Collaborative E-Governance: Contours of a Meaningful Epistemology; David Prosperi (Florida Atlantic University)


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Collaborative E-Governance: Contours of a Meaningful Epistemology; David Prosperi (Florida Atlantic University)

  1. 1. Collaborative E-Governance: Contours of Epistemology David C. Prosperi Henry D. Epstein Professor of Urban/Regional Planning Florida Atlantic University Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 I NPUT 2 010 PO TEN Z A , B A S I L I C A TA , I TA L Y
  2. 2. INTUITION PUMP: Conference Statement Compared to Do profound weak thought, is changes in more profound application of knowledge IT only help us possible that to what we would enable a already do more effective better? evaluation process, ensuring better quality of or decision making and choices?
  3. 3. QUICK ANSWER =>
  4. 4. Paradigms Scientific IT Professional Deep Good Deep Good Knowledge Decisions Knowledge Decisions
  5. 5. The Mindset of the Planning Theorist Deep Network Good Knowledge Power Decisions
  6. 6. Conceptual Issues Conference Statement Evidence / Empirical Issues Process Thinkers E- Governance Trends & Popular GIS Space INPUT Complexity Numbers Writers NGOs Power Some Conclusions
  7. 7. 1. The Conference Question Do What We Do Better Change the System • GIS -> ArcGIS • Better Linkages to Decision • Social Networking -> Makers -> DSS or PSS? Mobile Communications • Develop Network Power
  8. 8. Deep v. Doing Better Deep The Better Q’s  Academics, at least, value Deep Knowledge and Deep Democracy What the Planning Theory (process) People Tell Us  Consistent with rationality, scientific method, the value of science to improve lives E-Government (medicine, food , and tools)  Consistent with the notion of a ―class‖ of individuals who have value in society as civic leaders More Complex Models (Plato, but also ―public intellectuals‖)  Is it still valid? (or am I a Understanding Power dinosaur?)
  9. 9. 2. Process Thinkers Innes (and Healey Flyvbjerg Salet Hillier Moulaert Booher)
  10. 10. Alternative Models of Planning Best known physical Architectural planners were probably not Hausmann Basis ―democratic‖ and probably ―regressive‖ Engineering Megaprojects See Flvybjerg criticism (but also see Wachs in Basis the late 1980s) Political Citizen Participation Systems Regime Theory (e-Citizen Participation) Collaborative Planning Models Basis DONE BY AGENCIES FAR AWAY FROM DAILY LIFE OF CITIZENS
  11. 11. An Attempt to Summarize … a belief that collaborative planning processes supported by scientific research tends to be a powerful internal network that moves policy makers
  12. 12. Participation is not Collaboration Collaborative Planning Emphasis on … From Alternative Dispute Resolution OUTPUTS are the plans, projects, and other tangible items produced directly by Focus on Process the effort Assessing the performance OUTCOMES are the of collaborative planning effects of the process and its outputs on changing social and Difference between outputs environmental conditions and outcomes
  13. 13. Outcomes And the Role of Science? Ozawa, among others, have demonstrated that in Social capital science-intensive deliberations – when Institutional Political capacity capital scientific information is produced collaboratively (e.g., joint-fact finding, Institutional Intellectual expert panel) – it can lead to change capital such social outcomes as stakeholder learning and Innovation mutual understanding of complex problems.
  14. 14. Process: Networks and Networking Rules  A Plan is not a Concept in one‘s head; rather, it is a dialogue that occurs within  Corollary: projects must a social network structure have a purpose other than in one‘s own head as a just in the mind of the concept. developer. For example, to develop an ontology for  Ostrom‘s (Nobel Economic oneself is useful for basic Laureate, 2009) science, but is only useful Institutional Analysis to the scientist acting alone and Design methodology – it has no immediate USE focuses on ―what difference it makes‖ if things are done one way or another
  15. 15. Errata (on this topic)  The crucial role of Mega-Governments  For example, the EU and its ―funding‖, resource (and policy) dependence  The crucial role of NGO‘s  Each have a specific planning methodology  Lots of GIS work at this scale  Other word phrases: horizontal planning, participatory design, collaborative planning software (including all those models from the 1990s), project planning, etc.
