Posts Tagged ‘edemocracy’

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I have not been lazy lately, meeting many organizations involved in gov20 and elaborating different plans to make things happen locally. I have learnt that a near city has just hired someone to work on edemocracy and e-participation! Concerning liberTIC’s activity, another step will be made next month so stay in touch.

Here follow is a guide I’ve been reading for my studies.

Almost ten years ago, OECD suggested the stillupdated following guiding principles for successful information, consultation and active participation in policy-making:


Leadership and strong commitment to information, consultation and active participation in policy-making is needed at all levels – from politicians, senior managers and public officials.

2. Rights

Citizens rights to access information, provide feedback, be consulted and actively participate in policy-making must be firmly grounded in law or policy. Government obligations to respond to citizens when exercising their rights must also be clearly stated. Independent institutions for oversight, or their equivalent, are essential to enforcing these rights.


Objectives for, and limits to, information, consultation and active participation during policy-making should be well defined from the outset. The respective roles and responsibilities of citizens (in providing input) and government (in making decisions for which they are accountable) must be clear to all.

4. Time

Public consultation and active participation should be undertaken as early in the policy process as possible to allow a greater range of policy solutions to emerge and to raise the chances of successful implementation. Adequate time must be available for consultation and participation to be effective. Information is needed at all stages of the policy cycle.

5. Objectivity

Information provided by government during policy-making should be objective, complete and accessible. All citizens should have equal treatment when exercising their rights of access to information and participation.

6. Resources

Adequate financial, human and technical resources are needed if public information, consultation and active participation in policy-making are to be effective. Government officials must have access to appropriate skills, guidance and training as well as an organisational culture that supports their efforts.

7. Co-ordination

Initiatives to inform, request feedback from and consult citizens should be co-ordinated across government to enhance knowledge management, ensure policy coherence, avoid duplication and reduce the risk of consultation fatigue among citizens and civil society organisations (CSOs). Co-ordination efforts should not reduce the capacity of government units to pursue innovation and ensure flexibility.

8. Accountability

Governments have an obligation to account for the use they make of citizens inputs received through feedback, public consultation and active participation. Measures to ensure that the policy-making process is open, transparent and amenable to external scrutiny and review are crucial to increasing government accountability overall.

9. Evaluation

Governments need the tools, information and capacity to evaluate their performance in providing information, conducting consultation and engaging citizens in order to adapt to new requirements and changing conditions for policy-making.

10. Active citizenship

Governments benefit from active citizens and a dynamic civil society and can take concrete actions to facilitate access to information and participation, raise awareness, strengthen citizens civic education and skills as well as to support capacity-building among civil society organisations.

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Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet on 10 jun 2006.
Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday, UMP french leading-party secretary, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, introduced UMP new socialmedia: Les créateurs de possible.
The idea of this platform is to make it possible for every citizen to purpose, discuss, and get involved in community projects.
« Creators of opportunity», as it may be approximatively translated, is a Do It Yourself project launched by the french right-wing party. This platform of a new kind in France will be online in the following 24 hours.

Creators of opportunity is:

  1. A mash up of socialmedia to serve community
  2. A community open to all the citizens
  3. A simple design with easy ergonomics and traditional functions of a social network
  4. A free speech space with no moderation a priori (except for discriminative contents)
  5. A community where UMP logo does not appear (but the platform logo looks similar)
  6. A webspace emphasizing transparency and authenticity
  7. A social network using web20 tools to spread informations (Facebook, Twitter & Co, RSS)
  8. A platform with iphone app and some widgets available
  9. An online activism toolkit with apps such as online petition and door-to-door advises

Check out the movie.

Eventhough the presentation is not complete as I could not access the platform, this initiative has been underlined as « very risky » during its presentation.

Organized well, it would be easy for a bunch of opponents to transform this platform into a big mess.

The no-yet-existing digital identification would indeed allow anyone to use fake identities and post any irrelevant comment and there will be only 3 staff members to moderate 35 million potential french websurfers.

The Challenge

Maybe the purpose of this website (again, still to be seen) is not to recolt such a great amount of feedbacks. Maybe it could never be so popular anyway as french people have not answered yet the question:

Are you willing to animate a platform launched by a political party when his leader, french President Nicolas Sarkozy gets less than 40% of favorable opinion on national polls?

Of course, UMP presence on this platform seems to be insidious but confusion remains.

Is it a national platform for all citizens to solve problems conjointly ? Or is it a partisan website to launch partisane

projects ?

The UMP and its leader ‘popularity is not at its top and Sarkozy is not known as a man uniting people in real life. For these two reasons -at least- pretend to be able to bond french people on the web is indeed, so risky.

That is why one may regret that NKM, by the way mainly known as Secretary of State in charge of developping digital economy in France, created such an interesting tool for a « party concern only » instead of creating it for a national purpose.

At the meantime, French people are launching a « No-Sarkozy-day » on the net.

Déjà vu

On the other side of the (political) border, we can’t help but thinking about Segolene Royal « Desir d’avenir » platform. Segolene Royal is the french left-wing politician who ended 2nd to the run for presidency in 2007. She actually announced on december 28th that her collaborative website was turning into a platform of solidarity, « a fraternity and solidarity-based website to give a hand on each other projects ».  Platforms are being very trendy lately.

Concerning oversea empowerment projects, we could cite the City of Manor (TX) and its launching of « Manor Lab » that allows citizens to purpose and vote for local projects. http://www.manorlabs.org/

There is also Fixmystreet, the British DIY where you can report or discuss local problems http://www.fixmystreet.com/

Without mentioning all the citizen applications for iphone developped by cities such as New York, Washington, Portland, San Francisco and so on to emphasize interaction and community involvement. Not mentioning neither “Smarter government” project in the UK and “Engage” program in Australia.


So we finally made a point. But we still have time to make up on gov20 so let’s hope that this participative platform – as a first step- will turn to be successful, for an emerging edemocracy and gov20 in France and for the greater transparency that should inevitably follow.












Belle révolution en terme de politique et web participatif: Les createurs de possibles de l’UMP

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Internetactu published an interesting article over privacy seen differently depending on one’s age (the title could approximately be translated by “Privatelife, the young schmuck point of view”). Following is a mix of this article with Elizabeth Denham’ speech Right, Responsibilities, Trust: Archives and Public Affairs.

In 2000, Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, announced  “Privacy is dead -Get over it!” Ten years later, it seems that the worlwideweb community still can’t.

Privacy remains a powerful value and private life protection have even become national issue. See the french declaration of fundamental digital rights – english version at the bottom- still to be approved. And yet, there is an important part of cultural value in privacy interpretation.

“In Japan, for instance, where personal space is at a premium, people have objected to the on-line mapping application, Google Street View, on the grounds that it is considered impolite and intrusive to look at into the front gardens of Japanese homes. Google has agreed to rephotograph cities in the country, raising the height of cameras to provide privacy.” Denham reports.

Cultural context is predominant and so is the age. According to Montreal humour columnist Josh Freed, it’s the yawning gap in outlooks between “Generation Parent” and “Generation Transparent.” One tries to protect his lifeprivacy, almost obsessively when the second one is not quite sure what “private-life” stands for. A new reality show on record 24/7, maybe ?

One may indeed think that young people lost any notion of private life by blogging any information and picture of themselves over the net but teenagers seem to interact with no inhibitions on the web and on cellphones too. Ever heard of this new trend called “Sexting” when you send a message with sexually suggestive content or nude image on a mobile phone. 15% of 12-17 US teenagers with cellular phones have received one. It’s much higher for the 17 years old with 30%.

So shocking ?

“Generation Transparent have lived their whole lives on stage, ever since their first blurry images were captured by a “womb-cam” at eight weeks gestation. They’re apt to wonder whether life is really happening if no one is watching. Generation Parent, by contrast, grew up in the shadow of McCarthyism [for the US only, what about us ? Gestapo?] Nixon wire-tappers and espionage, leaving many afraid to bank online or buy a book on Amazon.com. They’d certainly never post their personal diaries or family snapshots online.”

blog'n roll

The question the two authors then rise is : aren’t these teenagers just using their individual liberties, the one their parents fought for, and extending these liberties onto new-techs ?

Indeed, how come one can go around with tiny and suggestive clothes, behaving sexually suggestively in the street (it’s all in the suggestion thing) but when it comes to publishing these scenes on the web or sending them on cellphones it turns out to be scandalous ?

Maybe we are discovering what a parent of a 1950’s rocker was confronted to. We are facing new-age rock ‘n roll behaviors, a teen culture based on freedom of speech, of acting…Except it’s all digital. Moto is: Peace and love and blog’n roll ?

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