Starting points for practicing E-democracy
As Justice Louis Brandeis wrote, “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.””
(Memorandum of the Freedom of Information Act by Barack Obama)
In a nutshell, good governance operating within the E-democracy framework should seek to:
• Democratise data to enhance civic participation. Provide citizens real access to relevant information and the actions they can take. It’s not just about dissemination of information but democratization: genuine access to data that the public sector can built on to make it more relevant for their everyday lives or bring them closer to making informed decisions on issues.
• Bring government to the people, wherever they are. Utilise new media tools and strategy to make government services more effective, accessible, and transparent. Social networking and microblogging are becoming part of the daily media diet, so governmental institutions should start utilising these tools.
• Encourage accountability through transparency. Acknowledge, assess, and embrace social media.
• Start or join in the public and social dialogue; be present and active in the information eco-system of public domain. Strengthen and diversify engagement through meaningful online dialogues and information exchange on public issues.
• Leverage social media. Use existing (user-generated, co-creation driven) technology to reach wider audiences at minimal cost to taxpayers. Mashable content can help transform raw data into concrete conclusions and action points that really matter to different sectors.
• Leverage the wisdom of crowds (public and civil servants). Social media creates an open dialogue not only between government and citizens but also between different government agencies as well.
• Make politics relevant by encouraging grassroots movements. Invest in collaboration and participation: help build the sidewalks, public squares, town halls, hearing rooms and community centres in government’s interfaces, that will ensure the public can assemble, discuss, decide, act and collaborate with government.
• Improve the relevance of information resources.
• Improve the quick distribution of information resources.
• Develop and disseminate best practices and tools to promote community conversation and engagement, civic education, and information exchange.
• Review organisational capacities and identify areas that need to be improved in order to respond the demands of managing E-democracy products and processes.
• Empower participants with online skills and experiences to have an impact on their communities and governments.
-end of part 2-
Read again: Part 1