|Carlo Buzzi, Andrea Brighenti and Letizia Caporusso|
|Fiorella De Cindio, Antonio De Marco and Leonardo Sonnante|
|Roman Efremov, Alexander Lotov and David Rios Insua|
In this paper I shall look back on many of the activities that have been
supported by TED, not to catalogue them but so that they may serve as
milestones along the way to developing e-democracy. In doing so I shall
raise a number of questions that suggest to me, at least, that we are only
at the beginning of a very long road. We may have the technology and the
analytical tools to involve the citizen in societal decision making over
the web, but I wonder whether we humans have evolved individually,
culturally and as societies to do so in an effective, transparent and valid
|Anna Carola Freschi|
|Carlos Grima and Jose A. Rubio|
We shall start by describing some use cases and the role of the involved actors, including citizens, civil servants, private organisations, political parties and software agents endowed with a certain intelligence.
We shall, then, describe the general architecture. For that purpose, we shall divide the system in three main subsystems, we shall specify the main databases and will provide the interrelations. We shall provide the common features of the subsystems, their objectives and the various dependencies.
The first subsystem is that one in charge of interfacing with the involved actors. It will promote user-friendly and efficient communications with and between actors. We shall propose an intuitive graphical metaphore accessible to non-sophisticated users. We shall also describe how citizens may save time by delegating participation tasks to a software agent capable of learning the political ideology of its owner.
Another important subsystem is that regulating and managing administrative procedures, which consist of any interaction between a citizen, a civil servant, a political organization or party (or their representing software agents) and the government. Therefore, we also include procedures leading to a political decision. Among many others, we include paying taxes, asking for public financial support, voting in an election,… The subsystem will interpret the administrative procedures demanded, described in a standard format, to transform them in individual actions to be sent to the involved civil servants and governmental agencies.
The final main subsystem, represents the set of computerised governmental agencies (a townhall, a university, the Foreign Office,…). It is our core system, as all actions involved in administrative procedures will be addressed to it, submitted to the proper agency, which will return the actions referring to the administrative procedures.
Several governmental agencies will be specially relevant for the proper functioning of eGovernment. One of them is that in charge of coordinating political decision making, managing debates, negotiations, votes,… Depending on the involved decision, all citizens and/or all politicians, would be entitled to take part in. We shall pay special attention to the internal decomposition of this system to support public decision making.
Once the subsystems have been described, together with their internal decomposition and their interrelations, we shall face their dynamic behaviour, through some representative cases.
shall finally speculate on how the transition from the current
political system, with little ICT involved, to our proposed system
might take place, taking into account the various financial,
psychological and social barriers to be faced, to ensure sufficient
|Raimo Hamalainen, Jyri Mustajoki and Mika Marttunen|
|Manuel Villoria and Angel Iglesias|
Our rapidly changing and increasingly diverse world calls for improvements to the traditional form of representative democracy through civic participation strategies (Iglesias and Garcia, 2005). The process of globalization requires local governments to become active innovators in civic participation in an effort to redeem and legitimatize governance through democratic processes (Hise, et al, 1996). A 1993 Brookings Institution study by Tufts University professors argued that civic participation is "redemptive in three crucial ways. First, participation nourishes the democratic spirit of individuals. Second, it builds community, which in turn nurtures shared values such as compassion, tolerance, and equality. Third, and most broadly, participation transforms institutions so that they become more effective instruments of democracy" (Berry, et al, 1993:5).
By giving citizens access to additional tools and processes with which to advocate for their neighborhoods, effectively decentralizing local governance, cities have the opportunity to improve trust and governance (Harrigan, 1992). Chaskin and Garg (1997) argue that support for "neighborhood-based governance" comes from two complimentary beliefs - first, a belief in true democratic processes, and second, a belief that decentralized approaches to government are more responsive to citizens' needs (Chaskin and Abunimah, 1999:60). Thus, civic participation serves to enhance both functions of local governance, which are sometimes at odds with each other - democratic legitimacy and service delivery - and improve both democratic and managerial outcomes. In light of the many potential benefits of increased civic participation, various local governments in the United States and European nations have recently passed and implemented policies to aid in the creation of alternate forms of participation, to increase participation, and ultimately to improve local governance outcomes (Iglesias and Garcia, 2005). The central challenge of the near future is to evaluate these policies to determine whether they have generated significant improvements in civic participation and the governance outcomes discussed above.
