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Preliminary Report on e-participation (27 January 2016)

This is a snapshot of the current e-participation practices of Geneva-based organisations.

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DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), in co-operation with the Republic and State of Geneva and the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva, will organise the Geneva Engage conference on 27‒28 January 2016 with the aim of addressing online participation as a way to contribute to more effective, inclusive, and innovative policy processes in International Geneva. The conference is also supported by the Internet Corporation for [...]

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The growth of e-participation has been facilitated by, on one side, a demand for more innovative and inclusive governance and, on the other side, a supply of a new e-tools brought by the development of information and communication technology (ICT) and the Internet. 1. Demand: without participation, there is no effective implementation Modern problems ranging from climate change to migration, directly affect the lives of ordinary people worldwide. Without their buy-in to policy process, [...]

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This drawing illustrates e-participation in three concentric circles built around the two main trajectories of our study and conference: widening and deepening of e-participation. It starts with the inner circle of in situ meetings. Close to 20 000 face-to-face meetings are hosted in Geneva annually, from major conferences with thousands of participants to smaller consultations. All international organisations have conference and event sections. In addition to computer projectors which are st [...]

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The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 2003) has outlined overarching dimensions of e-participation in terms of: Broader participation ‒ the ability to reach a wider audience. Use of different technologies that are appropriate for the diversity in citizens’ skills in order to support participation. These skills are outlined as both technical and communicative in nature. More informed contributions. This involves information that is enhanced in terms of rel [...]

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This list from the main lessons learned from implementers of e-participation, will be used as one basis for discussion at the Geneva Engage Conference. 1. Preparation and planning (never enough) Careful and timely planning is the key for successful remote participation. Planning for e-participation should start with building and communicating the event in a timely manner. For example, ICANN starts preparations with remote hubs at least four months prior to its main annual event. This invol [...]

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