To blog or not blog? Government and Citizen e-Participation

 Electronic Engagement in the
  Contemporary Public Sector
  ...
Electronic engagement, definition


The use of Information Communication
Technologies (ICTs) by the public sector
 to impr...
New media impacts, McLuhan

       “… the personal and social
 consequences of any medium - that
  is, of any extension of...
Some perspective, people




Source: McAllister & Clark, Australian Election Study
While on the other hand…
Positioning statements
• The specter of the “ladder” metaphor

• The problem of panaceas

• Forget everything you know abo...
The questions
• What is the issue(s)?

• Who are the audience(s)?

• Extent participative?

• What objectives do we have f...
Conceptual schema, management styles
                                                                Example activities


...
Implications
• If you’re not formally undertaking this activity,
  you’re already doing it ad hoc
   – Learn from previous...
The political “barrier”

         The classic problem of cultivation and
         listening approaches is they sit on the
...
Pre-participation schema
International and domestic lessons
• Identify stakeholders and their objectives
   –   Authorizing environment
   –   “Pub...
Some enduring recommendations
• Information society
   –   Web accessibility and storage
   –   Provision of information i...
Electronic Engagement: A Guide
      for Public Sector Managers
http://epress.anu.edu.au/engage_citation.html
            ...
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Electronic Engagement in the Contemporary Public Sector

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Paper presented at: To blog or not blog? Government and Citizen e-Participation May 2009, by Dr Peter Chen, Government and International Relations, Sydney University.

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Electronic Engagement in the Contemporary Public Sector

  1. 1. To blog or not blog? Government and Citizen e-Participation Electronic Engagement in the Contemporary Public Sector Dr Peter John Chen Government &International Relations, Sydney University
  2. 2. Electronic engagement, definition The use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) by the public sector to improve, enhance and expand the engagement of the public in policy- making processes.
  3. 3. New media impacts, McLuhan “… the personal and social consequences of any medium - that is, of any extension of ourselves - result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.”
  4. 4. Some perspective, people Source: McAllister & Clark, Australian Election Study
  5. 5. While on the other hand…
  6. 6. Positioning statements • The specter of the “ladder” metaphor • The problem of panaceas • Forget everything you know about engagement • Obsolescence is not failure • “To blog or not to blog” … is that the question?
  7. 7. The questions • What is the issue(s)? • Who are the audience(s)? • Extent participative? • What objectives do we have for this activity? • How interactive will this process be? • Which is the right channel to use?
  8. 8. Conceptual schema, management styles Example activities Little / no government Cyber-activism or Trans- Alternative Blogging ‘Listening’ Lobbying parency Journalism steering Networks Role Nature of Programmatic Semi- Online Dispute Citizen Juries or Co-Production Local content Approach structured Resolution Deliberative (electronic Creation Conferencing governance) Programs ‘Cultivating’ Role Electronic Voting Online User or Electronic Internet Focused in Elections Community Discussion Lists Access Surveys Programs Highly Diffused or Specific Specificity of Outcome (intention) generalised ‘Steering’ Role
  9. 9. Implications • If you’re not formally undertaking this activity, you’re already doing it ad hoc – Learn from previous technology adoptions – Find your “leaders” • Triangular relationship between: – Engagement goals and objectives – Communications channels (media) – Management styles • Management styles are not always mutually exclusive – Engagement “transitions” – “Duel track” activities
  10. 10. The political “barrier” The classic problem of cultivation and listening approaches is they sit on the boundary with agenda setting which political elites jealously guard ... while publics often resent framing.
  11. 11. Pre-participation schema
  12. 12. International and domestic lessons • Identify stakeholders and their objectives – Authorizing environment – “Publics” – Be instrumental – These people can help you • Plan – Short and long term – Preparation – Contingencies and options (implications for platform selection) • It’s always a “hard launch” – High exposure – Quick cycling • Reflexivity – Be reflexive about your reflexivity – Fight for good performance metrics • Watch the close out
  13. 13. Some enduring recommendations • Information society – Web accessibility and storage – Provision of information in “raw” form – Licensing government data for public interest – Use of syndication • Engagement practice – Short-termism – Conventional consultation – Citizen-to-citizen communication • Capacity building – Engagement and skills transfer – Electronic democracy co-ordinating body – Consultation portal
  14. 14. Electronic Engagement: A Guide for Public Sector Managers http://epress.anu.edu.au/engage_citation.html Dr Peter John Chen peter.chen@usyd.edu.au

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