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Engaging Citizens in Policy Issues: Multidimensional Approach, Evidence and Lessons Learned

Abstract : E-participation offers individuals, groups and non-governmental institutions the opportunity to learn about and discuss policy so they can make more informed choices in their personal lives as citizens, and to contribute to policy drafting as an instrument to strengthen the quality of decision-makers’ actions. Although a growing body of literature has been devoted to the main benefits and opportunities that ICT can offer in e-participation, little is known about the driving forces that foster public participation and citizens’ active engagement. This paper describes a multidimensional engagement approach, supported by an inform-consult-empower framework, to strengthen the foundation for participatory policy-making. This approach addresses the following key issues: public participation, public involvement, deliberative democracy, and collaborative governance. This approach has been designed, investigated and applied in the context of the European Commission project “Puzzled by Policy: Helping you be part of the EU”. The findings suggest that the use of a multidimensional engagement approach with a user-centric focus from the outset is essential to foster social participation, raise trust between citizens and government, and promote constructive narratives to put into the policy-making process.
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Elena Sánchez-Nielsen, Deirdre Lee, Eleni Panopoulou, Simon Delakorda, Gyula Takács. Engaging Citizens in Policy Issues: Multidimensional Approach, Evidence and Lessons Learned. 6th International Conference on Electronic Participation (ePart), Sep 2014, Dublin, Ireland. pp.102-113, ⟨10.1007/978-3-662-44914-1_9⟩. ⟨hal-01396964⟩

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