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Future E Government Conference 2009


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Citizenscape research update

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Future E Government Conference 2009

  1. 1. 24 th November 2009 Future eDemocracy Confrerence RIBA, London CitizenScape
  2. 2. CitizenScape Partners - 2 providers, 4 users CitizenScape Interim Review, 30/01/09 Partner   Role Cty 1 National Microelectronics Applications Centre MAC Project Manager, Coordinator, user requirements, sustainability... IE 2 Public-I Group Ltd PI Technology Platform service Provider/Evaluator. GB 3 Bristol City Council BCC ePetitioner/Viewfinder System & User Org/Field Trials GB 4 Comune di Genova CDG User Org/Field Trials IT 5 Donegal County Council DCC User Org/Field Trials – Remote Rural Area IE 6 RDA Zilina RDA User Org/Field Trials - New Member State – less favoured region. SK
  3. 3. The challenge <ul><li>How do we connect with the conversations – the participation which are already going on out on the web? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we help councils create content which works in these new social spaces? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we do this is a way which supports the formal decision making process so we can ensure that conversations bring results? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we do this in an affordable and repeatable way? </li></ul>
  4. 4. So what is CitizenScape? <ul><li>A measurable and repeatable methodology </li></ul><ul><li>A way of using the tools and techniques of web 2.0 to actively create virtual civic spaces where citizen can and will participate in democracy </li></ul><ul><li>An attempt to move citizens from a passive uninformed state to one where they have taken some active part in democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Some clever technology </li></ul>
  5. 5. Interim Review, Brussels, 30th Jan 2009
  6. 6. Interim Review, Brussels, 30th Jan 2009
  7. 8. The benefits <ul><li>Flexibility : Bring the tools you want when you want into the process </li></ul><ul><li>Co-Creation : Bring in citizen content and give them ownership of the site </li></ul><ul><li>Digitally native : CitizenScape is way forward which should balance the needs for Local Authorities to manage a process alongside the pressing need from online citizens to communicate in a way which works for them </li></ul><ul><li>Creates a virtual town hall which will outlast the next online fad </li></ul>
  8. 9. What were we trying to find out?
  9. 10. Technical <ul><li>Did the technology work? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are we happy with usability and accessibility? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Was the scope correct – was key functionality missing? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. Community Ambassadors <ul><li>How practical is it to work with citizens in this way? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it sustainable? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What resources / skills are needed? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did we avoid the usual suspects problem? </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. Democratic <ul><li>Can the design of an online space and the subsequent management of that design have a measurable positive effect on the formal democratic participation of the participants? </li></ul><ul><li>Are individuals who participate in social websites more likely to participate in online democracy – are they more likely 'eparticipants' than citizens who are currently participating in democracy in other ways? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the co-creation of that space a decisive factor in the design in terms of bring about a positive democratic effect? </li></ul>
  12. 13. Things we have learned
  13. 14. Overall <ul><li>The social web is inherently self-managed and so attempting ‘choose’ the topic to engage with is very difficult </li></ul><ul><li>The topic we chose was an ‘expert’ one and as such not easily related to more informal debate </li></ul><ul><li>Might have worked better to develop this through NGO relationships rather than directly </li></ul>CitizenScape PEC7, London
  14. 15. Technology <ul><li>Technology really was in perpetual beta throughout – we have been working on it throughout the project and really only got the benefits in the final stages </li></ul><ul><li>It is very important for the Admin to be able to control the site and react quickly to new topics </li></ul><ul><li>The users responded well to the approach </li></ul><ul><li>We should have prioritised the travelling widget as it reduces the need to drive people to the site </li></ul>CitizenScape PEC7, London
  15. 16. Community Ambassadors <ul><li>The community ambassadors are a good idea in principle but we need to find people who already have a social presence online </li></ul><ul><li>Where you trying to work with a specific topics then you need subject based evangelists </li></ul><ul><li>The role requires considerable motivation – we need to ensure that we are incentivising people to participate </li></ul>CitizenScape PEC7, London
  16. 17. Democratic impacts <ul><li>Excellent info gathered for the Bristol Noise consultation and for a number of projects in Genoa: evidence of additional engagement </li></ul><ul><li>We can show increased engagement at other sites as well through volume of traffic etc </li></ul><ul><li>We have involved a different group of people and we have </li></ul>CitizenScape PEC7, London
  17. 18. Things we have learned ….but didn’t do….
  18. 19. Social web audits <ul><li>Carry out an initial and ongoing social web audit which maps the space </li></ul><ul><li>Capture the current activity which is going on in your area around social, political and community issues </li></ul><ul><li>Look at geodata and local place names </li></ul><ul><li>Consider folksonomy and taxonomical descriptions of issues </li></ul>
  19. 20. Engage with members <ul><li>Its difficult but essential! </li></ul><ul><li>Increases credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthens the democratic promise of the process </li></ul><ul><li>Builds capacity within the elected body </li></ul><ul><li>You have to address the tension between direct and representative democracy </li></ul>
  20. 21. More work is needed <ul><li>We are continuing the evaluation and piloting of this work with the UK based Virtual Town Hall Pilot: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We are planning some wider European trials later in 2010 </li></ul>
  21. 22. Virtual Town Hall Pilot <ul><li>Working with 5 Local Authorities to try and build permanent civic spaces for a 12 month Pilot: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chorley </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Essex County Council </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kirklees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>North Lincolnshire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Redbridge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Involving citizens at every level – including to manage and moderate content </li></ul><ul><li>Looking specifically at how to involve elected representatives in this process </li></ul><ul><li>Our objective is measurable increases in democratic activity </li></ul>
  22. 23. Thank you!!! Any questions? [email_address]
  23. 24. Interim Review, Brussels, 30th Jan 2009
  24. 25. Interim Review, Brussels, 30th Jan 2009