LeapZipBlog: Karthik

Karthik's blog

12 blogs

100 Ideas To Engage Your Community Online

July 30, 2019 by Karthik  

This short guide was first put together by the team at Bang the Table back in 2009 to engage your community online when we were still babes in the woods. The business was just two years old, and our online engagement experience ran to around 200 projects, almost all in Australia.

Now we work with over 200 clients in five countries – Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and the United States. In 2015 alone, we hosted more than 2300 consultations on our specialist EngagementHQ and BudgetAllocator community engagement and participatory budgeting platforms respectively.

100 Ideas to Engage Your Community Online

It’s this experience that has helped us develop the second iteration of the “100 Ideas” booklet.

We’ve written it with the time poor in mind. And we’ve tried to walk the line between creating a resource that will help get you up and running with online engagement, without weighing you down with too much information.

We hope it will provide a starting point for people working across a range of sectors; community engagement, public relations, communications and project management.

A few of our ideas are controversial, many are common sense; we hope all will help you navigate across the new and burgeoning field of online community engagement.


Get your free copy of the guide: 100 Ideas to Engage Your Community Online

How to Approach Digital-First Community Engagement

July 24, 2019 by Karthik  

Shifting your thinking towards delivering a digital-first community engagement program requires an understanding of the obstacles you will face, the online tools and methodologies you will use and engagement techniques that will incite continuous engagement with your community.



This guide walks you through the common challenges, opportunities and pitfalls you may face while providing practical strategies and advice to help you build a successful digital-first engagement practice for your organisation.


DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE: How to Approach Digital-First Community Engagement

Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Communication

July 17, 2019 by Karthik  

There are clear advantages and disadvantages of online communication that need to be considered when planning an online community engagement process.

Note: You can find a significantly updated and expanded version of this post describing the benefits of online communication for community engagement here, and another describing the disadvantages of online communication of community engagement here.



I found this on Wikiversity, one of the many resources on Wikipedia, today. Whenever we talk about engaging communities online we are inevitably questioned about “exclusion” issues. What socio-demographic group does this technology favour? Who is being excluded from this debate?

As with any and all community engagement techniques, online community engagement is not a panacea. It has advantages and disadvantages. It is a relatively easy technology for some and relatively more difficult for others. There are two critical messages… No technique can stand alone. And, just because a technique is new that doesn’t mean it has to solve every single problem to be worthwhile.

What follows is drawn from a post on Wikiversity about online education. Many of the comments and lessons are similar and familiar, particularly if you think about the community engagement process as a mutual learning space.

Continue to read Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Communication

10 Must Knows About Online Engagement Reporting

June 27, 2019 by Karthik  

If you are using your online forum for any kind of research – including community consultation – you will need both qualitative and quantitative reports from collected data in order to garner relevant information for decision-making. Our community engagement software EngagementHQ provides online engagement reporting with both of these data inputs.



1.Quantitative reporting of forum visitation patterns is critical. It will help compare its performance against expectations and other engagement strategies.

2.The raw numbers from a report are useful in understanding and explaining the level of interest in a project i.e. visitor numbers, the number of comments, the number of registrations, etc.

continue to read 10 Must Knows About Online Engagement Reporting

10 Most Success Factors for Engaging Online

June 26, 2019 by Karthik  

The presentation from 2010 outlines the ten critical success factors for engaging online where the aim is to get more people involved and keep more people involved in your online consultations.


continue to read more 10 Most Success Factors for Engaging Online

9 Reasons EngagementHQ Is Perfect For Citizens’ Assemblies

June 20, 2019 by Karthik  

EngagementHQ provides a suite of resources for looking after engaging citizens’ assemblies. This includes information widgets, which provide your assembly members with a range of resources to become more informed about topics that the assembly will be asked to discuss.


