eDemocracy 2/3 – Harnessing digital tools for public action: Informal citizen participation at local level

Goal: The second workshop aims to provide an overview on digital democracy tools applied at the local level. The workshop will outline some of the underlying characteristics of informal, citizens-led eParticipation at local level and will present good practices on a broad selection of topics. The commonalities between them all will be analysed and recommendations for the multiplication of the projects in other contexts/ countries will be discussed. The main input is expected to be given by the participants themselves to share initiatives and projects that they have experienced in the field.

Background:
Citizen participation initiatives at local level are popular, as citizens can directly relate to the subject of decision-making. Often, those initiatives have a strong engagement rate due to the community / group mindset and the ability to mobilise on a concrete issue of personal and community interest. Compared with national initiatives, local initiatives can cover topics that are mostly much closer to citizens’ everyday lives. This could enhance their outreach and lower the barrier for citizens to participate.

Questions raised:
How can ICT’s help to stimulate democracy on the local level? What are the success factors for such projects? To what extent should public administrations be involved in the process? What should be the output of such processes? What are best practices in the field that can be applied in other constituencies?

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