As civic participation both legitimizes and improves governance, it is an essential component to local governance. Local governments have recently viewed citizens as active participants rather than passive consumers in the community decision-making process. Further, many seek to utilize citizen participation to improve municipal decision-making. The process of stimulating and maintaining civic engagement is ongoing, as the system strives to achieve the many potential benefits of increased participation at the local level, including enhanced democratic legitimacy and social capital, and improved governance outcomes.
The impact Participative Budgets are having on city governance is progressive and substantive, although there are many areas that need considerable improvement. While in Spain there are several experiences that show that the system has increased participation among many stakeholders, it has not reached out to all of the residents, and many experiences lack representative diversity. The system also lacks strong administrative and deliberative capacity, which is vital to the system's effectiveness. Many intermediate outcomes have been positive, however. On the local level, Participative Budgets have affected local issues. On the citywide level, the participants have made recommendations to the authorities on issues regarding land use and transportation, and revisions to community plans, resulting in improved service delivery and city policies.
The central challenges for the cities that have implemented these experiences
now are to maintain this process of civic renewal and find new ways to improve
its effectiveness, through improved outreach to under-represented residents,
increased deliberative capacity, and the formation of additional social
networks through which a process of Participative Budget can attain greater
social and political influence. All of this will be discussed in our paper.
|Miroslav Karny and Tatiana V. Guy|
|Alberto Marini, Marco Padula and Amanda Reggiori|
Wikipedia is the most successful among the web based free content projects. Since its inception in 2001, Wikipedia has steadily risen in size and popularity. Currently Wikipedia has more than 5.3 million articles in many languages, 1,415,000 in the huge English-language version. There are 229 language editions of Wikipedia, 17 of which have more than 50,000 articles. In many languages the corresponding version of Wikipedia is the larger encyclopedia. Wikipedia ranks among the top 20 most visited sites. MediaWiki, its collaborative open source software platform, is robust, efficient, flexible and effective.
Wikipedia stimulated the development of many other collaborative "wiki projects" for a large range of environments and objectives. Wikipedia and wiki sites can be considered as concrete results of cooperative work in virtual communities. In facts, wiki projects involve yet hundreds of thousands of contributors.
For many reasons wiki projects can be proposed and exploited for e-democracy objectives and in global multicultural environments..
A local wiki project it's sustainable by any community, even not skilled (it's not difficult to be supported by skilled contributors, possibly helping from a remote station).
It's easy to access wiki contents, select them and personalize them for a free "local community reuse". It's easy and therefore appealing to insert new contributions concerning specific? problems.
A local wiki project can benefit from links to a wikipedia version
or to other wiki projects in the same or in a different language.
A wiki project has many advantages in supporting international long
distance actions, in particular for educational and solidarity aims.
When the range of choices is much greater, such as allocation of funds between several contending projects, then the task of translating voters choices and preferences into a collective decision becomes more complex.
For a choice of ten candidates, it may be reasonable to ask voters to rank them in order of preference. However if there are hundreds of options, it would not be practical to expect voters to give every option a rank or score. Reasoning from partial information of the wishes of voters either individually or collectively may be required.
This paper seeks to explore the potential value and limitations of direct democracy using ICT, what types of decision would be more amenable to direct democracy and what algorithms would be appropriate to arrive at a decision. The use of ICT means that we can use more complex algorithms which are not subject to practical restrictions imposed by manual counting. This is particularly important where there the decision to be made is complex.
The use of techniques drawn from diverse disciplines such as
Operations Research and Artificial Intelligence are explored. Such
techniques may be applicable in two ways. Firstly to determine an
individuals criteria or schedule of preferences from limited
information and secondly to determine the collective decision which is
optimal according to some criteria. In either case an iterative
question-and-answer process may be appropriate.
|Jose Manuel Vera and Jesus Messía|
Although all grounded on similar, and relatively simple, principles, their comparison reveal many differences in various experiences, in issues like the budget percentage to be elaborated, the number of participants, the number of rounds, However, far from amorphous and disorganised, they are structured around a set of rules which described the necessary bodies, mechanisms and principles, contained in a handbooks addressed to the citizens, quite clearly formulated.
Recently, there have been several attempts to introduce ICT within participatory budget elaboration, as in other aspects of politics and public policy decision making, as most participatory budget experiences have been based on physical meetings and voting by hands, with little ICT involved.
