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Local e_Democracy National Project

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Playtime benefits .... Interactive -narrative -goals -rewards -problems solving ... Playtime benefits_the research... 75 peer sessions - 196 young people ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Local e_Democracy National Project


1
Local e_Democracy National Project
  • Harnessing the power of new technology to
    encourage participation between election time
  • Jane Ratford
  • St Albans City and District Council
  • Pete Thomson
  • Wolverhampton City Council
  • Barbican Expo, April 2005

2
Local eDemocracy National Project
  • 4m development programme
  • Involving over 20 LAs
  • - delivering112 products from 20 pilots for
  • councillors, councils and communities
  • 2005/06 - 500,000 marketing and dissemination
  • Smaller package of products
  • Product refinement
  • Benefits analysis
  • Inform policy development

3
Democratic challenges..
  • Decline in turn out in local and national
    elections
  • - 39 of under 25s voted in general election
  • - 59 of eligible electorate voted in general
    election
  • Fall in trust and reputation of politicians
  • But citizens are interested in issues and their
    communities
  • - 67 want to have more of a say in the way
    country is run
  • - 81 are interested in their local communities

4
Need to change the way we do things..
  • 11.7m citizens online in the UK
  • - 50 of households connected increases to 70
    with children present
  • 90 of under 25s use the internet
  • 80 of under 25s use computer games
  • Society is changing
  • Less deferential
  • More horizontal communication
  • Government policy drivers
  • - E-Government targets
  • - Community leadership engagement

5
Harnessing the power of new technology...
  • Our aims
  • Participation - between election times
  • Strategies - for making a case
  • Tools - develop and test
  • Complementing and strengthening - democratic
    structures and processes
  • Focal point - for democratic innovation
  • Access - overcome barriers to participation
  • Dissemination - of learning best practice

6
Future edemocracy landscape
  • For councillors and councils
  • All councillors with a website/blog
  • E-surgeries
  • E-consultation offering email alerts
  • For citizens and communities
  • Contact representative by email
  • E-petitioning
  • Webcasting council and community meetings
  • Citizen fora BBC iCan Issues Forums

7
The benefits of the National Project
  • Local e-government minister,
  • Phil Hope
  • I like the idea of being able to engage with
    young people. Im absolutely convinced that will
    improve turnout.
  • This means improving the breadth, depth and
    quality of interactions between officers,
    councillors and members of the community
  • This will lead to
  • Better decision-making
  • Increased participation
  • Stronger bonds between the citizen, their council
    and their representatives

Democratic Renewal
Communities
Councils
Councillors
8
How our projects support democratic renewal
Communities
  • Issues forum
  • E-Democracy Games
  • Microdemocracy
  • Citizen Panels
  • E-moderation
  • National Councillor Database
  • Weblogging
  • BBC iCan
  • E-Dem icons
  • Online Surgeries
  • Webcasting

Councils
Councillors

E-demtoolkit
  • Research into councillors website needs and legal
    guidance
  • Baseline Survey
  • Evaluation
  • Funding Database
  • Case Studies

9
Products for young people...
  • E-Dem Games computer games in the context of
    democracy
  • - Money Manager budget prioritisation
  • - Councillor Quest using avatars to identify
    with a councillor character
  • - Captain Campaign run a democratic campaign
  • Available on CD Rom mobile phones
  • website www.demgames.org.uk

10
Playtime benefits .
  • Interactive
  • -narrative
  • -goals
  • -rewards
  • -problems solving
  • -opportunity to win
  • Used in the school environment basis for
    further discussion/other activities
  • Councils can customise
  • Entertaining

11
Playtime benefits_the research
  • 75 peer sessions - 196 young people
  • Online survey 100 respondents
  • 11-19 year olds
  • Products Games Visible Voices Online Surgeries
  • Q Would you take part in these activities?
  • Interactive games 66
  • Questionnaires 56
  • Bulletin board 41
  • Live chats (other young people) 37
  • Live chats (politicians) 12

12
Paths to participation
  • Motivate
  • Access to information
  • Feeling strongly about issue
  • Interested in issue, especially what happens next
  • Wanting to have an impact
  • Easy to participate
  • Positive experience
  • Barrier
  • No information on issue
  • No emotional involvement
  • No interest
  • Cynical about individual impact
  • Negative past experiences
  • Finding it difficult to get involved

13
Products for councillors .
  • For community leadership engagement.
  • - LGA councillors database syndicated to all
    LAs
  • - Research on councillors websites what works
    how officers can encourage and support
  • - Legal guidance on websites and other
    e-democracy issues
  • - Blogging authentic communication?

14
Weblogs for civic leadership engagement
  • Online diary - to inform, educate and start a
    conversation
  • Group of officers and councillors - coaching and
    encouragement
  • Communicates to citizens that people at their
    local authority may be more open to ideas,
    suggestions and feedback than they assumed. It
    brings a voice of authenticity, with a dash of
    personality, to typically stagnant, impersonal
    websites, Griff Wigley, blogging coach from
    Minnesota.
  • Open to all interested in civic leadership
  • Sponsored by Hansard Society
  • www.readmyday.co.uk

15
Civic blogging
  • Aims
  • Educate on public policy
  • Promote community organisations
  • Enhance citizens understanding of local
    government
  • Praise employees, elected representatives,
    citizens
  • Personalise put a face on the faceless
    bureaucrat
  • Unique features
  • Authoring commitment to update
  • Linking network potential
  • Commenting dialogue potential
  • Advantages over websites
  • Easy to get started
  • Many products in the market

16
Evaluation
  • Bloggers verdict
  • I do want to present a human face to the
    residents of
  • my ward over local issues. I also want to give
    some
  • background beyond the headlines. I hope it will
    also
  • encourage debate.
  • Issues frequency feedback/comments
    communicating
  • Fifteen online jurors recruited to
    monitor/evaluate
  • Six respondents would return
  • He highlighted some issues that modern society
    faces, which is something Im interested in.
  • Nine less positive
  • I dont see the relevance for me.

17
Single view of the benefits
Communities
  • Better informed
  • Willing to initiate public engagement, campaigns
  • Recognises value of engagement as citizens
  • More responsive to public involvement
  • Better casework
  • Better access (24/7)
  • Better at community leadership
  • Increased engagement
  • Better understandingof role
  • More inclusive
  • Better ward representation
  • Increased trust
  • Increased trust
  • Higher Profile
  • Higher turnout

Councils
Councillors
  • More responsive to Councillor input
  • Better understood and easier to manage democratic
    processes
  • More transparent, accountable and auditable
  • More responsive and welcoming of democratic input
  • More effective councillors as managers of the
    council and representatives of wards
  • Better governance of council business
  • Better scrutiny function

18
Micro Democracy
  • Developing Citizen Engagement in Swindon Borough
    Council

19
The problem
  • Consultation exercises often achieve a response
    of 3 - 5
  • Many citizens are not engaged with local
    democracy and feel it has little relevance to
    them
  • Turnout continues to decline in purely local
    elections
  • Swindon Central ward by-election in January 2004
    19

20
The objective of Micro Democracy
  • Making engagement and consultation personal,
    relevant and timely so that citizens feel their
    opinions are both valued and valuable

21
Components of Micro Democracy
  • Co-ordination of consultation
  • Built around communities
  • Focused and personal questionnaires
  • Feedback to participants

Engage
Identify
Consult
Feedback
22
Personalisation
23
Information and demonstration site
  • www.microdemocracy.co.uk

24
Expected benefits
  • Value for money
  • Cost per response
  • Control of overheads
  • Avoid repetition of questions
  • More timely engagement
  • Extra channel for communication
  • Developing democratic engagement
  • Encouraging community cohesion

25
Actual benefits so far
  • Software operational
  • Response rate to first consultation gt70
  • Strong demand for further consultations from both
    officers and Members
  • Interest from other councils

26
Project outputs
  • Licence free software
  • Case study
  • How to guidance

27
How the outputs will be presented
Strategy Development
Process
Implementation
Evaluation
The strategy guide
The e-democracy toolkit
The self assessment toolkit
Product
  • The tools and information a LA needs to design a
    sustainable e-democracy strategy
  • The menu of tools and products an LA needs to
    implement the key components of its e-democracy
    strategy
  • A toolkit and national baseline so a council can
    evaluate progress

Description
Knowledge Pool The website (e-democracy.gov.uk)
will provide access to a range of information and
research to support the key products
All outputs accredited by a team of evaluation
experts
28
Where to find the outputswww.e_democracy.gov.uk
29
Group work
  • Youve heard about the products
  • What are the issues?
  • - Cost?
  • - Access?
  • - Support?

30
Local edemocracy National Project
  • Thank you for listening
  • Your questions?

31
Contact me
  • Jane Ratford,
  • Public Relations
  • St Albans City and District Council
  • tel 01727 819317
  • j.ratford_at_stalbans.gov.uk
  • mob 07931 598352
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