Although policy-makers and different actors are harnessing e-tools to foster democratic processes, it is still difficult to assess the success of these tools because a universally applicable methodology for assessment of e-participation experiences is currently lacking. Moreover, while digital democracy is increasingly experimented at local and national levels, there are still no effective mechanisms for engaging citizens and CSOs in the process of co-producing policy solutions for Europe.
Our project proposes to pilot the collaborative method of crowdsourcing legislation in 5 beneficiary countries on the subject of air quality – a topic chosen because of its transnational nature and the problems associated with it. We will test a “social listening” method using advanced information technologies to monitor citizens’ opinions.
The evaluated results of the crowdsourcing pilots will be used to provide policy makers with recommendations on how to improve digital democracy in Europe; and the citizens’ contributions on air quality through the crowdsourcing and the “social listening” experiments will feed into and impact policy-making on national and on EU level.
We will develop a universally applicable methodology – the E-Participation Assessment Framework – to allow objective comparison of the results of e-participation projects across time and geographical space and use it for evaluating the crowdsourcing pilots. We will also test a “social listening” method through a Digital Dashboard to include citizens’ opinions. The project will deliver guidelines for ethical “social listening” to benefit from the availability of big data while protecting individual privacy and safeguarding citizens against inappropriate access and use of data.