ICPPIT03 Abstracts
TOPIC: PP-IT and Globalization
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Conflict and Consensus-Building: Reflections from a case study of public participation in Cape Verde
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Elizabeth Pilar Challinor
CITIDEP


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This paper analyses the dynamics of a week long seminar that took place in Cape Verde within the ambit of a national long term perspective study (NLTPS) on Cape Verde, coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as part of a wider regional project entitled 'African Futures'. The rationale behind this project was to help African countries formulate national long term development strategies based on the aspirations of their people. The paper looks at the way in which the methodology adopted in the seminar served to limit the scope of participant's discussions and suppress diverging interests in favour of consensus. The failure to maintain consensus throughout the seminar with the refusal of some of the participants to abide by the results of the voting system is then discussed in the light of both the limitations of participatory methodologies and the high expectations that are frequently placed upon public participation in development projects.
TOPIC: PP-IT and Globalization
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ICT-based services and Regional Development: the idea of a Telecomunications Master Plan
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Eduardo Anselmo de Castro
Department of Environmental Studies - University of Aveiro.

Chris Jensen-Butler - cnj@st-andrews.ac.uk Department of Economics
University of St. Andrews
St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL
Scotland, UK
Gonçalo Santinha - goncalo@dao.ua.pt
António Soares - nelo@dao.ua.pt
Department of Environmental Studies and Planning University of Aveiro
3810-193 Aveiro
Portugal
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Physical connection to ICT networks is a necessary but not sufficient
condition to be fully integrated in the information society. Though
access to infrastructure and services is essential it does not
automatically create ICT demand in the same way and with the same
intensity in every social group or regional environment. Firms with
different technological and organisational characteristics and
connected to different value chains have different patterns of demand
for ICT-based services. The same applies to individuals with
different levels of education and income and embedded in different
environments. It is argued that an extension of the concept of
network externalities to the interactive potential of social and
economic networks is an efficient tool to analyse ICT demand.

Regional differences in demand undermine the capacity of purely
market-based supply-side strategies to promote ICT uptake in order to
foster regional development. Thus, a complementary demand-side
approach in the design of policy actions to promote ICT uptake and to
foster the ability to access, select and use information is needed.
How can such an approach be developed in a market-driven environment?
Comparing this problem with the balance between public and private
interests in urban issues, the paper suggests that a possible
solution is the development of Telecommunication Master Plans.
TOPIC: PP-IT and Globalization
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New Information Technologies, Communication and the Development of Social Capital: The case of Ciudad de Guadalajara - Estado de Jalisco
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Prudencio Mochi
CRIM-UNAM, Mexico. CITIDEP


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This paper presents the most noteworthy survey findings
among twenty Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Guadalajara,
Jalisco, Mexico in 2000. This paper explores how CSOs use the new
information, technologies, and communication sources (ITCs) to
build/develop social capital. ITCs allow CSOs to develop social
capital, based on increase human networking, information, knowledge,
trust, coordination and cooperation among and between CSOs. Moreover,
technological innovations have taken place in Mexican CSOs. The use
of computers, internet and e-mail, have empowered CSOs by promoting
horizontal relationships within agencies; giving new opportunities
and new hope to their constituencies; facilitating new ways of
communication and increase efficiency; networking and opening new
horizons to the formerly isolated CSOs. Although ITCs have had a
great impact on these regional CSOs they have had to face new
challenges -- among them how to become real social capital producers.
TOPIC: PP-IT and Globalization
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Privacy and Security: Legislators Change Balances?
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Nelly Ognyanova
Sofia University, European Studies Department, Chairperson.


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The Problem Terrorist attacks on and since September 11 have stimulated efforts to reform public policy and legal measures in the field of the national security. Both the attacks and responses to them have raised many questions about the legal standards in the human rights protection and how differences of culture and politics shape the legal framework concerning personal privacy issues. So how is a liberal, democratic country to respond ?

Privacy after September 11: Changing Balances? The attempts to limit constitutional rights and liberties could change the definition of freedom. From the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act to the requirement all EU transatlantic carriers (ships and planes) to provide full passenger lists to the USA authorities - all those legal measures challenge the established balances and legal standards for privacy and data protection. The first report on the implementation of the Data Protection Directive COM(2003) 265 underlines the problem again.

The paper discusses legal measures adopted at European and national level, the tension between the EU and the US and the raising worries about basic privacy rights of European citizens.
TOPIC: PP-IT and Globalization
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The Role Of TICs In Development: A Theoretical Approach
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Alejandro Natal
Colegio Mexiquenxe. CITIDEP


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In ICPPIT 1999 we presented a first approximation to the information problems communities face, in this paper we built on that document. This paper is a theoretical approximation to the study of the role of TICs in development of the poor sectors in society. The role of TICs in development has been very little documented to this date and the information on how TICs can contribute to the development of the poorest sectors of the population, is still very little. Moreover, there are not models of analysis that allow us to study and systematically document on these issues.

