WeGov was presented at the Samos 2010 Summit, “Declaration On the Future of ICT for Governance” in Samos, Greece, on the 8th July 2010. The presentation took place in Session V of the Summit. Session V focused on the subject "ICT Research meets practice". The session underlined the adoption of the research prototypes and ideas, as well as on the application of various innovative solutions in the Public Sector and the Local Administrations, with a view to achieve efficient services provision which will meet the administration needs with overall aim, to better serve the citizens.
INTRODUCING THE WEGOV
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission under the
SEVENTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME THEME ICT 2009.7.3 ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling
Table of contents
• Room for improvements
• WeGov Added value
• Information exchange with social network sites
• Analytics of online discussions
• Communication models and tools
• Opinion and Discussion Toolbox
• Live field trials
• Dissemination and Exploitation
Room for improvements
Social networking platforms
• public uptake has seen explosive growth over the past years.
• potential: achieve unprecedented levels of outreach for policy
makers to the citizen (breadth, depth, inclusion, speed,
interaction and engagement).
• challenge: how to involve a larger number of affected
individuals, groups and communities in discussions than is
currently achieved through dedicated web sites.
• Unanswered practical issues: trust, bias, privacy, misuse and
how to effectively extract representative opinions that cover
the diversity of participant viewpoints.
WeGov Added value
• Allow eGovernment and NGOs to extract information from, and inject
discussions and facts, into social platforms.
• Allow eGovernment to better understand eSociety by providing new
tools for analysing discussions.
• Provide new tools for increasing the participation of eGovernment in
political discussion processes of the eSociety.
• WeGov is a Software-as-a-Service model based on open source
software deployed on cloud infrastructure (e.g. Amazon S3 and EC2)
-sustainable, scalable and low cost.
• WeGov will provide a methodology and best practices collection that
will allow future eGovernment to easily adopt the government toolbox.
Information exchange with SNS
Develop extraction and injection tools for information and content
exchange with a wide range of social network sites in a way that adheres
to privacy and safeguarding measures.
SNS being engaged within the remit of the WeGov project are:
Analytics of online discussions
The aim is to develop analytics tools so discussions on government policies
can be understood by participants in online communities.
•Understanding the subject of discussions e.g. a topic of a discussion and
opinions expressed by people and how they are related to it.
•Understanding the people and groups involved in the debate through
diagnostics that indicate discussion health e.g. number or people involved,
any attempts to manipulate a discussion.
•Understanding the direction and dynamics of the discussion and e.g. if the
discussion is diverging, converging, going in circles, splintering, or influenced
heavily by some individual.
•Understanding the balance of the discussion, e.g. its range of opinions or its
weighing of different points of view.
Communication models and tools
Develop tools and processes for effective engagement of policy makers with
citizens in online communities.
•How to capture and automate the process of communication between
policy makers and citizens in a structured way
•How to model peoples’ behavior in order to inform decision making on
promoting healthy discussion and
•How to best place content into social network sites in order to stimulate a
Opinion and Discussion Toolbox
Develop a dashboard for live visualisation of discussions, using service-
oriented models on cloud-infrastructures for scalability and
It will also determine how end users can access these tools in an
integrated way using a ‘live view dashboard’ for policy makers, and how
to organize and operate the toolbox as a service on cloud infrastructures
in order to achieve the necessary scalability and performance for large
scale discussions across multiple social network sites.
Live field trials
Success will be measured through three live field trials (diversity of
opinion on consumer policy, health service delivery, and public policy
research in the social sciences) that will be conducted in Spain, Germany
and UK as follows.
•The first field trial will be developed in UK and will be looking at an
online health service comment site as well as address the efficacy of
policy makers and their communication strategies with regard to citizens
•The second field trial will involve discussions around consumer policy in
Spain and Germany (Gov2u).
•The third field trial will apply the toolbox for investigating its usage as a
complement to political opinion polls in Germany (GESIS).
• The three application scenarios will provide examples of how the
outputs of the project will be used.
• The trials’ results will be combined into a methodology, including a
legal and ethical analysis (e.g. privacy, data protection, defamation);
risks of using Social Network sites from different stakeholder
perspectives including use of technical countermeasures (e.g. pseudo-
• Stakeholders involved directly during the project.
• Results of using WeGov can be compared with other approaches.
At the end of the project, WeGov will provide a methodology and best
practices collection that will allow future eGovernment to easily adopt
the government toolbox.
Dissemination and Exploitation
The strategic groupings for external communications are:
•those involved in policy making or government (MEPs, parliaments, local
•those involved in technology (ICT industry and researchers)
•those who are experts (e.g. legal)
•those who provide infrastructures (e.g. SNS platforms, cloud providers
•those who are citizens or are expressing some form of viewpoint that
(e.g. individuals) policy makers or social analysts want to listen to