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Web Technologies Supporting Direct Participation in Democratic Processes

Objective

The development and increasing use of the Internet enables administrations and citizens to establish new forms of relationships. Today, after e-commerce and e-business, the next Internet revolution is leading to e-democracy. It is expected that the Internet will progressively transform not only the way in which most public services are delivered, but also the fundamental relationship between Government and Citizens. The goal of WEBOCRACY is to contribute to empowering citizens with innovative communication and access and voting systems supporting increased participation of citizens in democratic processes, and to increase transparency and accessibility of Public Administration.

OBJECTIVES
The objectives of the WEBOCRACY project can be characterised at two levels:
- the organisational objectives: they aim at a new type and new quality of services provided for citizens, and;
- the scientific objectives: the design of a generic modular architecture of a Web-based system (referred as the Webocrat system), and the development of modules of the Webocrat system and their implementation in an integrated fashion.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
The system will be supported by the following modules:
1) Discussion Forum (DF) module supporting intelligent communication of citizens, elected representatives and public servants in several areas (e.g., general discussion between citizens and their elected representatives, public discussion on legal documents under preparation);
2) Web Content Management (WCM) module supporting the publication of different types of documents (e.g., laws, resolutions passed, budgets). A relatively separate part of WCM will be an "Electronic Public Procurement sub-module supporting the publication of tenders including all documents and guidelines needed for the bidders. A navigation and browsing tool will be an integral part of modules DF and WCM;
3) Voting Room (VR) module enabling electronic voting on issues/questions published using the WCM module and discussed in the DF module. This module features also a support for authentication and voters' privacy;
4) Information Desk (Retrieval component): users may query the Webocrat system through a user-friendly interface; the system will retrieve those documents (of different formats- HTML, Word documents, e-mails) that are relevant to the query;
5) Reporter/Summary module: this background module will closely co-operate with the DF and VR modules and will provide means for calculation of different statistics and summaries from a defined set of contributions in the DF, results of voting, comments attached to a given document;
6) An ontology-based knowledge model module supporting the functions provided by all the modules above (securing features of intelligent behaviour and user-friendliness).
The project's objectives will be assessed and refined within the framework of pilot applications - by the deployment and evaluation of the developed technologies and methodologies in naturalistic settings.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

FACULTY OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND INFORMATICS, TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF KOSICE
Address
Letna 9
04120 Kosice
Slovakia

Participants (7)

CITEC INFORMATION OY AB
Finland
Address
Silmukkatie 2
65100 Vaasa
JUVIER S.R.O.
Slovakia
Address
Stropkovska 51
04011 Kosice
THE LOCAL AUTHORITY KOSICE - CITY WARD DARGOVSKYCH HRDINOV
Slovakia
Address
Adlerova 2
04022 Kosice
THE LOCAL AUTHORITY KOSICE - CITY WARD SIDLISKO TAHANOVCE
Slovakia
Address
Americka Trieda 15
04013 Kosice
UNIVERSITAET REGENSBURG
Germany
Address
Universitaetsstrasse 31
Regensburg
UNIVERSITY OF WOLVERHAMPTON
United Kingdom
Address
Wulfruna St.
WV1 1SB Wolverhampton
WOLVERHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL
United Kingdom
Address
St. Peter's Square
WV1 1SH Wolverhampton