• Success Story
  • Barking and Dagenham

How Barking and Dagenham improved resident engagement

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The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is a borough in East London of about 220,000 people and growing. As the population grows, so does the need for innovative engagement and civic participation. The borough has taken steps to foster conversations with residents to determine where their interests overlap with the council’s responsibilities. To meet residents where they are and provide opportunities to work together, Barking and Dagenham implemented Granicus’ all-in-one digital engagement platform.

“EngagementHQ helps us have a dialogue with the community, work with our residents, and show that local councils can make a difference.”
Wayne Trevor, Citizens Alliance Network Project Manager, Borough of Barking and Dagenham

Project Metrics

  • Nearly 200,000 online visits over four years
  • 450+ projects over four years
  • 3,200+ newsletter subscribers through EngagementHQ
  • 3-6 engagement projects per month
Must have Granicus Solutions

From a piecemeal approach to a coordinated effort

Barking and Dagenham had been working with residents in a fragmented way prior to implementing its engagement platform in 2019. The borough had been using online survey tools and other technology programs to reach its community. Additionally, a market research agency conducted an annual citizen survey, used to gauge resident priorities, via phone.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the borough placed greater emphasis on face-to-face engagement. Agency employees would interact directly with residents and have in-person conversations about how the borough could better serve the community. Officials wanted a more streamlined way to communicate and engage with residents and sought a technological solution that would encourage greater citizen participation.


Digital platform and traditional methods enhance engagement

The borough did not completely abandon in-person interactions with residents; rather, it adopted a hybrid approach which included combining traditional methods with the digital platform. For example, borough employees placed signs on park gates with information about what’s going on in the parks and included the same information on the borough’s social channels.

Implementing Granicus’ digital engagement platform helped bring technology to those in the borough who aren’t digitally savvy or who don’t have regular access to technology. Barking and Dagenham officials regularly use the survey function to gather feedback and residents are encouraged by how easy it is to get involved in community projects.


Comprehensive platform encourages engagement

The ease of using the digital engagement platform has not only encouraged more resident involvement, but it has allowed the borough to conduct more projects each month than it did prior to using the platform. Since 2019, Barking and Dagenham has conducted 3-6 projects each month, resulting in over 450 projects.

Digital engagement has seen a boost as the borough has received nearly 200,000 website visits over the past four years. The borough’s weekly newsletter subscriptions through EngagementHQ also grew from a few hundred to over 3,200. Additionally, the platform has given Barking and Dagenham officials access to residents’ engagement history. Having the ability to revisit projects allows staff to apply those learnings to future consultations.

“EngagementHQ makes it easy to take part. When it’s easy for officers to use it, they’re more likely to ask residents their opinions and get them involved.”
Wayne Trevor, Citizens Alliance Network Project Manager, Borough of Barking and Dagenham