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Panos & chris overview of e petitioning in english local authorities


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Current status of UK local authority ePetition facilities by Brunel University

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Panos & chris overview of e petitioning in english local authorities

  1. 1. Where are we? An overview of ePetitioning tools in English local authorities SALAR Study Visit – 16/03/2011 Panos Panagiotopoulos & Christopher Moody
  2. 2. Coming up … <ul><li>Motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Study methodology and results </li></ul><ul><li>Further reflections and observations </li></ul>Slide
  3. 3. Motivation <ul><li>EPetitioning the most popular form of online participation in the UK, according to the Oxford Internet Survey. </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional “confusion” and political uncertainty. </li></ul><ul><li>No systematic evaluation of the ePetitioning duty impact for LAs. </li></ul><ul><li>The first opportunity to assess a nation-wide eParticipation policy at such scale. </li></ul>Slide
  4. 4. What we did - methodology <ul><li>Designed a framework of 20 features that describe the implementation of LA ePetitioning websites. </li></ul><ul><li>Validated the framework with the help of four experts (including Fraser) + pilot run with 33 LAs. </li></ul><ul><li>Added 6 additional variables representing other common eParticipation activities on LA websites. </li></ul><ul><li>Applied this framework on the 353 English LAs websites using a web content analysis methodology. (6 coders were involved) </li></ul><ul><li>Statistically analysed 348 usable results including background institutional factors such as size, population, and political orientation (on going). </li></ul>Slide
  5. 5. What we found - overview <ul><li>Indication of minimum levels of compliance, promotion and innovation, yet 279 out of 353 ePetitioning websites span all over England now . </li></ul><ul><li>Little actual use of ePetitions – some systems really well hidden under council websites. </li></ul><ul><li>Adopters and non-adopters do not perform systematically better in other eParticipation activities, although the more effort on ePetitions the better they score in other eParticipation activities. </li></ul>Slide
  6. 6. If implemented, how well hidden? Slide
  7. 7. Providers market share <ul><li>In-house or no information: 19.1% (53) </li></ul><ul><li>Moderngov: 29.5% (82) </li></ul><ul><li>MySociety: 12.9% (36) </li></ul><ul><li>Public-i: 12.6% (35) </li></ul><ul><li>Web-Lab: 7.6% (21) </li></ul><ul><li>Limehouse: 2.2% (6) </li></ul><ul><li>Other (e.g. Firmstep): 16.2% (45) </li></ul>Slide
  8. 8. Support characteristics <ul><li>Forum or space to discuss petitions: 2.5% (7) </li></ul><ul><li>Agree/Disagree feature: 2.5% (7) </li></ul><ul><li>System in use before December 2010: 10.1% (28) </li></ul><ul><li>Links to useful information (e.g. Council material): 10.1% (28) </li></ul><ul><li>Notification services for new petitions (e.g. RSS feed, mailing lists): 33.7% (94) </li></ul><ul><li>Contact details within ePetitions: 40.1% (112) </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence of encouraged feedback: 4.7% (13) </li></ul>Slide
  9. 9. How many petitions? <ul><li>No petitions open at all: 69.2% (193) </li></ul><ul><li>1-5 open petitions: 27.3% (76) </li></ul><ul><li>More than 5 - up to 15 open petitions: 3.7% (10) </li></ul><ul><li>Not a single petition completed yet: 84.2% (235) </li></ul><ul><li>Calculating average numbers of signatures not useful at this stage. </li></ul>Slide
  10. 10. (e)Petitioning process <ul><li>Evidence of paper petitions archived online: 19.8% (55) </li></ul><ul><li>Accepting ePetitions from other online sources: 3.2% (9) </li></ul><ul><li>Different threshold for online and paper petitions: 4.3% (12) </li></ul><ul><li>Explicit privacy statement: 30.1% (84) </li></ul><ul><li>Instructions and assistance measured on a 0-3 scale: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scored 0 or 1: 62.6% (174) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scored 2 or 3: 37.4% (104) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thresholds for ordinary petitions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No threshold: 64.4% (179) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1-50 signatures: 28.8% (80) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More than 50 up to 500: 6.8% (19) </li></ul></ul>Slide
  11. 11. Other eParticipation activities <ul><li>Webcasting council meetings: 16.6% (57) </li></ul><ul><li>Official use of social media: 67.4% (232) </li></ul><ul><li>Online forums or other community engagement websites: 9.3% (32) </li></ul><ul><li>Online participation in council consultations: 42.7% (147) </li></ul><ul><li>Online budget feedback: 16.6% (57) </li></ul><ul><li>Online surveys: 51.6% (178) </li></ul>Slide
  12. 12. Observations and limitations <ul><li>Is there actually a quality response process? What do thresholds really imply? </li></ul><ul><li>No information on whether the initiative was promoted or not locally. </li></ul><ul><li>No information over traditional paper process. </li></ul><ul><li>What do citizens actually expect or are willing to support? </li></ul><ul><li>Although framework mostly objective, data collection mistakes might have occurred. </li></ul>Slide
  13. 13. Summary and further discussion <ul><li>279 LA petitioning websites, but have yet to become embedded in local institutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Emerging question: so, what is the impact of ePetitioning? </li></ul><ul><li>What should we do? Also with government and Parliament petitions and ePetitions. </li></ul><ul><li>Enacting eParticipation: bureaucratically controlled or engagement from the grassroots? EPetitioning popular because combines both, but as an advocacy form of participation requires a fair and politically neutral process. </li></ul>Slide
  14. 14. CISR PhD workshop - 15/02/2011 Slide Thank you very much… Panagiotis . Panagiotopoulos @ brunel . ac . uk or [email_address] We gratefully acknowledge Fraser Henderson for funding this study and further offering his ideas. Many thanks also to Dr T. Elliman, as well as our coders: Harry Bath-Barranco, Arthur Faulkner, Hubert Andrzejczyk and George Xydopoulos.