  16. 16. 3. Promise of E-Government About how Internet would change the Best described as world ―normative About how E- Government would change the world anticipatory statements or pronouncements‖
  17. 17. E-Government E-Government “Domains” Creates a comfortable, information transparent, and cheap governance and communication interaction between: technology (ICT) business government relationship process re- government e-citizen and citizens and business between engineering enterprises governments (BPR) (G2C) (G2B) (G2G)
  18. 18. Governance (+ E-Governance?)  Entire Entry on Wikipedia:  'eGovernance' is a network Government of organizations to include government, nonprofit, and private-sector entities; in eGovernance there are no distinct boundaries. Non- Profit Profit  MESSY!!!!  A ―theory of governance‖ [e or not-e]????
  19. 19. What is Going on at the Local Level? Ho, 2002 + Prosperi, 2004,6 Franzel/Richardson 2003  Ho: Classified websites as  Used multiple criteria ―informational‖, grouped into - ―administrative‖ and PRESENCE, ―user‖ for 55 large US INTERACTION, cities; SES correlates -> TRANSACTION, and poorer cities more DEMOCRACY - to informational evaluate websites  Franzel/Richardson: 67  Some SES correlates -> metro areas; regression -> poorer cities more structure+, time ―government‖ than invested+, income+ ―governance‖
  20. 20. Practice: Local Charettes  Geddes v. Neuman ‽ Can Regions  G: regions cannot be designed;  N: of course they can, we are having a Be charette and regional design emerged Designed as operative framework for the plan- ‽ to-be
  21. 21. Practice: Research in a Lab Form (Rules) Playful of Games Part Ici Planning Public Systems Participation Pation Krek Lanza Best Concepts of Practices Games
  22. 22. 4. More Complex Models  Complexity Theory  Drivers and Stressors v. Place-Making or Sustainability etc.  People v. Place
  23. 23. Complexity in the ‗Everyday‘ Environment  … the environment as subject to processes of continuous change, being either progressive or destructive, evolving non-linearly and alternating between stable and dynamic periods.  … if the environment that is subject to change is adaptive, self-organizing, robust and flexible in relation to this change, a process of evolution and co-evolution can be expected. • From the Ashgate Marketing Site
  24. 24. Complexity as a Planning Model  Thinking Differently for an Age of Complexity  How Can Theory Improve Practice?  Stories From the Field  The Praxis of Collaboration  Knowledge into Action: The Role of Dialogue  Using Local Knowledge for Justice and Resilience  Beyond Collaboration: Democratic Governance for a Resilient Society
  25. 25. 5. Power  Good Power v. Bad Power  Social Capital as an Alternative Form of Power  ??? Does Social Media Create Social Capital???
  26. 26. Good↑ v. Bad↓ Power • Communicative action theorists • How ―science when integrated into the DM process can depoliticize communications and result in public learning, mutual understanding, empowerment of stakeholders and often consensus about policy options • Habermas, Innes, Forester, Ozawa, etc. • Power expressed as coercion and subordination of one set of thoughts to another • Power distorting the outcomes of … ―science‖ and/or … representative democracy • Power as domination over the decision- making process. • Flyvbjerg
  27. 27. Power (after Allen) Instrumental Instrumental Power – formal Power - informal Power Associational Associational Power – formal Power - informal
  28. 28. Power in Informal Associational Networks Mandarano (under review, JPER)  Both types of Power are Necessary to Study an Issue.  How it is possible to provoke more democratic outcomes, positive-sum solutions that address multiple interests.  A Case Study to highlight how the relatively weak Habitat Workgroup – having limited formal authority supporting its agenda – effectively produced power in and through its informal and formal networks altering the decision-making process in the formal network.  The paper demonstrates how disempowered groups generate associational power through mobilization of resources available in informal networks and how such power is transferrable to the formal decision-making process
  29. 29. The Key Idea Framework (Creating Social Capital Digitally) Social Capital Effective • Non- Decisions Digitally • Digitally
  30. 30. The Tools We Have Websites Email Web-Based Surveys Social Networking Video Sharing Virtual Meetings Texting/SMS Blogs/Micro Blogs (Twitter) RSS
  31. 31. Conceptual Issues Conference Statement Evidence / Empirical Issues Process Thinkers E- Governance Trends & Popular GIS Space INPUT Complexity Numbers Writers NGOs Power Some Conclusions
  32. 32. 1. Space  Hidden spatial structures  The “scale” of the analysis must match the “scale” of the problem
  33. 33. The Image of the Region?  ―Mega-city regions are … new large-scale urban phenomenon … being discussed from both an analytical-functional and a political-normative perspective … elements and driving forces of mega-city regions are increasingly coming to light … feeding the comprehension of the mega-city regions‘ decisive role in economic, social and cultural development …  The relevant and responsible stakeholders and players are being challenged – large-scale metropolitan governance is called for …  A problem of transmission arises … seems to be little awareness … to politicians, citizens, and administrators, mega-city regions remain invisible in many respects: They are rarely mapped, lack a name, image and attendant concept, and hardly offer any direct sensual perception in everyday life.‖ • From the Preface, Thierstein and Forster, 2009
  34. 34. Context: Preparing a Strategic Plan for Milano Metropolitan Region Locals Don‘t Know How The Milano Metropolitan Region Works Ongoing Discussion about Metropolitan Making Milano “Apparent”: A Regions as Product Conversation with Alessandro or Process Balducci
  35. 35. Making Apparent SoFlo Theoretical Structures A Map  Traditional  Economic Base / Ecology  Cluster Theory  Polycentricity  Creative Class/City  Tourism and Branding
  36. 36. Growth of South Florida The TOP Chart shows cumulative building space consumption The BOTTOM Chart shows the distribution of growth in built space for each of the individual county units
  37. 37. 1945, 1965, 1985
  38. 38. Built Environment, 2005  The State of Florida‘s Department of Revenue Tax Collector Database  Florida‘s Department of Revenue, Division of Ad- Valorem Tax, Chapter 12D-8 specifies both the formal state mandate and the format of these records, described in (  In 2008, there are 76 fields in the tax collector database (or more abstractly, each property is recorded as a ―76-tuple‖).
  39. 39. Thus, the debate goes on; it might be out of both academic and political comfort zones. New Conceptual Models Focus on Process Rather Than Pattern Change Should Occur Within Processes Not Patterns Space and Complexity regeneration-of.html 01/entrepreneurial-urban- http://urban-
  40. 40. 2. Levels of Participation  Theoretically, this should vary by stage in the planning process. There are appropriate tools for different stages of the analysis.  Rationality (a desired state for linear- thinking – and object oriented planners).  But also ―irrational‖ (Kartez)  But also ―rational ignorance‖ (Krek)  But also ―predictably irrational‖ (Howe)
  41. 41. Peng Table Planning Communication Interactive Map Scenario Process / Web Browsing Static Map Channels for Based Search, Building Images Discussion Query and Online Editing GIS Analysis Function General Information Plan Alternatives Data Analysis Tools
  42. 42.  Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything (2006) explores how some companies in the early 21st century have used mass collaboration (also called peer production) and open- source technology, such as wikis, to be successful.  MacroWikinomics out soon (9/28/2010).
  43. 43. Some Wikinomics Terms New Models of Mass Principles/Basic Ideas Collaboration Marketocracy • Collaborating Investing Openness Platforms Ideagoras • Linking experts with Peering unsolved R&D problems. • Second Life as being Sharing Prosumers ―Created‖ by its customers Acting New • the internet as shared Globally Alexandrians knowledge
  44. 44.  Crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to a large group of people or community or a crowd.
  45. 45. Examples of Crowdsourcing  Community-Based Design (or distributed participatory design): The public may be invited to develop a new technology, carry out a design task  Human-Based Computation: The public may be asked to carry out the steps of an algorithm  Citizen Science: The public may be asked to capture, systematize or analyze large amounts of data (but could also refer to mere ―data collectors‖  Better if used with Web 2.0 technologies. 
  46. 46. 3. Trends and Some Numbers  2000  Alexa  Google Trends  2009
  47. 47. The Story in 2000 (from Stanford)  E-mail is by far the most common Internet activity.  A little over a third of all Internet users report using the web to engage in entertainment such as computer games  Consumer to Business transactional activity are engaged in by much smaller fractions of Internet users.  The average Internet user reports engaging in 7.2 different types of activities.  Myth and Reality of the 'Digital Divide':  There are some demographic differences in Internet access.  There are few demographic differences in Internet use.  The more time people spend on the internet  The more they lose contact with their social environment  The more they turn their back on the traditional media  The more time they spend working at home; but not telecommuting  The less they spend shopping in stores and commuting in traffic
  48. 48. Alexa, a ranking and analysis website (  Facebook users are well-educated, younger, it is the #1 site in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Norway, #2 in US, Italy, and most of Europe (except Netherlands and Poland), but only 13th in Russia, 15th in Brazil, and 27th in Japan, and is over- utilized from school.  Globally: Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo!, WindowsLive, Baidu, Wikipedia, Blogger, Twitter, MSN, QQ, Taobao, Amazon, Sina,WordPress, e-Bay, Microsoft, Bing,, LinkedIn, 163, Myspace, Craigslist, FC2, Conduit,, Flickr, Vkontakte, IMBD, Sohu, APPLE, LiveJasmin, Soso, BBC, Go, AOL, RapidShare, Youku, PayPal, Double Click, ASK, Xvideos, CNN, PornHub, MediaFire  After Google, Yahoo and Social Networking, Porn Trumps News
  49. 49. Google Trends …. GIS (B), Climate Change (R), Sustainability (O), Urban Development (G)
  50. 50. Google Trends …. GIS (B), Facebook (R), YouTube (G), Twitter (O)
  51. 51. 2009 Pew Study  Some 40% of adult internet users have obtained raw data about government spending and activities.  look online to see how federal stimulus money is being spent (23% of internet users have done this);  read or download the text of legislation (22%);  visit a site such as that provides access to government data (16%); or  look online to see who is contributing to the campaigns of their elected officials (14%).  Some 31% of online adults have used social tools such as blogs, social networking sites, and online video as well as email and text alerts to keep informed about government activities.  Minority Americans, Latinos and African Americans are just as likely as whites to use these tools to keep up with government, and  Minority Americans, Latinos, and African-Americans are much more likely to agree that government outreach using these channels makes government more accessible and helps people be more informed about what government agencies are doing.
  52. 52. 4. Popular Writers Nicholas Clay Johathan Dan Jeff Carr Shirky Lehrer Ariely Howe
  53. 53. Two Competing Metaphors
  54. 54. Major Points of ―The Shallows‖  New technology: dumbing down v. democratization of culture.  Every intellectual technology embodies a work ethic and every medium develops some cognitive skills at the expense of others.  Brain is ―plastic‖ -- parts can grow and/or contract – but at the expense of other functions -- hippocampus  ―Ecosystem of Interruptions‖ or ―Distraction from Distraction by Distraction‖  Retention – loss of long-term memory (and ―working memory‖ v. ―long-term memory‖)  Shallow reading, shallow decisions?
  55. 55. Shallow • Interruptions • Shared (Shallow) Impressions Deep • Little Retention • Democracy • Self-Knowledge (personal)
  56. 56. Major Points of Cognitive Surplus  For decades, technology encouraged people to squander their time and intellect as passive consumers. Suburbanization and education has yielded a surfeit of intellect, energy, and time– the cognitive surplus.  But this abundance had little impact on the common good because television consumed the lion's share of it-and we consume TV passively, in isolation.  New media that allow us to pool our efforts at vanishingly low cost. This includes mind expanding-reference tools like Wikipedia-to lifesaving-such as, which allows Kenyans to sidestep government censorship and report on acts of violence in real time.  Society and our daily lives will be improved dramatically as we learn to exploit our goodwill and free time … by returning our society to forms of collaboration that were natural through the early 20th century.  We are entering an era of lower creative quality on average but greater innovation, an increase in transparency in all areas of society, and a dramatic rise in productivity that will transform our civilization.
