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KiezRadar: Final Report on the Prototype for a Citizen Participation App

News from June 02, 2021

As part of a research project funded by the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Senate Chancellery, the Digital Public Services business unit of Fraunhofer FOKUS has developed a prototype for an app that is intended to serve as a key to greater citizen participation by providing improved information. Instead of digging through Berlin's digital offerings on one's own, the KiezRadar app informs citizens proactively and on-demand about important events from politics and administration. The final report has just been published.

During the development and testing phase of the prototype of the app KiezRadar, the focus was on the questions “What is happening in my neighborhood? What opportunities for participation are there in my neighborhood? What does local politics deal with?”. In Berlin, there are many opportunities for citizens to participate in shaping the city. However, since the offers are published online through different channels and in different places, it is often difficult for interested parties to get an overview and find the participation opportunity that suits them best. This is where KiezRadar comes in: Together with the CityLAB Berlin, new concepts of citizen-administration communication were tested.

The final report, which is now available, describes the technical concept, the architecture, and the concept for the UX design, in addition to many background details. The authors of the report explore the question of what usability means and how to develop a user-oriented and accessible app. To obtain a comprehensive overview of the requirements that potential users place on the KiezRadar app, workshops were held in recent months with Berlin citizens and administrative staff. The final report explains the findings from the workshops and describes the extensive application scenarios selected.

An important aspect of the development of the prototype was the use of public information sources and the enrichment of the content. The final report also addresses the quality of the data sources and the open-source approach. Finally, the report gives an outlook for the further development of the app and describes options for a future for KiezRadar.

The full final report is available for download. The sources of the app can be viewed online via GitLab for all components of KiezRadar. In addition, the KiezRadar project will be discussed virtually at the nationwide Digitaltag on June 18, 2021, at 4:00 pm. Participation is free of charge.