This looks like a superb opportunity to raise the awareness of citizen participation and democracy within U.S. e-government circles. I’ve noticed a new serious uptick in interest among “netizens” in the U.S. in how the Internet can be used to better connect citizens with their governments between elections.
In short, the demand for “e-democracy” is beginning to manifest itself (finally!!) and some government and political leaders are beginning to articulate actions they will take with the Internet to improve government accountability, more transparent access to decision-making processes, and ways from government to actually better understand and listen to people via the Internet instead of just collecting taxes online and providing one-way content.
This uptick is in its infancy, but seems born of the 2004/6 election and fungible interest off the 2008 e-campaigning engine. Folks are beginning to say, if the Internet can be used to help get elected to run the free world, shouldn’t it be used to better govern and represent people once power is secured?
Generating a good collection of articles per the call below will help government agencies get started with effective e-democracy strategies.
Lisa Nelson at email@example.com, (202) 208-2530.
USA Services Intergovernmental Solutions publishes a newsletter that reports on trends and successes in information technology from around the world. The newsletter provides highlights from federal, state, local and international governments, as well as industry and academia.
The next edition will look at how e-government is changing society and strengthening democracy. E-government depends on communications technologies and the Internet to encourage citizen participation in government by making government seamless, transparent and accessible. Technology can make government processes more accessible by expanding citizen participation in public policy decision-making giving citizens a broader influence in policy outcomes. This increases the potential for smarter policies, transparency, accountability, and keeps the government closer to the consent of the governed. This direct relationship between individuals and their representatives can result in improved public trust.
We are seeking articles that share e-democracy lessons, projects and tools, particularly between government and its citizens and between citizens themselves. For example:
The importance of citizen participation
Creating a venue for citizen inclusion and government transparency
Designing technology to constructively encourage deliberation by citizens on public issues
Challenges of citizen engagement
Creating a digitally enabled society
Limiting factors and barriers
Balancing citizen expectations and government requirements
Establishing security and trust
Online tools for social networking and decision making
Adapting structures and decision-making processes to ensure that the results gathered are analyzed, disseminated and used
Electronic citizen juries â€“Implementing a citizen based deliberative process
Public comment on agency regulations
Using on-line citizen engagement the provide opportunities for all citizens
Determining what drives citizens to get involved
Identifying problems with citizen identification
Using mobile technologies, interactive digital television and other technologies to complement the internet and traditional engagement methods.
If you would like to highlight your experience strengthening democracy through e-government in the upcoming Intergovernmental Newsletter, contact Lisa Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 208-2530.
Articles should be 1,000 words or less and must be received by Friday, June 1, 2007. Please include the author’s name, title, organization, telephone number, and e-mail address with your submission. Thank you.