e-Participation

Objectives

  • to pilot an integrated experiment dealing with the role of convergent media, social networking and the user engagement associated with it.
  • to share methods for evaluating cross-border acceptability and user experience
  • to test integration and networking of services.

Approach

User empowerment has always been an important objective for governments. The rise of so-called Web2.0 applications and services has contributed to this objective by significantly lowering the thresholds for users. Also, new types of technologies like 3Media and RFID offer complementary opportunities for citizens to participate in various kinds of (community) activities.

Often such eParticipation applications and services are developed for and within a specific, local context. Promoting citizens’ participation to innovative eMedia services on a European scale and at the early phases of the designing process can help existing projects to reach a European audience.

However, such an approach is challenged by issues concerning interoperability, regulation and contextualization, which need to be addressed. Therefore the objective of the eParticipation vertical experiment is to develop a framework, addressing these challenges for integrating different independent Living Lab experiments.

The eParticipation vertical experiment will cluster three running local Living Lab projects in three countries, in which social media are being used to stimulate and facilitate the participation of citizens:

  1. the Issy Les Moulineaux Medialand in France,
  2. the Manchester Digital Living Lab in the United Kingdom and
  3. Campus Living Lab in Belgium.

In this experiment one specific technology and related service within each Living Lab is selected:

  1. 3D and Urbadeus & Kidnet in France,
  2. social media and the people’s voice media in the UK,
  3. RFID and AirGraffiti in Belgium.

The objective is to adapt and integrate these services with each other.

This experiment will first define an integration framework dealing with the issues of interoperability, regulation and contextualization. This framework will be used to adapt and connect the selected technologies and services to each other.

Secondly, these integrated services are then piloted in each of the three Living Labs. During this phase, pilot adjustments will be made based on the permanent monitoring of the services and the various challenges they face. Following the pilot, each Living Lab will evaluate the service in its local context.

Finally, the experiment will assess to what extent an integration framework can facilitate cross-border research between different stakeholders as well as to what extent this approach can be used to scale-up existing projects and to explore new markets.