  57. 57. Ushahidi (means testimony in Swahili)  
  58. 58. Neuroscience Findings are Available  How unexpected discoveries of neuroscience help us make the best decisions.  Philosophers have described the decision-making process as either rational or emotional: we carefully deliberate or we go with our gut. Neuroscientists are discovering that decisions are a finely tuned blend of both feeling and reason and the precise mix depends on the situation. The key is how and when we use the different parts of the brain, and to do this, we need to think harder (and smarter) about how we think.  How does the human mind make decisions? And how can we make those decisions better?
  59. 59. It is More Than Rational Ignorance … We (might by) Predictably Irrational  We consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. This book refutes the assumption that we behave in rational ways.  Yet these behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable— making us predictably irrational.
  60. 60. Evidence Pro and Con (there is NO correct answer) SMARTER DUMBER SMARTER DUMBER
  61. 61. 5. Institutions  The Players  INSPIRE (EU Scale Organization) + Its They are too Far Subordinates From the Public  JRC  Plan4All  EUROGI – AM/FM types  AGILE – the academic Meta-Narratives laboratories  Academic/Professional Conferences Bad Power?  City Branders/Visions  NEXTHAMBURG
  62. 62. Tomlinson et al. (3/2010) Outline of Article in Major Argument IJURR  …  Approach and Methodology  Google Searches are Not  Labels and Integrated Policy Packages Random, but are  Ownership Labels and the Creation of Integrated Policy Structured  Packages  Googling Urban Policy  Text Analysis and Page Rank  Major Narratives are   Links in Practice The Labels Created and Maintained by  City Development Strategy Powerful Institutions   Slum Upgrading Municipal Services  Municipal Capacity Building in Developing Countries  In this Case: World Bank   Municipal Finance in Developing Countries Concluding Observation and UN Habitat  PPP and Alternative Perspectives on Water Delivery  Conclusion
  63. 63. Conceptual Issues Conference Statement Evidence / Empirical Issues Process Thinkers E- Governance Trends & Popular GIS Space INPUT Complexity Numbers Writers NGOs Power Some Conclusions
  64. 64. An Epistemology of E-Governance? Based on a Process Model For Different Levels of Government Incorporating More Than Land Focused on People
  65. 65. Need for a Theory of Governance  Governance (and eGovernance) is Messy!!!  Need to Better Explore Notions and Likelihood of Deep Democracy  The Process Thinkers  But also others [Ostrom (IDA), Pat Wilson (Deep Democracy)]  Case Studies are Nice, but …  All set in the context of “digital natives”  Digital analogies for e-governance theory
  66. 66. What Does Performance Mean? Krugman Ostrom  Economic Efficiency Income  Equity Through Fiscal Distribution Equivalence Productivity  Re-Distributional Equity and Income Employment Growth  Accountability  Conformance to General Economic Morality Well Being  Adaptability
  67. 67. It is the Spatial Question, Not Polycentricity the Rules Complex Institutional Adaptive Design Systems Polycentric Good Politics, Metropolitan Bad Governance Economics
  68. 68. For Different Levels of Government  We need to pay more careful attention to what our digital analogies are really trying to do  Much of the GIS Work is Done at the National Level, Far Removed from the Day to Day Activities of Citizens  We need to articulate aspects of the digital milieu at scales that matter  Problems ―occur‖ at different scales  Analysis should also ―occur‖ at appropriate scales
