Budget Engagements in a Hybrid World


eDemocracy Webinar Series - Social

Webinar Summary 

Click here to read the speaker bios.

2:32 - Andrea Reimer introduces the topic of today’s webinar and webinar guests Amanda Gibbs, Susanna Haas Lyons, and John Richardson.

6:09 - Amanda Gibbs discusses the added budgeting challenges that have accompanied COVID-19 and social distancing measures. She also mentions the opportunities through digital communication methods, specifically, bringing younger demographics, young parents, and people with disabilities into budget conversations. 

10:17 - Amanda Gibbs talks about the importance of creating partnerships with community-lead organizations, in order to hear from a more diverse range of voices. - “Partnerships are key to taking intersectional approaches, because when you partner with an organization that already has those relationships… you’re not trying to duplicate it... [you’re] trying to build on the strengths of others.”

15:26 - Susanna Haas Lyons discusses how social distancing measures have brought forth the idea that public engagement does not have to be place and time based, but focuses on accessibility using both synchronous and asynchronous methods. She brings focus to integrating engagement processes into the everyday activities of individuals.

22:35 - John Richardson explores how digital engagement has opened the door to more diverse and inclusive engagement practices and using innovative strategies to meet people where they’re at.

28:32 - Amanda Gibbs discusses how online tools can be used to illustrate the trade-offs that exist in budget processes, COVID 19 impacts and how increased need in a particular area of funding influences other government-provided services. 

30:24 - Susanna Haas Lyons explains her strategy for moving forward in a hybrid offline and online world following the pandemic. She describes her approach as a “digital-first process” aimed at making engagement processes that are inclusive and accessible to everyone and then expanding the reach to in-person spaces.

38:00 - Susanna Haas Lyons responds to a participant question: “Did you find that marginalized people see registering for online engagement activities as a barrier to participating?”. She emphasizes transparency and ensuring a safe space for participants by anticipating the various identities and needs of participants.

41:52 - John Richardson discusses the importance of monitoring the engagement process to get feedback from users and ensure you have a smooth user experience to improve your engagement completion rates. 

54:45 - Andrea Reimer asks each webinar guest to discuss their strategy for combatting engagement uncertainty around budget consultations in Fall 2021.


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