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Existing E-Participation Practices with Relevance to WEB.DEP

This report is based on a sample of e-participation initiatives, both within and external to the European Union. It was scoped by looking for initiatives which are relevant to the context of the WEB.DEP project –specifically the forum. This context is a combination of the features arising from the situation (current and historical) in the Western Balkans and the outline specification of the WEB.DEP tools and related actors as described in the Technical Annex. This was summarised into 7 features, which were used to guide both our choice of Case Studies and the development of a framework for their analysis.

An analysis framework was developed to ensure that our method revealed relevant information at the right level of detail. This framework was based on a combination of frameworks for describing e-participation tools and initiatives developed by other research groups. From these we chose dimensions that would support the description we needed. The framework was further modified to emphasise the characteristics that we felt were most relevant and useful to the WEB.DEP context.

29 e-participation initiatives were analysed as Case Studies using this WEB.DEP framework, leading to 29 structured descriptions. In order to highlight the parts of these descriptions which would be most useful to WEB.DEP, 2 further matrices were devised:

  1. The first of these included an axis of characteristics arising from features of the WEB.DEP context. This was plotted against the Case Studies to illustrate which aspects of the initiatives were relevant to which aspects of WEB.DEP.
  2. second used a series of factors which seemed, from analysing the Case Studies, to be positively correlated with success. These factors were plotted against the Case Studies, so that where a factor seemed to be implicated in the success of a Case Study, its implementation could be traced to a Case Study and read within the description.

The conclusion takes both the characteristics from the Context Matrix and the factors from the Success Factors Matrix and illustrates how each was successfully tackled or implemented within the Case Studies.