  69. 69. More Than Land  Space may be a third order concern (after food, shelter, and perhaps even happiness)  Economic Development, Health, Basic Infrastructure  What is the purpose of a ―method‖?  NEEDS TO BUILD ON KNOWLEDGE FROM EACH CASE STUDY – the need for a “scientific method” to understand e-governance
  70. 70. For People  Planning remains a ―place‖ discipline or activity  Planning should focus on people  Their motivations and aspirations  Their role in self-determination  Their role as citizens
  71. 71. REFERENCES Academic Refugee Popular
  72. 72. Indicative of E-Publishing (A Work in Progress)  Allen, J. 2003. Lost Geographies of Power. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.  Alexa.Com, retrieved 09/08/2010.  Ariely, D. 200x. Rationally Irrational. Place: Publisher.  Carr, N. 2010. The Shallows (What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains). NY: W.W. Norton.  De Roo, G. & E. Silva. 2010. A Planner’s Encounter with Complexity. Place: Ashgate.  Flyvbjerg, B. 2002. Bringing Power to Planning Research. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 21: 353-366.  Franzel, X. & X. Richardson, 2003. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Proceedings, International Conference on Politics and Information Systems (PISTA), xxx-xxx.  Healey, P. 1997. Collaborative Planning. London: Macmillan.  Hillier, J. 200x. Title. Place: Publisher.  Ho, A.T. 2002. Reinventing Local Governments and the E-Government Initiative. Public Administration Review, 62(4): 434-444.  Howe, J. 2009. Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business. New York: Three Rivers Press.  Krek, A.  Lanza, V. & D. Prosperi. 2009. Collaborative E-Governance: Describing and Pre-Calibrating the Digital Milieux in Urban and Regional Planning. In A.Krek et al. Urban Data Management UDMS Annual 2009. Netherlands: AA Balkema .  Lee, D. 1973. Requiem for Large Scale Models. JAPA, V(I): xxxxxx  Lehrer, J. 2009. How We Decide. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Innes, J. & D. Booher. 200x. Planning with Complexity. Place: Publisher.  Innes, J. Late 1990s. Social Indicators Stuff  Mandarano, L. Date. Title. Journal of Planning Education and Research, V(I): xx-xx  Moulaert, F.  Neumann. M.  Ostrom, E.  Ozawa, C.P. 2005. Putting Science in Its Place. In J.T. Scholz & B. Stiftel (eds.) Adaptive Governance and Water Conflict. Washington DC: Resources for the Future.  Peng, Y.-R. 200x.  Pew Research Center (Internet and American Life Project), 2010. retrieved 09/06/2010.  Prosperi, D.C. 2008. Making Apparent the Multi-Scalar Economic Spatial Structure in South Florida. In V. Coors, M. Rumor, E.M. Fendel, & S. Zlatanova, eds., Urban and Regional Data Management. UDMS Annual 2007. Netherlands: A.A. Balkema (Taylor and Francis), 307-317.  Prosperi, D. 2006. City E-Government: Who is Doing What in the US? UDMS Proceedings, Aalborg, Denmark.  Salet, W.  Shirky, C. 2010. Cognitive Surplus (Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Era). Place: Penguin Press.  Stanford Study, retrieved 09/01/2010.  Tapscott, D. & A.D. Williams. 2006. Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. Place: Publisher.  Thierstein, A. and X. Forster. 200x. The Image of A Region. Place: Publisher.  Tomlinson, R. et al. 2010. The Influence of Google on Urban Policy in Developing Countries. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 34(1): 174-189.  Various WebSites (INSPIRE, JRC, Plan4ALL,AGILE,EROGI,CORP,UDMS,INPUT)  Voltaire. Nd. For Advice.  Wulf, L., C. Kaylor & D. Prosperi. 2004. Local E-Government: Concept and Correlates. Proceedings, International Conference on Politics and Information Systems (PISTA), 200-206.
  73. 73. THANK YOU!  Less Deep  Closing the Gap (Governmental GIS & The Life of Citizens) ‽  The Power of Informal Networks  Need to Develop More Scalar Sensitive Digital Analogs (collaboratively?)