Report on current ICTs to enable Participation
Type of work: Report
The use of information and communication technology (ICT) based tools is increasingly being explored to enhance participation in decision-making processes in Europe. The aim of this report is to identify and describe the current use of ICT tools and technologies to promote and enhance participation. By assessing the current ICT use in eParticipation contexts, a baseline is formed for further advances in the area.
eParticipation tools can involve a considerable variety of underpinning technologies and application platforms. This deliverable develops an appropriate framework to describe ICT methods, tool categories and technologies currently used in eParticipation. Technologies such as webcasting, chat, discussion forums, online opinion polling, online surveys, ePanels, ePetitioning, webblogs, etc are already in relatively common use for eParticipation. Depending on the tool and its use they are based on a number of technologies and are delivered through a variety of channels such as PCs, digital TV and mobile phones.
In this deliverable, the current use of ICT tools and technologies in the context of policy engagement and active participation of citizens in democratic decision-making is being studied.
The structure of this report is as follows:
Chapter 2 develops an analytical framework to investigate eParticipation tool categories and technologies. The framework distinguishes among participation areas, which can be used to describe eParticipation tools in specific democratic contexts, actors in eParticipation contexts, level of engagement and stage in the policy lifecycle the tool or technology is being explored.
Chapter 3 provides an overview of the tool categories and it develops an analysis template to investigate tool categories based on the proposed analytical framework introduced in section 2.
Chapter 4 briefly investigates technologies for eParticipation. It provides a general understanding of technologies exploited in certain tool categories for eParticipation. Furthermore, initial thoughts on emerging technologies to be explored in advanced eParticipation tools are described.
Chapter 5 represents the core part of this deliverable and it descries a number of eParticipation tool categories. Thereby, a distinction is made among core eParticipation tool categories, eParticipation categories that are not specific to eParticipation yet heavily used, and basic tools to support eParticipation.
Chapter 6 considers preconditions for successful deployment of eParticipation tools and technologies, such as interoperability, licence policies (e.g. open source), maintainability of the tool or technology and security.
Chapter 7 concludes the report with some reflections and an outlook to investigations in the deliverables to come (D 5.2 on emerging technologies and D 5.3 on eParticipation projects).