Ebook: Electronic Government and Electronic Participation
Electronic government and electronic participation continue to transform the public sector and society worldwide and are constantly being transformed themselves by emerging information and communication technologies.
This book presents papers from the 14th International Federation for Information Processing’s EGOV conference (IFIP EGOV 2015), and its sister conference, the 7th Electronic Participation (ePart) conference, held in Thessaloniki, Greece, from 30 August to 2 September 2015, with the support and sponsorship of the University of Macedonia. Through the years, both of these conferences have established themselves as leading scientific events in their field, providing a forum for scholars to present and discuss their work. Included here are 31 accepted ongoing research papers, grouped under the following headings: eParticipation; policy modeling; open government and smart cities; general e-government; and e-government services; as well as 6 Ph.D. colloquium papers, 5 accepted posters and 3 workshops.
With their combination of scientific credibility and rigor and with high relevance to practice, the papers presented here will be of interest to all those whose work involves electronic government and electronic participation.
Electronic government and electronic participation are continuously transforming the public sector and society worldwide and are constantly being transformed themselves by way of emerging information and communication technologies.
The International Federation for Information Processing Working Group 8.5 Information Systems in Public Administration (IFIP WG 8.5) organizes every year two leading conferences in the field.
The international conference on electronic government (EGOV) is one of the first conferences focusing on electronic government. Since 2001, it provides a forum for scholars to present and discuss their research work.
The international conference on electronic participation (ePart) is probably the only scientific conference focusing exclusively on electronic participation. Since 2009, ePart has emerged from the strand of EGOV as a sister conference.
Through the years both conferences established themselves as leading scientific events in their fields. At the same time, they continue innovating in an attempt to increase the value each provides to its attendees. In this respect, this year, for the first time, the conferences are organised around tracks.
More specifically, five tracks were introduced, namely:
• The General E-Government Track
• The General eParticipation Track
• The Open Government & Open and Big Data Track
• The Policy Modelling and Policy Informatics Track
• The Smart Governance, Smart Government, & Smart Cities Track
The five tracks of the dual IFIP EGOVePart conference highlight core areas of importance for the domains of study. The overall objective of the dual conference remains to attract scholars coming from different academic disciplines to present and discuss their latest research and to shed light on advancements in the field from different, sometimes even diverse, perspectives. With the introduction of a new organisational model of the dual conference, we are also happy to have in the co-chairing a number of distinguished scholars who provide fresh insights to the conferences and who bring in new relevant communities.
Papers at IFIP EGOV and ePart aim to combine scientific credibility and rigor with high relevance to practice. Likewise, the keynote speakers come from both practice and academia, which presents a fruitful combination as practice can drive research, and research is needed by practice.
The dual IFIP EGOV and ePart 2015 “Call for Papers” for all five tracks attracted a wide range of topics with 117 submissions, which included 37 accepted completed research papers (published in separate EGOV and ePart volumes of Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science), 31 accepted ongoing research papers, 5 accepted posters, 3 workshops, 6 PhD colloquium papers and 1 PhD presentation. The latter are being included for the first time in the IOS Press proceedings along with the ongoing research papers, workshops and posters. The papers of this volume were grouped under the following headers:
• Policy Modelling
• Open Government and Smart Cities
• General e-Government
• E-Government Services
The Paper Awards Committee of IFIP EGOV and IFIP ePart was again led by committee chair Olivier Glassey of IDHEAP, Lausanne/Switzerland. The organizing Committee carefully reviewed the accepted papers and granted outstanding paper awards to the winning authors. The winners were awarded in the ceremony during the conference dinner, which has become a highlight of each year's conference. The names of the award winners can be found on the conference web page: http://www.egov-conference.org/egov-conf-history/egov-2015/.
This year, EGOV and ePart were organised in Thessaloniki, Greece under the aegis of the University of Macedonia. The University of Macedonia has long been active in research in the areas of eGovernment and eParticipation. However, the success of a conference takes much more. We would therefore like to thank the team of the University of Macedonia and particularly Eleni Panopoulou but also Maria Zotou, Elina Nanopoulou and Eleni Kamateri for their efforts in the excellent organisation of the dual conference.
