In addition to the partners (companies or organisations that provide Decidim services), there may be other actors who wish to collaborate with the Association. Recently, we have received requests from research groups to apply for European projects, or entities that ask us to sign collaboration agreements to work on the extension of digital participation in their geographical area. Sometimes, the Association has not been able to participate in these projects due to a lack of human resources and operational capacity. As a consequence, it’s often difficult for the Association to be identified as an active actor in the projects using Decidim apart from the software maintenance.
This document aims to clarify how the Association can collaborate with players who want to build alliances with us or with whom we want to collaborate.
From the beginning, Decidim has a Social Contract that takes up the values of the project, including one about “Continuous improvement and inter-institutional collaboration”.
“ Priority will be given to the collaboration and the exchange of experiences between the institutions involved in the project, with the aim to improve, fix and build new developments for the continuous improvement of the platform. In this sense, collaborative conditions and environments will be facilitated when moving forward improvements that point to a common benefit of the entire platform, enabling inter-agency coordination mechanisms when necessary. ”
The Decidim association already plays a role in creating and facilitating cooperative groups and a collaborative ecosystem around the development of the software, but we think that this role can be broadened, by making it a more active player in the collaborations projects.
In order to strengthen the role of Decidim, we should allocate more resources to strategic collaborations with different kinds of actors, like governments, institutions, cities, universities, associations or other FLOSS projects.
The main source of funding at present, public subsidies from local governments, originates from the framework collaboration agreement between the Association, the Generalitat de Catalunya and Barcelona City Council, signed at the beginning of 2021 with the aim of supporting and financing the Association's activities, and which will be in force until 31 December 2024.
We want to build new collaborations with other governments, while maintaining the one with the Generalitat de Catalunya and Barcelona City Council. In order to achieve this, we need to search for new alliances by being more proactive in our outreach to governments and cities.
While we build up a network of public institutions with which we collaborate and receive funds from, we should maintain a collaborative space between those institutions.
We should broaden our network of FLOSS projects, and find other possible fundings to develop the software, create interoperability modules and a network of FLOSS projects compatible with Decidim.
The experiment of the collaboration with Vocdoni, for the development of the Votings module, is a good example of what we can achieve by collaborating with other free and open source projects.
Additionally, beyond the institutional and FLOSS funds, we want to position and identify ourselves in a wider ecosystem of technopolitical projects and projects with social impact.
The coordination committee is responsible for validating the collaborations request and dispatch them to the relevant Association entities. The committee will base its decisions on the following criterias:
- Available resources (human, time, money)
- Benefits for the association, possible outcomes
- Step forward for democratic and/or technological innovation
The coordination committee can delegate the power of decision.