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What we do

Changing the relationship between citizens and government

Today, digital innovation and new technologies have become a potential game changer in the relationship between citizens and government. It is now the time where e-Government should be undergoing its first major transformation from viewing citizens as mere customers of public services towards ‘We-Government’, considering citizens as partners. This represents a fundamental paradigm shift calling for the emergence of a new kind of ‘social contract’ in which society places greater trust in – and empowers – the public to play a far more active role in the functioning of their government.

Against this background, WeGovNow and its 13 partner organisations tap into the powerful potential provided by participatory online technologies and aims at enabling a new type of interaction in which citizens become partners of their municipality and actors of local development. To this end, the project develops and validates a new type of citizen engagement platform that is to effectively support communication and collaboration between local public administrations and its residents. This refers not only to traditional citizen-government dynamics, but also to new arrangements where the local municipality functions as a facilitator of joint actions, with the WeGovNow platform being the technological vehicle.

By integrating a set of cutting-edge technologies within a single online platform, WeGovNow will offer a solution to overcome limitations of existing digital tools in the context of citizen reporting, e-Participation and citizen-government communication. Further, while carefully considering the needs and perspectives of all stakeholders affected, our innovative WeGovNow approach is not only to positively impact government-citizens relationships but to act as a catalyst of change towards transforming public administration processes.

 

 

 

WeGovNow - the WeGovernment platform

WeGovNow strives for integrating a set of innovative software applications into a unified citizen engagement platform. To this end, a number of civic engagement applications that have already existed prior to the project have been integrated into a single online platform together with new components developed within the project. The WeGovNow platform provides a set of core functions supporting civic participation and engagement for the purpose of addressing local policy challenges, including community networking & self-organisation (WeGovNow FirstLife), problem identification & tracking (WeGovNow Improve My City), democratic proposition development & decision making (WeGovNow LiquidFeedback), crowed sourcing of knowledge & ideas (WeGovNow Community Maps), exchange of volunteering opportunity & free items (WeGovNow Offers & Requests). The platform allows people to:

                                

 

The WeGovNow platform is the result of a multi-staged developement approach dedicated to the integration and seamless interoperation of already existing applications and newly developed components. Further, iInvolving users and citizens in the design of the WeGovNow civic engagement platform is a crucial feature of the project’s approach. To this end, the whole development cycle and design process have been carried out in collaboration with a diverse range of stakeholders in the three cities participating in the project. By adopting a user-centred design approach throughout, the WeGovNow platform takes account both of user diversity and different user perspectives (e.g. citizens, civic society organisations, businesses, public administration) while achieving a coherent user experience across the diverse range of software components to be integrated. In addition, the platform is conceptualised to allow for a seamless interaction with existing technologies at the pilot sites, and designed as open as possible towards additional components that may desired to be integrated after the ending of the project duration.

Public Pilots

In order to ensure a comprehensive validation of the WeGovNow platform and approach under realistic conditions, we have set up dedicated pilots in collaboration with three selected European cities:

What all pilot sites have in common is the desire and commitment to promote participative approaches to community development, public service delivery and policy making, all with a focus on achieving a good quality of live for all of its citizens. The WeGovNow pilot sites have been selected to reflect different levels of maturity. In fact, each site starts its journey towards a more participatory government model from a different departure point. This requires generating solutions that are flexible enough to take governments from where they are at rather than proving a one-size-fits-all resolution. The WeGovNow is therefore designed to be easily contextualised according to local framework conditions. Following this, each pilot site will test the WeGovNow approach platform under day-to-day conditions in relation to particular use cases strategically important within its specific local context. More information on this can be found in our Who we are section under the respective pilot city.

The pilot design itself then allows for a robust validation of the new platform in technological regard, e.g. when it comes to the utility, usability, inclusiveness and reliability of individual platform features and of the platform as a whole, and an evaluation of potential impacts on the different local stakeholders concerned. Not at least, this will enable evidence-based learning in what way and under what circumstances further mainstreaming and exploitations of WeGovNow solutions can indeed help in identifying new cultural and societal challenges in public policies, transforming public administrations processes, improving effectiveness and efficiency of public administrations and reducing the administrative burden of citizens.