The University of Macedonia is a relatively new and small university. Its departments of Applied Informatics and Business Administration have worked together for these conferences. The University of Macedonia is located in Thessaloniki, Greece; a city with 2,500 years of history and at the same time a lively, artistic city and one of the largest student centres in South-Eastern Europe. The conference dinner was held at the Byzantine museum and was preceded by an exclusive museum tour especially organised for conference participants. It could not have been more appropriate!
E-participation has become subject of considerable research over the past decade. However, trust as a pre-condition and result of e-participation has not yet been extensively investigated in e-participation research. In literature, trust is perceived as a complex construct studied in distinct research disciplines. To identify and implement measures for increasing trust as well as for minimising distrust in e-participation endeavours, a trust model helps to explain the full scope of the trust construct in the context. This contribution introduces a research design that aims on the one hand to analyse predictors and consequences of trust in e-participation based on a trust model for e-participation. On the other hand, a ‘trust-by-design’ approach for designing and implementing e-participation projects is aimed at. The approach combines empirical research to ‘understand’ trust factors with design science research for ‘innovating’ in regards to improving the design of e-participation endeavours by the lessons and insights of the empirical research. Both strands of research also contribute to theory building of trust in e-participation. This paper aims to set the scope of the research, to introduce the research questions and to present the research design with the multidisciplinary setting.
There has been much research into citizens' engagement with their representatives. This paper offers an approach to understanding sustained take-up of internet technologies by these representatives in a (hyperlocal) democratic context using Community Councils in Scotland a case study. A Community of Practice model was developed and initial data collected to evaluate whether the model can be adapted for contexts where community boundaries are not clear. The focus is the community of users of technology: representatives as primary content creators as a necessary first stage before higher levels of engagement and participation are possible. The CoP model is found to have potential, even in a context of weak, dispersed and non-self-aware communities. The importance of understanding transitions and level of engagement is highlighted and another avenue for further research identified.
In this paper, we present a concept prototype for a socio-technical assistant (s.TAS) as a collaborative problem-solving approach to support the regional development in a selected rural district. The presented concept considers insides from citizen participation as an open government instrument and strongly incorporates collaborative value creation to address regional development issues. The presented approach incorporates citizens and other regional stakeholders (e.g., companies, organizations, associations) as problem-solvers and strongly enables regional stakeholders and the public administration to develop solutions jointly as an ongoing learning process. In this sense, s.TAS addresses participation approaches and elaborates participation to collaboration. For the development of this participatory problem-solving approach, we conducted (1) a broad literature review on participatory approaches and (2) we implemented a qualitative, collaborative research approach with participants from different stakeholder groups. In several workshop rounds, supported by interviews and surveys we developed a concept prototype for the socio-technical assistant s.TAS, which is a technical, smart system, which supports information, communication, participation and collaboration in the selected region.
Assessing the influence that socio-economic characteristics have on the division between traditional voters and those who choose to vote via the internet is crucial to political debate as well as for the future development of democracies. Does the introduction of internet voting technology simply widen the divide between voters and non-voters, further isolating the part of the electorate already underrepresented in the political process? We address these issues by reviewing the current state of research in 22 empirical studies relating internet voting to socio-economic variables. The results are not homogeneous but suggest that although socio-economic factors do play an important role in explaining the choice of voting channel, they are strongly moderated by the general use of and trust in the internet.
In this paper, we introduce a new categorisation for innovation tools, which we employed to structure the Toolbox for Open Societal Innovation (TosiT) – a database of innovation software and services, which was developed in the international research project eSociety Bodensee 2020. The suggested categories are designed with the user in mind to make the toolbox easily accessible for interested actors. Open Societal Innovation (OSI) is a concept that combines the notions of open innovation and social innovation, in order to foster innovation from the society for the society.
The understanding of the way in which collective phenomena emerge from the interaction between individual behaviors, environment and institutions, can play a crucial role in supporting the design of more contextualized policies. An apparently effective policy can easily fail if policy makers do not consider the interplay between individual decision making and social aggregate dynamics. This paper presents an ongoing research exploiting an agent-based simulation model to explore the core dynamics of the Tragedy of the Commons (ToC), a social dilemma known for being behind a series of societal problems spanning from pollution to resource depletion and climate change. The goal is twofold: capture the basic processes through which the ToC emerges and evolves; explore in an artificial society the effects of different strategies aiming to contrast the phenomenon. Our attention is focused on the interplay between different factors proven to be involved in the genesis of this dilemma: the selfish rationality of human beings, the temporal dimension of individual choices and the potential impact of sanctions.