In the paper, we shall review the legal framework that supports
participatory budget experiences, as currently ran in Spain, and
elaborate a framework to support e-participatory budgets, with
emphasis on the Rios and Rios Insua (2006) model. Relevant data
protection issues shall be discussed.
|Jose Maria Moreno-Jimenez, Juan Aguaron, Maria Teresa Escobar and Alberto Turon|
|Jyri Mustajoki and Raimo P. Hamalainen|
|David R. Newman|
In this theory-building workshop, we will explore ways of evaluating e-participation, and the values by which we judge democratic participation in policy and decision-making. How can we judge best practice, if we do not agree on what is 'better'? Can we reconcile the values and techniques of different disciplines or research approaches?
To help us explore these issues, we will be using a group support system, WebIQ (www.webiq.net). With it we can quickly brainstorm ideas, collecting dozens in five minutes, organise them and rate them: leaving us more time for deliberation on the issues identified.
Participants will be divided into two groups (Group 1 and Group 2) and
each group will have access to 14 computers (maximum number
of available licences) to use WebIQ in a 90 minutes session in a
computer laboratory (Tuesday late morning or Wednesday early
afternoon). Both groups will meet together on Thursday late morning
in the conference room and use of personal laptops (up to 14) is
|Giovanna Parmigiani and Umberto Emiliani|
The e-vote is the final step of Action 3: LAB (e-participation Laboratories: from the web-supported discussion and collaboration between citizens and local public administration to the final deliberation). The e-vote system and application, developed by the technological partner LTT, is aimed at providing voters the opportunity to cast their ballots at any time from any place via the Internet, from a computer at any-one of county-controlled polling places in a county; the computer must not necessarily be owned and operated by election personnel; it is recognised by IP address or VPN. Authentication of the voters is guaranteed through username and password, an anti-physhing device is also provided.
Ballot integrity and secrecy are protected through the use of encryption technology (RSA): a Notary's digital certificate is used to encrypt all ballots, the Notary's Smart Card is required at the end in order to decrypt ballots and count votes.
Encrypted ballots are saved in a random order and cannot be matched to voters. They are also stored in a backup repository held by a third-party organization, in order to allow cross-match, thus ensuring that malicious data manipulation would be discovered.
The talk will include the live simulation of an eVote session.
|Wolfgang Polasek and Jose Maria Moreno-Jimenez|
Such desiderata are only achieved by a mutual cultural understanding and tolerance which needs to be constantly monitored and openly practiced over the internet.
This new concepts needs the political willingness of all the decision makers on a national, regional and local level. This was first advocated in an approach called e-cognocracy by Moreno-Jimenez and Polasek (2005). Now we extend this approach to a concept of e-citizenship which needs to be implemented in the EU and which guarantees political and cultural rights of all EU citizens, independently where they are born, work and live.
The paper develops this new perspective of me&u-Integration in the EU
which is based on the new internet-society. Thus, politicians have the
right and the duty to provide heir citizens at all times constant
information and basic 4 European citizen rights, i.e. e-democracy,
e-citizenship, e-education and e-communication at all levels in all
|Andreas Kuehn, Reinhard Riedl and Wolfgang Polasek|
The key three R&D challenges for this broader context are digital identity management, resource integration in legislation and in administration, and knowledge management. The development of holistic solutions for these three areas has to deal with five dimensions of complexity: contradictory stakeholder requirements, incompatible multidisciplinary requirements, system heterogeneity throughout Europe within all disciplinary views, the generic multitude of IT tasks and the hardness of IT alignment challenges, and the need to handle change through supported and enforced learning curves. There is basic research needed both with respect to solution blueprints and with respect to implementation methods, which comprise planning, design, software implementation, organizational implementation, and evaluation.
The key research question is: How can we handle the five dimensions of complexity with dedicated implementation management instruments?
Unfortunately, neither in basic research nor in R&D, an interface-based collaboration between teams with different knowledge backgrounds works unless there is a long history of collaboration among the participating teams. However, grey-zones instead of crystal-clear interfaces may lead to successful collaboration. Therefore, we need new collaboration management instruments for teams with differing knowledge backgrounds. They have to address the problem of transdisciplinary collaboration, but additionally they have to support stakeholder management, system interoperability, IT internal alignment, and fast and sustainable learning curves. Putting it differently, we have to frame the grey-zones between the disciplines in such a way that they can be monitored and managed.
