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Draft goals for the year through May 2020

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11 months to go…

Two weeks ago the full-time team got together to review last year’s goals and plot what we want to achieve over the next year.

Next May sees local elections scattered across England, some mayoral elections (including London), the London Assembly and the Police & Crime Commissioner (remember them?) elections.

It’s unlikely any of this is particularly shocking, but it is currently still only the view of three people, so we’d love your feedback on it — contact details below.

If you prefer to read it in landscape, so that you can see how each goal breaks down into things we have to do, you can view and comment on the Google Sheet version here.

Big sweaty ambitions

Here’s some nice societal impact that we could only really measure if we had bags of cash and a longitudinal study and we could never really attribute entirely to us anyway… but it’s still useful to state these:

  • Sustainable increase in civic expectations of access to democracy information being met.
  • Sustainable improvement in trust in democracy.
  • Sustainable increase in citizens informed about elections and the democratic process.
  • Sustainable increase in engagement with candidates or the elections process.
  • Sustainable increase in turnout at elections.
  • Sustainable increase in engagement of groups less likely to take part in democratic process.

Here’s the things we think we can more directly affect, or, indeed, effect:

  • 1.5m people reached with voter information for 2020 local / mayoral / PCC elections
  • 10m people reached with voter information in the event of a snap general election or referendum
  • 100% coverage of elections and basic candidate information for all by-elections and scheduled elections through May 2020
  • 90% coverage of May 2020 electorate (18+ population) with polling location data (i.e. PCC election areas without local elections won’t count) One or more new user(s) of by-election data (other than WhoCanIVoteFor.co.uk)
  • Five-point rise in % of candidates for whom we have more information than simply a name and party affiliation
  • Five-point rise in satisfaction on WhoCanIVoteFor.co.uk”
  • Our websites can be used by anyone
  • Our websites keep working and are secure
  • Better opportunities for club members
  • Better understanding of user needs of underrepresented audiences
  • Positive noises about some institution of state agreeing to take on data provision

Here’s what we’re planning to do to get there:

  • More accessible, well-documented elections data API and CSV to encourage data use
  • Partner with organisations with audiences (from Facebook to hyperlocal news websites)
  • Support delivery of new Electoral Commission website through their supplier, Numiko
  • Produce “ElectionEverything widget” — one widget to rule them all
  • Maintain readiness for a snap general election: freelancers; sources of funding; communication plan; partnerships plan; volunteers plan.
  • Maintain databases
  • Keep volunteers happy
  • Maintain (or instigate) good relations with local authorities and The Electoral Commission. Identify and work through remaining gaps.
  • Good documentation, support for sensible use of the API
  • Build relationships with potential data users
  • Frontend improvements to Candidates crowdsourcing platform for better user experience to encourage more volunteering
  • Improve data model to distinguish between candidate and campaign, allowing for more data fields (e.g. newspaper stories about a candidate
  • Improve robots that take data directly from PDFs allowing for more valuable use of human time
  • Make it easier for local party offices to add information that applies to all their candidates
  • Liaise with local parties, local government, Electoral Commission, to encourage candidates to add data on themselves
  • Light design improvements to WhoCanIVoteFor.co.uk
  • Meet WCAG2.1 Accessibility requirements on our voter-facing websites
  • Tech upgrades and maintenance
  • Survey mailing list to understand needs and opportunities
  • Identify potential new quests for members
  • Piggyback on existing events to bring crowdsourcing parties to new audiences in new locations
  • Research experiences of underrepresented audiences at 2020 elections
  • Produce documentation on how Electoral Commission could take on polling location finder
  • Produce doc on how Electoral Commission could build an in-house digital team
  • Outline and present how a UK version of the US Voting Information Project could work
  • Outline and present concept for new public institution for democratic engagement information

Here’s (some of) the help we’ll need:

  • Feedback from API and CSV users; suggestions from potential users
  • Introductions to relevant organisations
  • Designer and developer support
  • Wide range of external support required
  • Temporary elections assistant and spatial data developer (Feb thru May 2020)
  • Design and UX support
  • Introductions to event hosts

Please let us know what you think. What have we missed? What doesn’t make sense?

Get in touch:

Jump into the online chat in Slack, tweet us, post on our facebook page, or email hello@democracyclub.org.uk.