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  • 1. Francesco Molinari, mail@francescomolinari.it Institutionalising eParticipation CeDEM11, Krems (Austria), 5-6 May 2011
  • 2. Contents
    • Stating the challenge: how to take stock of the eParticipation Preparatory Action results in an intelligent way
    • What do I mean by “institutionalising”
      • Literature review
      • A couple of (live) examples
    • Why and How institutionalise eParticipation (in Europe)
      • Whose task is this for me
      • Where do we stand now
      • How could we make a reasonable step ahead
      • The role of this (small) community in this (very) small world
    • Comments from the audience (hopefully – if any)
    • Additional references to those in the paper
    Krems, 6-05-2011 Francesco Molinari
  • 3. The eParticipation Preparatory Action
    • Achievements 2007-2010
    • Moreover…
    • In a nutshell
      • 30 pilot sites
      • 18 EU Member States
      • 100,000 citizens engaged
      • 50 public sector entities
      • 70 MEPs
    • Source: Chrissafis & Rohen 2010
    • Investment
      • 20 Mio. € (approx.)
      • 200 € per citizen engaged
    • Social impact
      • 3,300 citizens per pilot
      • 2,000 per public sector entity
      • 1,400 per MEP
    • Economic impact
      • An embryo market created/trialled for some leading technologies
    • Research impact
      • A nascent socio-technical discipline
    • Policy impact
      • Indeterminate!
    Krems, 6-05-2011 Francesco Molinari
  • 4. Spelling the challenge out
    • My paper’s conclusions:
      • “ After the wave of demonstration projects funded under the Preparatory Action on eParticipation, it is important to take one step forward by taking stock of the positive and getting rid of the negative outcomes, to avoid reinventing the wheel every time and to channel (presumably decreasing) resources towards future initiatives that really make a difference and have long term impact”
    • Normative approach indeed, but with a lot of possible implications for theorists, as I will try to demonstrate shortly
    Krems, 6-05-2011 Francesco Molinari
  • 5. Institutionalisation
    • Definition
      • (Wikipedia 2011): “the process of embedding something” (for example a concept, a social role, a particular value or mode of behaviour) within an organisation, social system, or society as a whole
      • Within the eParticipation community, the word “embedding” has been floating around since the pathbreaking studies of Ann Macintosh in the early 2000’s
    • A (sort of) Action Research concept
      • Research
        • Molinari (2010) relates it to Sustainability
        • Colombo et al. (2011), Molinari et al. (2012) to BPR in the PA
      • Action: see examples
    Krems, 6-05-2011 Francesco Molinari
  • 6. PARTERRE (www.parterre-project.eu)
    • Six pilots in 5 EU Countries
      • Tools adopted:
        • DEMOS-Plan for stakeholder involvement in planning consultations that are mandatory for a PA
        • The Electronic Town Meeting (imported from US to Italy in late 2000’s) as a good compromise between the high figures and the working outcomes of deliberative democracy
    • Drivers of institutionalisation here:
      • Legislative framework
        • Urban Planning
        • Strategic Environmental Assessment (the 2001/42/ EC Directive )
        • Digitisation of Public Participation (the Aarhus Directive, 2003/35/EC )
      • Business models
        • Do more with less (particularly in this time of crisis)
    Krems, 6-05-2011 Francesco Molinari
  • 7. PERIPHÈRIA (www.peripheria.eu) Krems, 6-05-2011 Francesco Molinari
  • 8. Back to research for a while, sorry
    • Four concepts (drivers) are relevant for institutionalisation
      • Stability (over time)
        • Berger & Luckmann (1967): creation of stable meanings within peers
        • Curry (1992): organisational change
        • Aichholzer et al. (2008): end of one-off experiments of eParticipation
      • Leadership
        • creates a favourable cultural climate and aligns the internal values and norms to the innovation rules and requirements (Curry 1992)
      • Value
        • If it’s not worth, nobody will buy change - Selznick (1957)
        • Need for cultural structuration of the eParticipation potential for policy making
      • Diffusion
        • Outside the organisation (Scott 1995)
        • In the broader community, governance system, at the different PA tiers etc.