Assembly members will have access to document libraries, video and image libraries, FAQs and much more, providing the essential ingredients for meaningful deliberation. These information widgets integrate seamlessly with the eight discussion and deliberation tools like discussion forums, the ideas tool, storytelling, places, surveys and quick opinion polls. Together this creates a perfect environment for online participation and efficient deliberative engagement.


continue to read 9 Reasons EngagementHQ Is Perfect For Citizens’ Assemblies

Benchmarking Your Performance With EngagementIQ

June 18, 2019 by Karthik  

Have you ever wondered how your organization is performing in its online community engagement activities using EngagementHQ ? Do you want to develop benchmarks, track your progress and compare your engagement activities to your peers?

This article explains how our new Site Review and Benchmarking service can help you and your team achieve better online engagement results by taking a deeper look at your digital engagement activities.




Our EngagementIQ Site Review and Benchmarking Report provides a unique way for organizations to take a deeper look at their online engagement practices. This report brings together insights about key areas of engagement practice to help teams evaluate engagement trends and benchmark against peer organizations and past performance. This service is designed to help organizations develop an overall performance snapshot and get a better understanding of how to improve in the future.

continue to read Benchmarking Your Performance With EngagementIQ

4 Ways Behavioural Insights to Improve Citizen Engagement

June 11, 2019 by Karthik  

The insights from the ‘behavioural sciences’ are being used increasingly by governments around the world to help

citizens make better choices. Can behavioural insights be used by the community engagement sector to help get more people more engaged?

Just in case you are really extraordinarily busy and have no time to read this post, this is the pithiest of summaries. The people from the UK Government’s behavioural insights (BI) team have proposed four key principles for BI that have a lot to offer community engagement practitioners.


4 key behavioural insights:

1.Make it easy

2.Make it attractive

3.Make is social

4.Make it timely

Take these thoughts and run with them!

Just last week I was roped in to be part of a ‘panel’, at an internet governance conference in Melbourne, to discuss how the burgeoning ‘ behavioural insights ’ movement might assist the digital engagement sector.

While I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about digital engagement, I haven’t spent a lot of time exploring the behavioural insights literature; and so, not wanting to appear the ignoramus, I thought it best to brush up!

It turns out that, while not without it’s critics (and not without reason), it’s a thoroughly interesting area of work and research; and, while some of the examples that are bandied about suffer from the “isn’t that a bit obvious” phenomenon, there are more than enough interesting examples to make it worth a deeper look.

continue to read 4 Ways Behavioural Insights to Improve Citizen Engagement

Mobilised Citizens Improve Public Participation Into Environmental Policies

June 6, 2019 by Karthik  

Researchers at Stockholm Environment Institute find mobilised citizens key to expanding meaningful public participation crucial to achieving sustainability goals.


In a honed discussion brief1 published earlier this year, researchers at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) decisively unpack the challenges of expanding meaningful public participation crucial to achieving sustainability goals. This follows on from, what seems to be, a heightening of public participation globally. Indeed, as the authors note, the United Nations’ global online survey on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development used an unparalleled public outreach of more than 7.5 million people from over 190 countries.

Yet, although many international engagement frameworks for civil society exist, participation is both an urgent and vital aspect of the sustainability agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) produced by the United Nations in 2015, specifically calls for “responsive, inclusive, and participatory and representative decision-making at all levels” (SDG 16.7). Despite this commitment, the authors argue that “coordinated action to improve public participation does not receive the same level of attention as some of the other SDGs – such as building resilient infrastructure or encouraging sustainable consumption.”

Continue to read Mobilised Citizens Improve Public Participation Into Environmental Policies

Benefits of Online Community Engagement

May 30, 2019 by Karthik  

Generally speaking, community engagement is built on the democratic idea that everyone who is affected by an issue that impacts their community should have a say in the decision making around it.






Although there’s no commonly agreed community engagement definition , essentially community engagement is about mutual decision making, where people, governments and organisations work collaboratively to create sustainable visions for their community’s future. For governments and organisations, it’s about working with and listening to communities to forge long term relationships and develop meaningful solutions to complex issues.

But, while many models and frameworks of public participation shape how to engage communities, much can depend on how these conversations happen, where they take place, and how they best include the diverse range of voices that have a stake in them.

continue to read Benefits of Online Community Engagement