XI Congreso de la AECPA (I). Digital inclusion and Internet governance for an open government

Notes from the XI Congreso de la AECPA. La política en tiempos de incertidumbre, organized by the Asociación Española de Ciencia Política y de la Administración (AECPA), in Seville, Spain, the 18-20 September 2013. More notes on this event: 11aecpa.

Digital inclusion and Internet governance for an open government

The development of open government initiatives in a number of countries around the world has highlighted the need to establish the means by which all people without exception can benefit from the potential of these initiatives. The risk of a permanent digital divide whereby a portion of the population may remain marginalized from access to the Information Technology and Communication (ICT) has raised concerns (Geneva and Tunis in 2003 and 2005 respectively), and obviously as the open government relies on the use of ICT, it should be developed in a context in which to ensure equal opportunities in access to the entire population. More broadly, the open government expresses a new model of interaction between government and citizens (new citizenship status).Digital citizenship and e-inclusion strategies are therefore inseparable aspects of the development of open government, not only because this is strictly instrumental (open data), from the inside out, from e-government or e-government, but moreover, as the open government requires promote citizen participation in the design and implementation of policies and the provision of public services by opening processes (open process) and the use of social networks and platforms for citizen participation (Ramirez-Alujas, 2012: 20), favoring the open action to improve regulatory proposals submitted by public authorities (Campos and Silvan, 2012: 70).

Digital Citizenship: for every age? Digital inclusion strategies and use of ICTs in different age segments in elderly people in Spain.
Eva Alfama Guillén, Jorge Luís Salcedo Maldonado

To what extent policies addressed to elderly people have an ICT component?

  • They provide infrastructure.
  • They foster digital literacy and development of digital skills.
  • Use ICTs to promote wellbeing and participation of elderly people.

Data from 8 municipalities in Spain.

  • Need of public policies for e-inclusion for the elderly people more positive, comprehensive and participatory, which promote active aging and the strengthening of autonomy and empowerment.
  • Key role of ICTs, that can foster autonomy and empowerment of elderly people of make them more vulnerable before digital exclusion.

Users are tech savvy when it comes to mobile telephony, but not about being online.
Intervention levels:

  • Participation: low.
  • Social promotion: medium.
  • Community action: punctual.
  • Social services on primary health care: punctual.

Policy makers promote the use of ICTs to connect different generations.
Important focus on tele-assistance.
Fields of intervention with elderly people and ICTs:

  • Digital literacy
  • Empowerment , autonomy, tele-assistance.

Elderly people do not identify themselves as elderly people: want to be considered as active and participative citizens.

  • Digital inclusion for elderly people very marginal.
  • Though these policies address very hot issues.
  • Need for more commitment and resources.

An open and transparent government in Spanish municipalities: the case of Quart de Poblet.
Joaquín Martín Cubas, Juan Medina Cobo.

The IRIA report provides evidence that the degree of implementation of ICTs in Spanish municipalities is quite good, both in terms of infrastructure and public services. But the Orange report states that even if infrastructures and services are OK, uptake is not, mainly because of matters of accessibility and usability.

Quart is a small municipality in the province of Valencia. It has a long tradition of participation.

The DIEGO (Digital Inclusive e-Government) project (with funding from the European Commission) was used to create a platform – QuarTIC – through which citizens (especially elderly people) can access e-government services.

The SEED platform aims at improving accessibility and usability of public e-services.

It is worth noting that the municipality needs not develop a lot of technology or infrastructures: citizens are already online at social networking sites. The municipality should be able to be where the citizens are, and engage in a conversation with them.

Now the local government Is adapting the IREKIA (Basque Government’s) open source open government platform to develop their own open government strategy. This strategy, as it has been said before, aims not at substituting but complementing the strategy addressed to being on different social networking sites besides the citizens.

The application of ICTs in the field of Health Care: the case of Spain and Cuba
Luca Chao Pérez, Andrés Cernadas Ramos.

  • What is the impact of the Internet on the health system?
  • In what applications does it materialize?
  • What factors are fostering the change?
  • What strategic lines and public programmes are being profiled?
  • What should be the role of R+D in Health?

In the field of e-Health, the Internet has meant:

  • The democratization of information. But, what quality of information?
  • But a lack of communication, lack of interaction.

In Cuba this is a little bit different in relationship with Spain. The INFOMED network puts in contact professionals that work in remote areas, sharing information, interacting among themselves… and also providing e-Health services to their patients.

That is, in Cuba, the application of ICTs in Cuba has been centered in the professional, while in Spain and most Europe the model is more citizen-centered, aiming at empowering the e-patient so that they can manage their own health.

  • Are we heading towards a new model of patient: the e-patient?
  • Will more information and more empowerment change the kind of health interventions?
  • Are we assessing e-Health initiatives to be able to tell the impact of the policies? The cost-benefit analysis?


XI Congreso de la AECPA (2013)

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