Create and manage protected projects

Learn how to create and manage protected projects

Gayathri Rajendiran avatar
Written by Gayathri Rajendiran
Updated over a week ago

Protected projects let you control which users can view or participate in specific projects. You can restrict projects by whichever group you choose, such as staff, community panels, or focus and advisory groups. Protected projects require everyone who wants to participate to be a registered user. There are three Visibility settings for projects that allow you to restrict viewing and participation permissions.

To create and manage a protected project, you must:

Create a participant group

To restrict access to a project, you must have created the participant groups containing the users who need access. When users register with your site, the Signup Form collects their information for the Participant Relationship Manager. You can use this data to create groups organized by filters or tags. For example:

  • Filter by age to create groups such as “Senior” or “Youth”

  • Use Suburbs to filter by location

  • Filter by interests which users indicated in the Signup Form. These could be thematic, such as “Transport”, or an interest in joining a Community Panel.

  • Filter by Project or Participant tags. You may find bulk tagging helpful when using Participant tags to create groups.

  • Use the Email filter to create groups with specific email domains. This is particularly useful when creating groups for staff.

In brief, to create a new group:

  1. Select Participants in the main menu to go to your participant database.

  2. Choose and apply your Filters to narrow your user list to the required participants.

  3. Select Group and enter your Group name. Please note that you can only create a group once you’ve filtered your user list. You cannot create a group with no filters.

  4. Save your group.

  5. To edit your group, select it from the dropdown menu, add or remove the required filters and Save the group with the same Group name. If you change the Group name, it will Save as a new group.

  6. Select the bin icon next to the group to delete it.

After creating a group, it will become available when setting Panelled or Protected visibility on a project. Additionally, once a group is created, new participants who match the criteria will be automatically included in that group.

When removing a specific participant from a group, your options depend on how you created that group. For example, if you used participant tags to filter your group, the easiest solution would be to remove that tag from the participant. Another option is to use the filters to exclude a participant and then Save that new group.

Choose the project’s Visibility setting

Once you’ve created the participant group, you can use the Visibility settings on your project to restrict access. To do this:

  1. Go to Projects and select the correct project from the list, or create a new one.

  2. Select Settings and choose your Visibility settings:

    • Public: anyone can view or participate in the project

    • Panelled: anyone can view the project, but only selected users can participate

    • Protected: only selected users can view or participate

  3. Use the Select groups dropdown menu to choose which participant groups have access. You can select multiple participant groups, and you’ll also see how many participants now have access.

  4. Save your settings. Publish the project if you need to.

Although the project is now restricted to the participant group, you must still notify them that the consultation is open.

Invite your group to participate

As participants are not notified when they are added to a group or a protected project, you must provide those users with the link. There are two options, and you may find it helpful to use both:

  1. Use the Newsletter feature to send details and the project URL to the participant group. You can also use this feature to send the same newsletter to participants who join the group or have not yet engaged with the project.

  2. Use the Projects or Featured sections on your homepage to create a link to the protected project. This is useful as participants have easy access to the project at any time. However, users who cannot access it will still see the link, so ensure you mention the restricted access.

When new users register who match the criteria, they are automatically added to existing participant groups. However, they must be notified of existing protected projects; remember to monitor the participant group list and ensure new members are aware.

What else?

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