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OpenDCN (Open Deliberative Community Networks) is an open-source collection of deliberative spaces, each with specific tools to foster discussion:

Community space: aimed at fostering public dialog on civic issues and facilitating the rise of mutual trust between participants through free discussions;

Deliberation space: fosters the creation of a shared vision position among the partcipants, i.e., to finalize a deliberative process in order to produce a well defined outcome. Deliberation space makes up the core of the participatory system; participatory processes consist of a series of deliberation stages, each relying on a different participatory modality and involving different participants.

Personal space: Manage user profile, relationships and personal objects of each user.

Each space is equipped with the following tools to facilitate the participation process:

• Informed Discussion: an enriched forum with facilities for sharing information resources to support the discussion and for finalizing the discussion by producing, asynchronously and collaboratively, a summary document.

• Problems and Proposals: collect constructive proposals that meet at least a problem previously reported by others or by the same participant.

• Certified Citizen Consultation: polls among participants, who choose among alternatives, thanks to a variety of polling modalities; Certified Consultation is suitable when the opinion of a large number of people must be heard.

• On-Line Ordered Meeting: structures synchronous on-line debate finalized to making decisions. It can be seen as an advanced chat where times and modes of interaction are organized by a set of business-meeting rules adopted to support a fair decision-making discussion. This tool is useful to support limited groups of people who have to work together synchronously on very specific issues or on bound domains.

• Agenda: designed for outlining and managing the deliberative process, as well as for coordinating all the deliberation tools associated with a certain stage of the process.

Events calendars, brainstorming, e-petitions, and social mapping are among OpenDCN’s eclectic modular toolbox. For the full set of tools and detailed explanation of each tool’s function, consult the website. A demo version of the tool can be found “here”:

OpenDCN has been used in numerous Italian municipalities and is based in Milan, Italy. It was developed jointly by the Foundation RCM (FRCM) and the Civic Informatics Laboratory (LIC).

Additional information

Slice & Dice

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A list of projects that have used OpenDCN: