[Air-l] New ranking study on e-participation in German cities

Matthias Trenel matthias.trenel at gmail.com
Fri Dec 2 00:31:43 PST 2005

Press Notice 02. Dec. 2005, 08:00 CET
Source: http://www.zebralog.de/en/000136.html

German cities improve, but still have a long way to go

Today, the Initiative for eParticipation has released its second study on
citizen participation over the internet. As last year, Berlin showed the
best eParticipation record, Freiburg and Munich made a big step forward.

The study analyzed the websites of all 83 German cities above a population
of 100.000. A ranking system was applied that rewarded points if cities
offered comprehensible and comprehensive information on current political
issues, if political decision makers could be addressed through the web, and
if citizens were invited for deliberation through discussion forums or
chats. The usablity of such participatory projects as well as their
integration into political decision making processes was of primary
importance. Coder's agreement on their assessment of the cities' websites
ranged between 88 and 100%.

The results show that German cities have improved their eParticipation
record compared to last year's study. However, the large majority of German
cities still has not attempted to consult citizens over the internet. Berlin
ranked highest because (among other reasons) the city provides a citizen
discussion space on its main portal, carried out a couple of online
dialogues on town planning issues and had a participatory budgeting project
in one of its boroughs (Lichtenberg) where citizens could take part online
as well.

The study has been commissioned by the Initiative for eParticipation and
financed by the following German eParticipation providers and research
institutions: binary objects (Berlin), Ingenieurgesellschaft entera
(Hannover), Fraunhofer E-Government-Zentrum und Fraunhofer Institut AIS
(Sankt Augustin), politik-digital (Berlin), TuTech Innovation (Hamburg),
wegewerk (Berlin), and Zebralog (Berlin).

The Initiative eParticipation wants to encourage policy makers and
adminstrators to make use of internet-based participatory methods when
decisions with far reaching consequences for citizens are made. The
Initiative is convinced that both technology and methods for eParticipation
are ready for use, and so are citizens who are waiting for opportunities to
engage. New thinking is needed among politicians so that eParticipation can
be employed on a wider scale.

The study is available for donwload in German at

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Further information can be obtained from:

Matthias Trénel
eMail: trenel at zebralog.de
phone: +49 30 6951 8694
fax: +49 30 6162 3681

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