Building democracy with a bug tracker

Tim Davies is a busy boy right now. As well as organising the upcoming UKYouthOnline unconference, he is also flinging his ideas into Building Democracy, the new competition to fund exciting ideas to revitalise people’ interest in participating in UK democracy.

Tim’s idea is for keeping ‘Engagement on Track‘:

Drawing on ideas from bug tracking software and open source software projects this project would look to work with a local authority or public institution to help track the progress of ideas and input from the public through the policy process.

Input from consultations and direct from the public would be logged on the system, with every time ideas are discussed, aggregated, discarded or turned into policy proposals and actions logged – so that the people who provided the input in the first place can come back at any time (or get e-mail updates) to let them know how their input has fed into policy making and change making at the local level.

Great idea! As Tim says, bug tracking works just fine on open source software development projects, so why not with local service related issues?

One point I would make is that just using a current open source bug tracker won’t be much use without a lot of work being done on usability, as they can be really complicated things!