OpenDCN | Social Toolbox

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Type: App

Issues: Street conditions | Quality of life | Mobility and Accessibility | Local initiatives

The openDCN software environment – where DCN stands for Deliberative Community Networks – provides on-line dedicated tools to support participation and deliberation.
The openDCN project aims at promoting citizens participation and at linking citizens to their institutions and other decision makers with information products, a communication framework and, finally, an on-line deliberative space capable to involve them in the decision-making process, i.e. to define and put in action initiatives in the field of governance policies and sustainable development for their territory.
The goal of the openDCN project is to enhance the effectiveness of participative processes by conceiving, designing and implementing a socio-technical, computer-enabled, trusted environment for e-participation and fostering the evolution of the classic community-network concept into a new consultative-deliberative paradigm.

How does OpenDCN work?
OpenDCN can manage three different kinds of spaces: a community space, aimed at fostering public dialog on civic issues and facilitating the rise of mutual trust between participants through free discussions; a deliberation space to foster the creation of a shared vision among the participants, to finalize a deliberative process in order to produce a well defined outcome; a personal space to manage user profile, relationships and personal objects of each user.
You can manage these spaces thanks to five different tools: the Informed Discussion tool (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 (the tool by which to collect constructive proposals that meet at least a problem previously reported by others or by the same participant); Certified Citizen Consultation (a tool which 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); the On-line Ordered Meeting tool (it structures synchronous on-line debate finalized to making decisions, useful to support limited groups of people who have to work together synchronously on very specific issues or on bound domains); the Agenda (tool 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).

Target Users can be Administrative bodies such as local Municipalities, Provinces, Regions or Profit and no-profit Organizations. OpenDCN has been used within the e21 project in a number of Lombardy Region Municipalities (Mantova, Brescia, Como, Lecco, Pavia, …) and within many other web2.0 projects, like, CIVES – CIttadini VErso la Sostenibilità, Comunali Milano 2011.



OpenDCN is released with an Open Source license, more precisely: the development framework has been released with MIT license; the application undergoes GPL license.

In order to allow all spaces and modules of the application to be interfaced between each other, some API have been created and placed within the platform’s structure.




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