The Forum tool allows you to open topics for discussion with your community. Participants can then voice their view of the topic by giving their comments. This can help facilitate a discussion and understand the level of participant interest. 

Forums are a great tool for deliberation, discussion of ideas, community learning and dialogue, empathising with community perspectives, transparency and for comment tagging and analysis.

You can activate the Forum tool and populate it with topics of discussion. The following steps describe how to add the tool to your EHQ page and publish a topic for discussion:

To use the tool, first you need to add it to your project page. In the project page, click on the Add a tool button.

A list of tools is displayed on a draw from the right of the screen. Click on Forum to add the Forum tool to your project. This tool is available in the Open environment tools tab.
NOTE: The Forum tool is also available in the All tab.  

To add a forum topic to the project, enter a suitable title in the Add a title field and click the Create button. The permalink is automatically generated after you enter the title in the Title field. 

       
Now, you can view the Forum page. To add a forum topic to the project, enter a suitable title in the Add a title field and click the Create button. The permalink is automatically generated after you enter the title in the Title field. For example: In the screenshot below, the title entered is Community-based disaster management and the URL extension is automatically generated as community-based-disaster-management. You can edit permalink by clicking on the Edit button.
  

 
Next, in the Details tab of the Edit Forum page, enter a description for your forum topic, and images, if any. Click the Save button to save the entries.

Click the Edit button to change details and settings of your Forum topic, as displayed below. You can also click on the title.

Here, you can view Details and Settings tabs. Each of these tabs are explained in the following sections.

The Details tab displays title and description of the Forum topic. You can edit information in these fields, if required, and then click the Save button. 

In the Settings tab, you can edit participation settings, global forum settings, permalink and admin notifications.

The Participation section allows you to change participation settings based on how you want your participants to engage. By default, only registered members are allowed to participate. Enable the Allow unverified participation option to allow any community member with an email ID and screen name to engage. 

Global Forum Settings

The settings configured here will reflect for all forums across your project. The options available in this section are:

Restrict forum creation to administrators – Turn on the toggle switch to enable only admins to create topics for your forum. When this switch is enabled, Notify admin on new forum topic and Acknowledgement to registered user on new forum topic options are disabled as participants will not be allowed to create any forum topics. 

To allow participants to create forum topics, turn off the toggle switch. The Notify admin on new forum topic and Acknowledgement to registered user on new forum topic options are enabled.

Admins get notified by email when new comments are added. Select the Send email notifications to admins when new comments are added checkbox to notify admins when new comments are added in the forum topic of the project. In the provided field, enter the email address of the administrator who must receive the notifications.

Finally, click the Save button to save the configured settings. The saved forum topic is displayed as a draft in your project page until it is published. 

When your tool is ready for use, you can publish it by selecting the Publish option as shown below.

After publishing the tool, options to unpublish and archive are available. After completing the consultation, you can archive it by clicking on the Archive option. You also have the option to unpublish it by clicking on the Unpublish option in the drop-down menu.

This article described how the administrator set up a forum topic, however, to allow participants to be able to create forum topics read the article - Allow participants to create a forum topic.

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