As our world is becoming increasingly interconnected and globalized, policy modelers and policy makers are faced with complex decisions for challenges like climate change and financial crises. To address such challenges in an efficient and effective way, policy officials require timely and reliable information. Accordingly, the availability of appropriate methods and tools to aggregate scattered pieces of information and stakeholders' expectations is becoming increasingly important. In this paper we focus on the problem of aggregating and interpreting heterogeneous information dispersed among individuals in a timely manner to support public policy making. We propose an approach that involves the creation of belief (Bayesian) networks to model conditional and probabilistic dependencies between policy indices and the use of Information Markets (IMs) for aggregating stakeholder expectations on uncertain policy indices. An example case focusing on predicting Greenhouse Gas emissions shows how our approach can support real life policies and decisions.
Public opinion always has an important influence on the policy process. The development of social networking sites and applications has given the public more opportunities to express their views about the related policies. In cases where the coverage of the traditional hearing system challenged the policy process, how to measure accurately the public concern and attitudes regarding policies based on online public generated content using a data mining method will be very important issue in policy informatics. Our paper provides a probabilistic topic modeling approach, mainly based on Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) model, to transform the complex semanteme of online public opinions into the values could be measured. A simple case could show the usefulness of the too toward policy analysts also be provided and discussed briefly.
Public policies are collections of principles that guide state government actions in a given domain. The aim of public policy used by the state Housing Fund for distributing social housing facilities in Slovenia is to ensure transparent and equally fair treatment of all beneficiaries. During the last decade the Fund has established a sustainable structure for policy models that consist of three parts: written requirements for applications, a detailed process description, and a comprehensive decision support model containing rules for ranking the applications according to their priority. In this paper we analyze the main causes of changes in the policy in the last decade and investigate how they are reflected in the underlying conceptual and decision support models. The results of our analysis indicate that the key critical success factor was to maintain a delicate balance between the sustainability of the models and changes in the policy. As a result, the state housing Fund was able to leverage the supply on the Slovenian housing market by efficiently conducting twelve consecutive tenders for offering apartments under favorable terms to citizens.
Governments around the world are trying to realize the benefits of technology to make a real difference in people's lives. The use of data provided by open government data platforms has a great potential to enable new services, improve the lives of citizens and make government and society work better. This research proposes a conceptual model to explain how open government data platforms are used to enhance the access to and delivery of government information and services in order to make a real difference in people's lives. This study explores and illustrates the model by taking the perspective that Open Government Data (OGD), as a platform, influences the way city agencies are delivering information and services to increase feedback for stakeholders, including citizens, government agencies and employees. To analyze the impact on citizen's lives, government agencies and employees we used the public value perspective that can helps to determine the value of government activities from multiple stakeholders' perspectives. Specifically, this working paper presents preliminary results of our analyzes from the NYC Open Data portal. We aimed to understand how citizens, employees and other agencies are using OGD to improve their activities, the impact of that and unintended consequences.
Many public administrations have been publishing data sets as open data for the last few years through portals based on CKAN or other platforms. Applications have been developed using, most of the time, one single data set as developers, data journalists and small businesses cannot afford the cost of re-using and integrating different data sets. This is due to many factors as the different formats used for the data, lack of documentation, different metadata and lack of public, trustworthy registries for entities of interest that could ease the task of connecting information provided by different authors about them. The Linked Data principles offer the guidelines to solve all these issues by leveraging the Semantic Web standards for describing resources on the Web. Moreover the Linked Data Platform specification, a recent W3C Recommendation, provides a realization of the guidelines defining some basic interactions between a client and a server to manage resources using the HTTP protocol. The purpose of this article is to present the Fusepool P3 platform that extends the LDP specification to support services which transform raw data sets into RDF format and enrich them.
