The highest level(s) of influence this method typically matches with on the IAP2 public participation spectrum is…


To provide the public with balanced and objective information.


To obtain public feedback on analysis, alternatives and/or decisions.


To work directly with the public throughout the process.


To partner with the public in each aspect of the decision.


To place final decision making in the hands of the public.

Main Focus
Collect and compile input
Mini method
Minimal (1-3) staff members
Low cost (under 10k)
Small scale (under 25)

Dotmocracy is a mini method, often facilitated to help groups prioritise ideas they have collectively generated. Dotmocracy is also known as dot-voting or idea rating, works well in workshops to help move from long wish lists of ideas to a more feasible few to pursue. It is a highly participatory and active activity that sees all participants get an equal number of votes to influence the next steps in the process.

What you'll need

Virtual Delivery

  • Video conferencing software
  • Data capture software – set up to reflect dotmocracy sheets
  • Facilitator
  • Runsheet

In-person Delivery

  • Appropriate and accessible venue for interactive session
  • Mini kit of workshop materials (paper, pens, templates, sticker dots etc)
  • Dotmocracy flip chart sheets or ideas rating sheets
  • Facilitator
  • Runsheet

How to guide


In dotmocracy, the facilitator gives all participants an equal number of sticker dots. Their task is to look across all of the ideas generated (pinned around the room on flipcharts) in the previous activity and then “vote/place dot” for what they believe are the best ideas. Participants may spread their votes among a number of options, or consolidate their votes on a single option (depending on the predetermined rules). The option(s) with the most dots at the end of voting “win.” One variation of dotmocracy uses different color stickers to signify different values, for example, a green dot means something is liked and a red dot means it is disliked.

Idea Rating Sheets

Below are instructions for using idea rating sheets, which is a more sophisticated voting system than sticker dot voting. Dotmocracy and ideas rating sheets, typically follow on from idea generation activities and help the group lift up the most important ideas (based on levels of support from all participants). See example of an idea rating sheet here *

1. Write all ideas/statements on separate idea rating sheets.

  • Ideas are written clearly as single statements on idea rating sheets (one per sheet). These sheets are usually either posted on a wall or placed on a table.

2. Participants vote.

  • Participants read and consider the each of the ideas and fill in one dot per sheet to record their opinion of each idea on a scale of “strong agreement”, “agreement”, “neutral”, “disagreement”, “strong disagreement” or “confusion”. Participants sign each sheet they dot and may choose to add brief comments.

3. Tally the results.

  • The end of the dot process is announced and the group are walked through the results one idea at a time.
  • By the end of the process it will be clear which ideas have received the strongest levels of support and should be pursued or further refined.