Quality and Usability

Flashpoll - Mobile Participation

Motivation & Project Description

A quite common situation in administrating municipalities is the need to take decisions of various scopes and with differing consequences on different administrative levels and target groups. Though participation has become a regular element in administrative decision processes, we have learned in recent years that early communication is not always enough to guarantee a successful and satisfying result.

This is where the FlashPoll Tool comes into play. Our aim is to develop a tool that allows for better, more satisfying and more consistent communication between citizens and administrators. To this end, a mobile application that initiates flash polls is being developed. Ideally, it will facilitate municipal decision making processes by means of a feedback function and generate bottom-up discussion as well as ideas and interest.

After the first test runs at different universities and schools, the project team will test the application in the cities of Berlin, Paris, Nantes and Stockholm. The municipal FlashPoll tool aims to overcome four short-comings common to online polls:

  • The manipulation by people with an agenda;
  • the lack of a direct link between respondent, questioner and the subject of the questions;
  • a too time consuming structure and
  • the lack of feedback for the participants of a poll.

The FlashPoll application makes use of contextual information and spatial data in order to analyze and address certain target groups of citizens within municipal areas. Inviting citizens to give their opinions through their mobile devices offers a possibility for more contextualized polls. Since the tool is being developed for public clients, data protection and privacy rights are of great concern.


Project Partners

  • Center for Technology and Society (CTS), Technische Universität Berlin (Project Coordination)
  • Deutsche Telekom
  • Technische Universität Berlin - Service-centric Networking (SNET)
  • nexus Institute for Cooperation Management and Interdisciplinary Research
  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
  • University of Stockholm
  • Alfstore, France
  • Missions Publiques, France


Involved QU members: Maija Poikela

Funding: European Institutes of Technology, Innovation Area: Digital Cities of the Future

Time Frame: 01/2013 – 12/2013