There’s an interesting new book project launching in Europe, scheduled to come out next year: Sustainable eParticipation
Here’s the introduction:
In the past 5-10 years, eParticipation emerged as a novel theoretical and practical domain, and it will further characterise the policy agendas of most industrialised and developing countries in the near future. By eParticipation, we mean the take-up of ICT solutions to empower citizens and involve/engage them in the public decision making process.
Its state of the art is now characterised by a number of achievements worldwide. In Europe, the eParticipation Preparatory Action 2007-2010 has funded 20 demonstration projects including 30 pilot sites, 100,000 citizens, 50 public sector entities and 70 MEPs from 18 EU Member States. Recently the Bertelsmann Foundation recognized 150 Government-led initiatives worldwide (see www.vitalizing-democracy.org), demonstrating that excellence in eParticipation is a growing and international endeavour.
However, documented practice shows mixed results from eParticipation initiatives, and concerns about sustainability-related matters (the likelihood that an expensive trial program will become “embedded” as a stable practice in the institutional setup of the concerned public sector organisation) have started to emerge. As a result, scholars and practitioners face an increasing need to learn and apply the best methods for creating long-term sustainable eParticipation.
The site lists the following target deliverables:
- a collection of European and international best practice of sustainable eParticipation
- a set of evaluation exercises to be used as guidelines for political understanding and future action
- an overview of existing methods, tools and ICT solutions available as a result of prior experiments
- an initial assessment of the “market potential” of the above.
Francesco Molinari and Rolf Luehrs are the people behind the project. Should make for a great read.
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