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The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 2003) has outlined overarching dimensions of e-participation in terms of:

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  • 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 relevance, accessibility, and the ability to be understood.
  • Engagement with a wider audience to enable more substantive contributions and support deliberative debate.
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E-participation (UN e-Government Survey, 2005) is defined as a means of:

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  • Increasing e-information3 available to citizens for decision-making.
  • Enhancing e-consultation4 for deliberative and participatory processes.
  • Supporting e-decision-making by increasing the input of citizens5 in decision-making.
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The most comprehensive set of guiding principles for e-participation was developed in the framework of the Internet Governance Forum the under guidance of Virginia Paque (DiploFoundation). The guiding principles are available here: http://giplatform.org/resources/e-participation-principles

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A wide range of related concepts also exists, including: e-government, e-democracy, e-parliament (part of e-government), e-citizenship and e-diplomacy.