Boundary provide such a framing method. In this presentation we first
the challenges for e-government projects and their management. In
sketch the problems of transdisciplinary solution development for
identity management and for resource integration. Then we discuss the
requirements for boundary objects and analyze the properties of
of classical boundary objects, such as robots in AI, real-world
applied computer science, visual prototypes in IT customer management,
several different types of IT architecture modeling concepts. This is
motivate and draw up a life-cycle management concepts for boundary
within projects as well as for boundary objects within project
concepts explicitly address the knowledge management issues. Finally,
validate these concepts against the requirements and we derive open
questions for boundary object management in e-government.
|David Rios Insua|
|Jesus Rios Aliaga and David Rios Insua|
Interestingly enough, in spite of various attempts to introduce ICT within politics and public policy decision making, most participatory budget experiences have been based on physical meetings and voting by hands, with little ICT and analytical decision support involved. In the paper, we provide a framework to support participatory budget elaboration and a system architecture to implement such through the web. The framework essentially goes through the following steps:The corresponding architecture includes e-voting and e-negotiation modules. Experiences with the architecture are described as well.
|Paulo Rosa, Goncalo Lobo and Angela Guimaraes Pereira|
The e2FocusGroup (http://alba.jrc.it/eFG/) is an Internet platform that enables a small group of people to have a focused discussion about a pre-defined issue. Each group has at least one Moderator and several Participants (ideally not more than twelve as in many social research group settings, such as focus groups, etc.). They meet in a virtual room that offers the means for an on-line debate like a Discussion Chat, a Collaborative Whiteboard and a Virtual Library.
In this contribution we report how the e2FocusGroup platform is being
used in some venues, although we are looking at ways to improve its
including extending its functionalities to better serve the purpose of
|Carlos Grima and Jose A. Rubio|
The virtuality of these communities entail that (physical) distances between members are irrelevant. Therefore, given the presence of Internet, people that, otherwise, would not have interacted, can make it wherever they are located. Consequently, these communities are achieving a considerable political influence, from the local to the international level.
In the end, these communities are composed of persons, with similar requirements, except those referring to the physical space management. Therefore, they need some kind of government, and, even, some kind of economy, possibly only relevant in a virtual world. Therefore, in these virtual communities the concepts of e-Government and e-Democracy achieve their full meaning and may be directly applied.
As far as government is concerned, virtual communities are usually administered bi its founder, which tends to be the owner of the community. This administration is undertaken at his own criterion, as he will have the power to admit and excude members, and even the power to eliminate the entire community.
However, it is possible to undertake a more democratic administration when the community gets big enough. This usually implies elaborating a constitution, elaborating laws based on the constitution, and the existence of several positions periodically elected in a democratic fashion. There is no owner, neither a founder administering at his will, but a virtual democratic community.
In every virtual community, there are several permits that affect each action. These include: publish a message, read a message, create a subgroup, exclude a member,… Each member of the community will have his own collection of permits, defining its role in the community. For example, a standard member of the community would have the role of participant with permits such as publish a message and read a message; an administrator, on top of the role of participant, could have, as well, the role of moderator, therefore having permits such as excluding a memberand admitting a new member. Typically, the owner of the virtual community will create and manage the roles, their permits and will provide roles to persons.
In this paper we shall adapt the system of roles to a democratic virtual community in which there is no master and, therefore, roles must be democratically managed and provided.
The first issue is that no role has sufficient power to eliminate the rest of roles and, consequently, attain absolute power over the community. Typically, in a computer system there is a superuser or administrator which has absolute power. In a nondemocratic virtual community, the founder will typically have all the permits within a role called, say, owner. In a democratic community this is no longer admissible, and we shall discuss possible solutions to this problem. In this sense, it would be desirable that certain roles would be assigned automatically to certain person democratically elected, and according to the laws. We, therefore, need to device appropriate computer structures to support such automatic assignment. We shall discuss the entailed problems and provide the corresponding solutions.
A second objective is to distribute role management and assignment between members. Once again, in a standard system or a nondemocratic virtual community the administrator or owner will be the only one enabled to do it. However, in a democracy as powers are separated, each one should be able to manage its own subroles and assign them according to the laws and their own criteria. We shall explore all possibilities, emerging problems and proposed solutions.
A third objective will be to ensure that the set of roles and relations among them should be changed at any time, as we should not expect a same structure for any virtual democratic community. In fact, the role structure will depend heavily on the cosen laws. However, we shall propose a generic role structure that might be valid for most existing virtual democratic communities.
Finally, we shall discuss the application of all
these concepts on an eDemocracy belonging to a nonvirtual society.
The most interesting issue, in this case, would be its applicability
to create debate groups among citizens, enabling a truly open,
truthful and democratic debate.
|Alexandros Xenakis, Evika Karamagioli and Vasilis Koulolias|
|Nan Zhang, Simon French, Colum Dain, Clare Bayley and Angela Cassidy|