    Krems, 6-05-2011 Francesco Molinari
  • 9. Why and How institutionalise eParticipation
    • (A small window on the Where: in the old Europe at least…)
      • What about the rest of the world? (e.g. MDG, US, Latin America …)
        • See www.vitalizing-democracy.org
        • Big room for comparative research here
    • That could become the stigma of a truly European socio-political model
      • Integrating the rule of law with social innovation and organisational efficiency
        • Living Labs for eGovernance (largely unexplored field; call for support)
        • The East-West integration or “democratic realignment” issue
    • A possible way forward requires:
      • Assess from a neutral perspective what is the experience that we can capitalise
      • Clarify whose task is supposed to be this one and how could (s)he move on
    • The eParticipation research community can effectively contribute to that
    Krems, 6-05-2011 Francesco Molinari
  • 10. Malmoe Declaration, 2009
    • Coordinate ongoing and future European eGovernment projects so they align with the forthcoming action plan in order to facilitate sharing and avoiding unnecessary duplication of work.
    • Solutions to assure the sustainability of pilots and actions under these projects and programmes should be explored.
    • The coordination of activities should take into account the specificities of different Member States .
    Krems, 6-05-2011 Francesco Molinari
  • 11. Where do we stand now?
    • Unfortunately, in the eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015, there are no indications on how to reconcile these three priorities in the domain of eParticipation
    • The Action Plan does not even mention the results of the eParticipation Preparatory Action :-o
    • However, the concept of what we call “eParticipation” is used at least once, in direct connection with the important (architrave) notion of User Empowerment
    • Which is not that bad at all…
    Krems, 6-05-2011 Francesco Molinari
  • 12. My idea of a two-pronged strategy
    • Scaling up
    • Institutional change
    • Aim: to enforce and stimulate the potential of the nascent market for eParticipation solutions in Europe
      • Instrument: Migrate from one-off small pilot projects to city level, regional and nationwide services
    • Aim: to “embed” eParticipation like a permanent add-on in the current setup of public decision-making processes
      • Instrument: Explore and assess the conditions that make eParticipation sustainable
    Krems, 6-05-2011 Francesco Molinari
  • 13. Some implementation actions
    • ePractice.eu should become more a repository of best practice and a source of “intelligent benchmarking” of European experiences – also compared to international evidence available
    • We need an Observatory of European eDemocracy Trends
      • Evaluating the reuse potential of the major ICT solutions and tools developed and trialled so far
      • Streamlining evidence-based reform guidelines at City, Regional and National level
      • Exploring coherence and scope for integration of eParticipation within national (e.g. youth or immigration) policies
      • Grounding future assessment of the Member States’ performance by a set of instruments (official statistics, activity indicators, implementation records) on a systematic basis
    • We also need a pan-European eDemocracy Forum
      • As a permanent technology showcase: Compare http://www.eastin.info/home.aspx?ln=en&pg=keynote
      • Promoting use of state-of-the-art ICT solutions for permanent and/or ad hoc consultation on selected issues
      • Gathering academic experts, solution providers, practitioner networks (e.g. PEP-NET) and stakeholder communities (e.g. associations of EU Regions)
    Krems, 6-05-2011 Francesco Molinari
  • 14. Call for chapters
    • I am putting together a writing community on these issues
    • Both researchers and practitioners are well accepted
    • There will be a Book edited by a professional company
    • I will arrange for a classical review process
    • Please contact me later if you like the idea
    • Now the floor is yours for the Q&A time!
    Krems, 6-05-2011 Francesco Molinari
  • 15. References
    • See the paper for most of them
    • Additional references not quoted there:
      • Molinari F., Kunstelj M., and Todorovski L. (2012): “Stepwise eParticipation: Good Practice from the Regional level in Europe”, forthcoming chapter in Manoharan A. & Holzer M. (Eds.), E-Governance and Civic Engagement: Factors and Determinants of E-Democracy, IGI Global Publishing Co.
      • Colombo C., Kunstelj M., Molinari F., and Todorovski L. (2011): Workflow Modeling for Participatory Policy Design: Lessons Learned from Three European Regions, in Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, 13:1, pp. 117-139.
      • Wikipedia (2011): “Institutionalisation”
    Krems, 6-05-2011 Francesco Molinari