Here, we discuss some popular software packages for running online PB voting platforms, and how they are compatible with the Method of Equal Shares.
In general, any platform that allows for one of the many input formats compatible with the Method of Equal Shares can be used. After the voting stage, the votes need to simply be exported from the platform, and the voting outcome can then be calculated using one of several available free software packages.
Feel free to contact us for advice.
Stanford Participatory Budgeting Platform
The Stanford Participatory Budgeting Platform is developed by the Stanford Crowdsourced Democracy Team at Stanford University. The project is open-source and free. It has been used by a number of cities in North America and elsewhere.
Cities using the Stanford platform can easily combine it with the Method of Equal Shares, by exporting the individual votes and then computing the election results with a separate open source software package.
It is easy to export voting data from the admin interface of the StanfordPB platform by navigating to
- Analytics > Export to Excel > Individual votes.
This will produce a
.csv file that is easy to use by other software.
Decidim is a popular platform software that allows for citizen participation in several different forms, including participatory budgeting. It was initially used by Madrid and then Barcelona. For PB, it supports knapsack votes (where voters can select as many projects as they like, as long as they fit within the budget limit), and approval voting with a limit on the number of votes.
Unfortunately, Decidim does not have a simple way to export voting results, so a system administrator would need to directly query the decidim database in order to retrieve the data necessary to compute the election outcome when using the Method of Equal Shares.