Towards an evaluation framework for eParticipation

Ann Macintosh (The Institute of Communications Studies, The University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)
Angus Whyte (School of Informatics, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

ISSN: 1750-6166

Publication date: 21 March 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to demonstrate the use of a range of perspectives and methods to evaluate eParticipation initiatives. It aims to argue that there is a need for coherent evaluation frameworks employing such perspectives and methods, the better to understand current eParticipation applications and learn from these experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study of eParticipation evaluation for four local authority led projects from the “top down” stream of the UK Local e‐Democracy National Project is presented.

Findings

Applying the eParticipation framework resulted in an assessment that was considered fair by participants. However, the framework needs further development. More consideration needs to be placed on how and when to use tools in which contexts, also, on how to combine tools to enable inclusive engagement. The evaluation timescale meant important aspects of the framework were downplayed.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed in two main areas; first, on the applicability of eParticipation tools to particular contexts, and second, to integrate fieldwork methods to assess social acceptance of eParticipation and represent the diversity of views obtained from citizens, community groups and other stakeholders.

Practical implications

The paper describes the application of the framework, demonstrates the importance of a multi‐method approach, and outlines some barriers to using it.

Originality/value

The described framework is a basis for further development since eParticipation evaluation is in its infancy despite strong advocacy of evaluation in e‐government research and practice literature.

Keywords

Citation

Macintosh, A. and Whyte, A. (2008), "Towards an evaluation framework for eParticipation", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 16-30. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506160810862928

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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