issue9, July 2008
Editorial Creative Commons License Material is licenced under Creative Commons.

The United Nations e-Government Survey 2008: From e-Government to Connected Governance, developed by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Public Administration and Development Management is an interesting, worthwhile to read, study document.

In it, amongst other interesting information, I found that, although several Community Framework Programmes have been completed, Greece received a ranking of 44 in a list of 70 countries, being the only one below all the other EU members with the exception of Romania (currently number 51, but who knows? Over the next years it may pass well beyond Greece…).

The question relates, not to the poor performance, but to the exceptionally high funding levels that the public sector in Greece has been attracting for all these years. Where has all this money been invested? Or spent? Or wasted?

I don’t think that other EU countries necessarily do better in the fields of public spending – at a great extent how high or low you appear in such a list may only indicate a good knowledge of and skills to use the reporting mechanisms. But in the end it is indicative that you can pour funds into a bottomless barrel and still see no results or real progress.

For sure it doesn’t have to do with money or – the other very big lie that was around for years - the (supposed) lack of infrastructures; it has simply to do with the fact that in Greece nobody from both the private and the public sector ever invested seriously in the human resources, namely the people. After all, we are dealing with a country that is nr 1 amongst the EU countries for car accidents.

Wishing you a nice summer,

Adamantios Koumpis



e-Participation to help against the (growing) public indifference >>
eParticipation Research Projects in the European Union: A Survey>>
"Services for Living Labs" >>
The Role of Participatory Evaluation in democratising education processes in the Public Administration: experiences from the Tuscany region>>
40 years after 1968 – what is left from the spirit of 68?>>
Open, democratic communication systems and social contexts: The Status Project >>
Intellectual Capital – some worth to visit sites>>
University as a laboratory for new ideas in the research of emerging social contexts >>
e-Participation to help against the (growing) public indifference

Governments across Europe are confronted with a growing public indifference and lack of interest towards formal political processes. A decrease in voting activity and factions of decision-making power are common concerns for all European countries. Modern western democracies suffer from a decline of trust by their citizens and the model of representative democracy is being disputed.

In this context, governments seek to promote participation in order to improve the efficiency, approval, and legitimacy of political processes More...>>

" Services for Living Labs"

eCollaboration “eCollaboration: overcoming boundaries through multi-channel interaction”

eParticipation Research Projects in the European Union: A Survey

TELLME TELL ME project "Trans-European Living Labs for an improved E-participation" establishes an intimate communication channel between participants in a Living Lab. This communication service is the first step towards the provision of user centred, customised services. TELL ME service develops trust between the people and stakeholders in a region, in order to enable a co-creative user driven e-Government service development.

On 15th to 18th June, 2008 took place in Bled, Slovenia the 21st Bled Conference on “eCollaboration: overcoming boundaries through multi-channel interaction”. TELL ME members were invited to take part in the Workshop and to deliver a presentation because apart from conference title itself, focusing as already mentioned on eCollaboration – it was also relevant for its huge integration with Living Labs related topics.

According to the context of Living Labs, the topics that TELL ME members analysed at the conference are the following:

    Good Practices in Europe, presented by Mr. Jens Schumacher, Research Professor

    Services in Europe, presented by Mr. Apostolos Vontas (ALTEC SA)

    DEMOS / TELL-ME platform, presented by Mr. Francesco Molinari, on behalf of Mr Rolf Luehrs, Head of Department of Interactive Communication at TuTech Innovation GmbH

    Community Building and Management, presented by Mr. Angelo Marcotulli, Head of Innovation in ICT of the Regional Government of Tuscany Region (Italy)

    Evaluation of public eServices, presented by Mr. Francesco Molinari, TELL-ME coordinator (ALTEC SA) More...>>

In this article, projects that have been and are financially supported by the European Commision in the area of eParticipation are identified and analyzed. For this, a working definition of eParticipation is adopted as “efforts to broaden and deepen political participation by enabling citizens to connect with one another and with their elected representatives and governments by using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).”

The survey identified a number of databases that provide information about projects that were financed wholly or partly from the budget of the European Communities and a search was performed to these databases using predefined keywords relevant to eParticipation i.e. eParticipation, eDemocracy, eConsultation etc. The search in these databases resulted in a number of projects. However, the project summaries were examined further in order to identify the projects that are within the concept of eParticipation as outlined above.

photo Dr. Efthimios Tambouris,

The Role of Participatory Evaluation in democratising education processes in the Public Administration: experiences from the Tuscany region by Francesco Molinari, co-editor of Ariadne,

40 years after 1968 – what is left from the spirit of 68?

About the area addressed

Education and democracy seem to go hand in hand in several respects. First of all, many modern constitutions associate education with citizenship rights. All citizens should have the best possible education, regardless of their background, and be able to contribute to society and participate in public life. The potential of e-learning to support this democratisation process is now a lively research topic, especially at international level [11,13].

Secondly, democratising education may also mean making it really universal, or that the system cannot just cater for the ‘average pupil’, it has to be good at dealing with those who are ‘below’ or ‘above’ the norm. Many schools have applied this kind of personalised teaching for years, tailoring the curriculum and teaching method to stretch and challenge all pupils, using mentoring, catch-up or out-of-hours schooling. ICTs – information and communication technologies - are also increasingly used to monitor pupil performance and to identify where additional intervention is needed.

Thirdly, especially e-learning and mobile learning are seen as new ways to enable life-long training and continuous professional improvement of people.

In this article, we address the topic of ‘democratising education’ according to a different perspective, by referring to the potential role of ‘the many’ [10] – citizens, customers, ordinary people – in increasing by quantity and quality the level of education of ‘the few’ – administrators, law makers, civil servants and the like – that are committed to the management of the ‘public thing’. More... >>

Let’s have look in an article published in 1968 in the Socialist Register, “the intellectual lodestone of the international left since 1964”, currently edited by Leo Panitch and Colin Leys.

The article, entitled “Reform and Revolution” by Andre Gorz, includes terms like socialist “model of development” and socialist “alternative” – at a great extent much of what is discussed in this article is now realized through the Net. Ariadne promotes the exchange of provocative views and opinions and we would welcome any contributions in future issues.

Open, democratic communication systems and social contexts: The Status Project

Intellectual Capital – some worth to visit sites

Heath Bunting emerged from the 1980s committed to building open, democratic communication systems and social contexts. He came from the street up, passing through and often revisiting graffiti, performance, intervention, pirate radio, fax/ mail art and BBS systems to become an active participant in the explosion of the Internet.

Between 1994 and 1997 Bunting produced many Internet projects, which can be accessed at the server set-up by himself.

Recently, he has moved into the field of genetics proclaiming it to be the next ‘new media’, and is also developing work in the area of physical network performance. More...>>

Daniel G. Andriessen is Professor of Intellectual Capital and Director of the Centre for Research in Intellectual Capital at the INHOLLAND University of professional education. His website, recently updated contains lot of interesting material.

Same interesting is the site of the European Conference on Intellectual Capital, organised by the INHolland University of Applied Sciences in Haarlem, The Netherlands on 28-29 April 2009.

Worth to attend: ICEGOV 2008

University as a laboratory for new ideas in the research of emerging social contexts >>

The 2nd International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV2008) will take place in Cairo, Egypt during 1 - 4 December 2008.

The conference bring together practitioners, developers and researchers from government, academia, industry and non-governmental organizations to share the latest findings in the theory and practice of Electronic Governance.


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