Business intelligence and big data represent two different technologies within decision support systems. The present paper concerns the two concepts within the context of e-government. Thus, the purpose of the paper is to present the preliminary findings regarding publication patterns and topic coverage within the two technologies by conducting a comparative literature review. A total of 281 papers published in the years 2005–2014 were included in the analysis. A rapid increase of papers regarding big data were identified, the majority being journal papers. As regards business intelligence, researchers publish in conference proceedings to a greater extent. Further, big data journal papers are published within a broader range of journal topics compared to business intelligence journal papers. The paper concludes by pointing to further analyses that will be carried out within the 281 selected papers.
Linked open government data can be a catalyst in the production of value-added services and products. The vision of the presented R&D-project is to make publishing and reuse of linked data as easy as possible for the end user thanks to a thriving marketplace with data publishers, developers, and consumers along the value chain. The project develops tourism-related applications and software components that support data owners and open data enthusiasts in transforming legacy data to Linked Data. It does that by providing tightly integrated components and supports the multilingual data value chain from data exploration, extraction, enrichment, and delivery. In the paper we present first results of the project and reflections on the methodology in order to increase sustainability by focusing on users-driven development.
Public sectors need to manage data for internal and external use is growing. Master data management aims to manage the core data that affects generally the data quality in large extent. The objective of the research is to observe the factors that affect the architectural decisions when establishing a MDM function. This is done though prior research and a case study in a municipality. Business needs and the existing IT environment indicate the best usage scenario for MDM. Scenario indicates the suitable architectural implementation style and also helps the organization to comprehend what they should emphasize in their development.
This article shows that high costs to obtain data in astronomy justifies the use of cloud computing. In such a field, like others in science, there are several benefits when this data is freely available to the whole scientific community. The availability of these data will foster innovative applications to exploit and explore data. These applications could be offered as a service in the cloud. A National Data Center for e-Science could take advantage of these high costs data and offer open data to the community to maximize data accessibility.
Smart city has been evolved since late 1990s to a rapidly emerged domain, where the academia, the industry and the government have mutual interest in transforming cities to innovation-based sustainable spaces. However, this evolution has come to a critical point of argument, where existing efforts are being developed mainly with public spending, which serve industrial purposes. As such, governments focus on smart city standardization in an attempt to clarify the smart city domain. Such standardization concerns smart city architecture too, which has to serve all potential innovations. This paper aims to define a common smart city architecture, which serves government purposes for innovation and sustainability, while it utilizes experiences from prestigious cases and corresponding theoretical context.
Specifically, the paper provides a detailed analysis of the state of the art regarding technological, regulatory and interoperability aspects, devoting particular attention to those projects (and related experience) in the field of cloud and distributed computing. The paper's aim is to evaluate benefits and risks of the applicability of solutions that are already in place for the specified areas of interest. The key factors that determine relevant regulations, with particular emphasis on the European target, have been listed in the paper. Finally, the main Italian projects and the situation in some European countries have also been mentioned.
This paper presents how Fuzzy Cognitive Map (FCM) technique can be applied by a policy maker to support the policy impact evaluation using the example of Policy Compass, an EU research project. The practical usage example on interest rate policy shows the potential of FCMs as a policy impact modelling tool. Through the provision of a more intuitive and easier means of using open data based on FCM techniques, the Policy Compass project can play a critical role for both policy maker and lay public to evaluate the policy impact and prepare for future policy making.
A growing interest in e-Government practices is currently expressed within public administrations. This paper describes the evolution of our study in the field of impacts of digitization on the management of administrative procedures. We present a full description of the methodology used, the assumptions and the analysis model on which our study is based. Due to its complexity and its interdepartmental characteristic, the building permit procedure is selected to be the representative administrative process of concern. As Swiss public administrations is the central subject of our research, a description of the relevant legal framework of the country is presented. Specifically, the case study of the Canton of Valais is described in detail. The experience gained from the semi-structured interviews conducted for this case study is exposed
This study explores the need for user-centered design (UCD) approaches to adapt to recent societal trends of cross-sector collaborations, civil citizen involvement and e-government initiatives affecting the public sector. This is achieved by studying three cases involving such trends, taking place in the Swedish Emergency Response System. Using results from the cases, information systems development related challenges are identified and related to adaption needs for current UCD approaches. Suggestions of such adaption are provided and a number of inherent challenges for the fourth generation of UCD are discussed, including challenges concerning (a) balancing ideological versus practical needs; (b) resources; (c) lack of know-how; and (d) design techniques and tool challenges.