The referendum on Scotland’s independence is considered the country’s ‘most important decision for 300 years’.
Ahead of the vote itself, it was vital that the Scottish Government consult its citizens on the content and timing of the referendum.
They also needed to be able to publish the responses received, with an appropriate capability to redact where required.
The Scottish Government chose to use Citizen Space
Citizen Space is cloud-based software for managing, publicising and archiving all consultation activity in one place.
Citizen Space allowed the Scottish Government to manage a series of consultations with very high response rates by using a simple and highly accessible system. They were able to include complex documents and to cross-integrate the consultations with other websites, blogs and social networks while using consistent branding.
We provided custom development which enabled them to rapidly handle large numbers of consultation responses. We were able to set up their initial Citizen Space instance very quickly, with a 2-day turnaround from sign-off to go-live.
High response rate
In total, 23,569 responses were submitted through Citizen Space (compared with 725 that were submitted via email or post). A quantitative and qualitative analysis of the received responses formed the basis of a comprehensive consultation report. This identified some key findings about public opinion on how the referendum should be run: for example, a majority preference for Saturday voting and allowing 16-17 year olds to vote. These ultimately shaped the Scottish Government’s proposal for the referendum.
We wanted to make the process of responding to the consultation as simple as possible - simple for users to express their views, and simple for us to redact, analyse and publish those responses... We were very happy with the outcome.
Christian Storstein, Digital Engagement Manager, The Scottish Government
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