e-Democracy is the smart use of digital tools to enrich and transform the existing e-governance models and practices.
ICT profoundly increases the transparency, responsiveness and accountability of the government and offers citizens an additional opportunity to participate in political processes. This results in better political decisions for the whole society.
eGA assists in implementing a transparent, accountable and participatory governance using all the innovative potential of ICT.
- policy advice,
- training and
- consultancy to public authorities and civil society organisations.
- E-engagement strategy development
- Implementation of various engagement/e-engagement initiatives, models and tools, such as participatory budgeting
- Capacity-building of local administrators/politicians and communities (implemented using the Open Government Partnership (OGP) methodology)
- Awareness-raising and capacity-building of various stakeholders regarding the role of ICT in the democratic transition of society (e-democracy policies, methods and tools)
- (Co)-creation of e-democracy and e-government communication strategies and actions
- Supporting countries in the development and implementation of OGP action plans
- Advocacy for democracy innovation in digital societies
When collaborating with us, you will gain valuable theoretical and practical e-democracy knowledge, based on successful examples of civil society development and implementation in Estonia and numerous other countries around the world.
We are happy to work with you to jointly define project requirements and collaborate in seeking funding opportunities, as we have done with many countries before.
eGA’s consultancy process is built on the following activities:
eGA assists countries/regions/ cities in roadmap development for e-Democracy.
In order to measure and analyse the current situation of e-Democracy and have a good overview of the evolution of this area, as well as the impact of existing legislation and activities carried out, eGA has worked out and used a methodological framework for roadmap development for e-Democracy.
The roadmap provides an overview of the developments in the country/region/city in the area of e-democracy, to identify best practices that can be shared and replicated in other countries of the region or elsewhere, and make policy recommendations to further develop e-state and e-democracy.
Description of roadmap development activities:
- Adjusting the existing methodology to the specifics of the region / country
- Reviewing the existing information society, e-government, legislation, strategies, policy and research papers etc
- Interviews, focus groups etc,
- Identification of e-democracy showcases: most prominent implementations of e-democracy
- Analysis of the material collected
- Compiling a situation review and policy/administrative recommendations
In order to have a clearer understanding of next steps of e-Democracy development eGA provides a Situation Review. The review examines the current situation of e-democracy and describes the most important developments in the focus area and identifies best practices that can be shared with other countries. Moreover, it draftes policy recommendations for further developing e-governance in the country.
In 2017, eGA compiled a Situation Review in 6 Eastern Partnership countries of the EU. The same methodology could be used in every country/region in order to have a clearer understanding of the need of next steps. The Situation Review is available here.
eGA advises local governments and CSO-s on how to implement Open Government Partnership (OGP). Our particular focus is on
- How Open Government improves the lives of all citizens? and
- What works and how to grow it: Scaling up successful reforms in Open Government.
Our experience and lessons learned from the several projects implemented in Estonia and elsewhere (in Georgia, for instance), enable us to design and implement special training programs with clear output: local OGP Action plans and new innovative activities for a more transparent, accountable and engaging local governance.
eGA expertise is based on proven practice. Our team was the first to introduce the methodology of OGP to Estonian local governments and we have been supporting local authorities in implementing its principles ever since. In 2017, we implemented OGP methodology in two test municipalities which were in the amalgamation process and ready to prepare concrete action plans for open governance for the post-reform period. The project increased the awareness and capability of newly formed municipalities to implement open governance principles during and after the local administration reform in Estonia in 2017-2018.
For more information:
Participatory budgeting (PB) is an innovative way to manage public funds, and to engage people in issues of local government. eGA assists cities and municipalities in developing a PB model, taking into account the context, assumptions and expectations of the municipality and design the processes necessary for its implementation.
The biggest value of this process is that it gives a real meaning to the words ENGAGE and PARTICIPATE for both public authorities and citizens, using learning-by-doing approach. The results are tangible and meaningful. The process also binds communities and individuals with the city, creates a group of active citizens who will also most probably participate in other initiatives of the city. Moreover, the model enables to reorganize the internal decision-making model in cities and create a horizontal body of experts to integrate more the expertise of different departments.
eGA expertise is based on proven practice. In cooperation with e-Governance Academy, Tartu was the first city in Estonia to open up its budgeting process for citizens and experiment with PB in 2013. After a few years, this policy instrument spread all over the country, numbering over 20 municipalities implementing it as of Spring 2018. The spread of PB in Estonia was influenced by the availability of the existing e-tools for local governments that enabled them to conduct online voting on participatory budgeting projects and hence, decreased the costs of implementation.
PB developing and piloting activities are the followings:
- Collecting background information, assessing previous engagement practices, mapping the goals of the municipality
- Developing the model of PB most suitable for the concrete municipality
- Describing the process for its implementation
- Assisting in the preparations and implementations of a pilot project for PB
- Analysing the results of the pilot and putting together a set of recommendations for adjustments (if needed)
Read more about PB in Tartu City here and watch a summary video here:
Participatory budgeting from e-Governance Academy on Vimeo.
Read more about PB in Georgia here and watch a video about the project here:
Implementing participatory budgeting in Georgia from e-Governance Academy on Vimeo.
The ICT has great potential to amplify and support democratic processes in the society. For instance, it can create new innovative opportunities to face and fight corruption or to help voters to make better-informed decisions during elections.
Anti-corruption web platform enables the users to advance their knowledge on corruption from different perspectives, to report corruption-prone procedures and everyday life situations, and be engaged in anti-corruption activities.
Description of anti-corruption platform activities:
- Mapping the situation of corruption in the country and current anti-corruption activities
- Elaborating the concept for the platform and its content
- Elaborating ToR for developing the platform
- Technical development of the platform
- Piloting and adjusting
- Launching and running the platform
- Anti-corruption advocacy activities
Voting advice tools (Elector´s Compass) enables citizens to compare their standpoints on political and societal key issues with the standpoint of candidates and parties before the elections. This guarantees that the voters are more informed and selective towards election propaganda.
Activities for setting up the Elector´s Compass:
- Creating a software solution
- Drawing the questionnaire – basic choices of different fields of social life worded politically neutrally and in a manner that is easily understandable by people)
- Defining the position of political parties regarding the basic choices
Participatory Budgeting Process in Tartu
Open Government Partnership at the Local Level in Estonia.
eparticipation.eu – Best Practice Manual on e-Participation
http://www.opengovpartnership.org/ – an international platform for domestic reformers committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens