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Citizen Space department structure

Katherine Rooney -

Note: Some Citizen Space sites have 'Teams' rather than 'Departments'. The functionality and all of the information below is the same for teams and departments.

Citizen Space uses a department structure to manage internal access to consultations and response data. You can think of the department structure as similar to a folder structure on your computer.

Adding your first departments and creating a department structure is one of the initial set-up tasks after a Citizen Space has been deployed, and it's worth doing a bit of thinking before you do.

You should consider the following with regard to your department structure:

- Users exist within one department in Citizen Space, and any consultations they add will also be within that department.

- Access to those consultations and their response data is restricted to users in the same department (plus Site Admin users).

- The department name appears in the URL of every consultation, as follows: https://example.citizenspace.com/department-name/consultation-title

- Your departments will also appear as a dropdown list in the 'Find Consultations' Advanced Search, enabling members of the public to filter your consultations based on this.

Top tips for naming your Citizen Space departments:

- Site admins can add departments with capital letters, but they will always appear in the consultation URL as lower case, with hyphens between words. For example, a department called 'Parks Service' will appear in a URL as follows:

https://example.citizenspace.com/parks-service/consultation-title

- Because the department is included in the URL, it is a good idea to keep the department title short if possible. It is unlikely that members of the public will scrutinise the words in the URL or worry about whether they exactly match a department name in your organisation. For example, could the department be called 'Parks' instead of 'Parks Service'?

- Following on from this, it can be a good idea to give your departments more generic names such as 'planning' and 'schools', rather than committing to exactly matching the department names and structures within your organisation. This is because department names and structures may change. This happens more often than one would imagine... we're looking at you, local government! 

- We advise against using special characters in a department name. It can be done, (for example '&' is sometimes used) but a symbol will always be replaced by either a hyphen or other letters in the URL. For example, a department called 'Parks & Recreation' will appear in the URL as follows: 

https://example.citizenspace.com/parks-recreation/consultation-title

- Site admins can edit the name of a department, but this edit will not change the department name in the URL. This is because changing the URL will break any in-progress responses or save and return links. If you have added a department incorrectly, and it doesn't yet have any users or consultations within it, simply suspend that department and create a new one. Then contact your account manager and ask them to remove the incorrect department for you. 

Our table of internal user types shows how the department structure influences what users can do, and what data they can see.