The WeGovNow platform has been successfully piloted in three European cities in real-world settings. With almost 10,000 users having registered to WeGovNow across all pilot sites, the platform has also proven to be scalable to larger number of users. Based on the feedback received from various stakeholders involved in the policy scenarios piloted, the WeGovNow platform and its different features have been considered particularly useful for:
Various benefits were perceived to flow from the platform’s functional utility to the different stakeholder groups involved in the local pilots. They concern, on the one hand, commonly accepted democratic values such as enhanced democratic legitimacy of administrative decision making. On the other hand, utilitarian aspects such as better informed decision making came to the fore as well. For a more detailed elaboration, please see D4.3 in our project reports section.
An assessment of the pilot outcomes shed light on a number of aspects deserving attention if sustainable participation of local stakeholders is to be achieved. Most importanly, two perspectives need to be taken into account: the perspective of the citizen’s and the public administration's perspective intending to operate the online platform in a given local setting.
When it comes to citizens and other local stakeholders, the WeGovNow pilots have shown that there is no reason to assume that people would suddenly become passionate about the intricate policy decisions or administrative processes that impact their lives, just because a powerful online platform becomes available to them. Beyond the functional utility of the pilot platform, motivational aspects deserve attention if continued utilisation by the citizens should be achieved. They concern in particular the citizen’s perception as to whether they:
When adopting the perspective of the local administration, attracting wider usage for WeGovNow requires taking due account not only the perspective of the citizens’ but also of the perspectives of various parties potentially concerned within the public administration. A number of aspects deserve attention as well if sustainable platform operation is to be achieved, like the following:
Based on the lessons learned throughout the project, a set of strategic recommendations have been formulated which concern in particular organisations potentially interested in WeGovNow deployment, policy-makers more generally and the research community. For a more dedailed elaboration, please see D5.6 in our project reports section.