on the question of how the evaluation of citizen contributions can be technically supported and what requirements practitioners have for a software solution designed to (partially) automate the evaluation.
More information can be found in the working paper (German version only!):
On 28 February 2020, the junior research group organized the first meeting of the advisory board. The meeting of the members from research and practice took place at the Berlin Social Science Center WZB.
A central point of the event was the introduction and getting to know the members of the advisory board and the members of the junior research group. As group leader, assistant professor Tobias Escher presented the interdisciplinary research project in general. Laura Mark (urban planning), Katharina Huseljić (sociology) and Julia Romberg (computer science) then discussed the research projects of the individual disciplines in more detail. In the following discussion, a constructive exchange on the requirements of the single project parts and the overall project took place. At the end of the meeting, a joint decision was made in a feedback round to continue the exchange semi-annually to annually.
CIMT thanks all participants for a successful day!