The present paper intends to contribute to fill this gap. We elaborate here a model of analysis that allow us to study first the problems communities face to foster their own development, then we discuss on how and which TICs can help to sort out some of these problems. We use for this the powerful tools provided by the recent developments in New Institutional Economics, specially those of Transaction costs Analysis.

We believe that only if we develop this type of models of analysis we will be able to understand who is getting what from TICs at community level. This information may prove to be extremely important to better understand how the TICs contribute or not to the fostering a more equal and democratic society.
TOPIC: PP-IT and Globalization
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Ethnic Minority, Public Participation and Information Technologies
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Yosef Jabareen


PhD Urban Planning , Technion, Israel
Master Urban Planning , Harvard
SPURS, MIT.


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How ethnic and disadvantage minority coop with and maneuver information and communication technologies (ICT) for enhancing public participation among its members, achieving solidarity and legitimacy, networking and globalizing it's causes. Obviously, literature review demonstrates a lack of research that deals with these indispensable issues. In order to address part of these issues, my case study focuses on the Palestinian minority in Israel, which comprises 20% of the total population of the state. While this marginalized minority doesn't participate in the policy-making, it has developed many social, cultural, and human right nonprofit organizations which constitute its civil society eventually. This study qualitatively analyzes the mentioned issues among three largest NGOs. Since early 2000, theses NGOs have established their ICT by volunteers mainly from USA, Canada, Britain and Germany. Eventually, The ICT's, which become part of the main strategy of theses NGOs, have helped them in better globally networking (i.e. for funding, recruiting volunteers, global solidarity), however it have harmed their local marketing, and shrunken their local support by the community since few people among the minority have access to ICTs.
TOPIC: PP-IT and Globalization
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The Political Power, the mass media and the public participation in Mexico in one time of Globalization
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Narda Isabel Quezada Garcia
ITESO. CITIDEP


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The mass media, in these times when globalization has permeated all corners of the world, have played an important task in the development of new forms of democracy and new ways to govern a country leaning on these technologies. For this paper the focus will be to show the role that mass media has played in public participation, and how relationships are formed to create alliances or pacts with the political power, represented by the President of the Republic, in the case of Mexico, Lic. Vicente Fox Quesada.

It is important to reflect on the functions of mass media, as well as the influence it can have in the public participation; for this paper I will refer to a single mass media, the Television.

In order to understand its role on public participation and government (political power), it will be briefly shown what television has been, how it has evolved in a world with globalization and the relations that have been created with this event, forming part of a cultural industry considered of relevance in Mexico and the world.


" El Poder Político, los medios de comunicación y la participación pública en México en una era globalizada "

Los medios de comunicación en los tiempos que la globalización ha permeado rincones del mundo han jugado una tarea importante en el desarrollo de nuevas formas de democracia y nuevas maneras para gobernar un país apoyándose en dichas tecnologías. Para este documento el punto central será mostrar el rol que ha venido desempeñando los medios de comunicación en la participación pública, y cómo a su vez se relacionan estos para crear alianzas o pactos con el poder político, representado por el Presidente de la República, en el caso de México, el Lic. Vicente Fox Quesada.

Es importante reflexionar sobre las funciones de los medios de comunicación, así como la influencia que pueden tener en la participación pública; para esta ponencia haré referencia tan solo a un medio de comunicación, la Televisión.

Para entender su rol con la participación pública y los gobiernos (poder político), habrá de mostrarse de forma breve lo que ha sido la televisión, cómo ha evolucionado en el mundo globalizado y las relaciones que se han creado con este suceso, formando parte de una industria cultural considerada de relevancia en México y el mundo.
TOPIC: PP-IT and Globalization
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IT and Public Participation - Examining the Impact of Globalization in India
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Suchi Gopal
Boston University.

Amar Gupta, Sloan School, MIT
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Globalization has become the defining issue for the 21-st century. Its impact via accelerating convergence between telecommunications, broadcasting multimedia, and information and communication technologies, has the potential for extending the benefits of the 'Information Society" to the poor (Castells, 2000). It can bring fundamental changes in all aspects of our lives, including social interaction, economic and business practices, political engagement, education, health and entertainment and leisure. There is an ongoing debate on whether globalization is good or bad.

During the past decade, India has introduced a number of economic reforms including liberalization, touching different sectors, ranging from agriculture to international trade. (Govt. of India, 2001). Changes introduced in these sectors have remarkable impact on the IT sector. Our paper surveys the public participation of women in the IT sector in India using published studies and statistics. Specifically,we examine:

* What are the enabling and inhibiting conditions for India to create new wealth through IT (software development) and IT-enabled services (business process outsourcing and off-shoring)? What is IT's role in bridging the gap between the rich and poor in the Indian context as well its impact in rural India (where 80% of the population resides)?


* How is IT increasing the participation of female labor force? How are IT related jobs changing the role of women in traditional societies such as India?
TOPIC: PP-IT and Globalization
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Challenges and Opportunities in Integrating E-commerce and GIS for Community Economic Development
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Renee Sieber
Dept. Geography, McGill University.


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This paper investigates the challenges and opportunities in integrating
information technologies--specifically spatial technologies (Geographic
Information Systems-GISs), the Internet and electronic commerce (collectively
called geo-commerce)--to promote community economic development.

This paper considers the technical requirements, requisite
inter-organizational partnerships and necessary social infrastructure to
diffuse geo-commerce systems to the community. This diffusion, instead of
administration by universities or regional authorities, is important because
it allows the communities greater control over design and presentation.
Requirements will be considered in three systems developed at McGill
University. A community tourism portal allows poor communities to process
bookings and promote their communities in their own voices. A suite of
e-commerce tools provides greater functionality for business incubation. A
GIS system for on-line real estate assists communities that have lost major
industries. Investigation of the technical and social dimensions of
geo-commerce will help us better bridge the digital divide and provide
communities with tools to attract and retain private investment in an era of
increasing economic globalization.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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E-Government and E-Democracy at the American Grassroots
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Donald F. Norris
Maryland Institute for Policy Anslysis and Research,
University of Maryland, Baltimore, County.


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In the fall of 2002, I conducted focus groups of IT and other governmental officials from 38 American city and county governments concerning their governments deployment of electronic government, or e-government, defined as the electronic delivery of government information and services 24 hours per day, seven days per week (Norris, 2002). Among other topics discussed were why local governments deployed e-government, these governments expectations of e-government, perceived e-government impacts, and these governments future plans for e-government. In this paper, I will examine the responses of these officials to these issues with specific attention to: 1) the most important reasons that these governments deployed e-government; 2) whether citizen access to governmental information and citizen participation in government were or were not explicit motives for deploying e-government; 2) whether e-government has been perceived by these governments to have affected citizen access to information, citizen contact with local officials and citizen participation in government; and 3) whether enhancing democratic participation (e-democracy) is on the local agendas of these governments and, if so, what specific actions to enhance it these governments are taking (e.g., electronic voting, electronic town hall meetings, chat rooms, electronic issues forums, etc.).
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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E-Government Security, Privacy and Information Access: Some Policy and Organizational Trade-offs
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Luis F. Luna-Reyes
School of Information Science and Policy, University at Albany.

J. Ramon Gil-Garcia
Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany
& CITIDEP-Mexico Chapter
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There is a high level of agreement about the idea that absolute security is unattainable. Moreover, researchers and practitioners in the area also agree in the fact that security problems are managerial rather than technological problems. Certainly, the technological solution has an important impact in the success of any security innitiative(SP?), but good management, enforced procedures, and the appropriate policy framework are also critical factors to consider. In developing this policy and managerial framework, decision-makers need to deal with several trade-offs(SP?) between efficiency, security, privacy, information access, managerial control, and cost. This paper presents some of these trade-offs(SP?) in the context of electronic government applications. Examples of these potential problems are Privacy versus Customization, National Security versus Access to Information, Centralization versus Decentralization, and Cost versus Level of Security Needed. It is very important to understand that these trade-offs(SP?) need to be solved before the implementation of an e-government security system. Available technology allows different levels of security and these systems have certain values embedded. Understanding these policy and organizational trade-offs(SP?) can help to make decisions about the values that should be embedded in the security system.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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E-Government and Its Impact on State and Civil Society: A Latin American Case
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Marco Aurelio Ruediger
Fundacao Getulio Vargas - EBAPE.


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In this article we investigate how e-government could possibly broaden the political scope of public sphere, in terms of reinforcing efficiency and accountability of the State. We are particularly interested in discuss the digital divide, both in relation to the decreasing costs of gathering information for civil society and in promoting changes in the governmental apparatus. We start comparing different countries in terms of Internet users and its respective populations. Then, taking the Brazilian case as a proxy, we discuss the positive impacts of its experience on e-government, which is ranked very high in the UN/ASPA report. Next, observing the same proxy, through a different analytical approach, we analyze the digital divide on spatial perspective and on the quality of information provided at governmental portals, linking both to the structural design of the State. In order to perform this analysis, we use quantitative and qualitative data in a comparative effort, both at national and sub national levels. We conclude outlining alternative strategies on building e-government as a bridge between the improvement of government structure and a larger provision of information for society.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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The Evolution of Participation: A Longitudinal Analysis of Change Among the Largest US Cities
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Charles Kaylor
Public Sphere Information Group.


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This paper reports new data from the third wave of the Municipality eGovernment Assessment Project (MeGAP). Among the 55 performance dimensions used to assess implementation among US cities over 100,000 several relate to public participation. This paper reports on general trends at encouraging public participation, recent experiments and successes. The overwhelming majority of US cities have merely dabbled in providing participatory opportunities to citizens. Many have made information increasingly available and now have a high degree of interactivity. But beyond providing contact information, minutes from meetings, information on pending local issues and occasional streaming media and/or online forums, most cities have experimented relatively little with online democracy and new potentials for citizenship. This paper assesses several reasons: recent budgetary crises have left little room for online participation; public professionals are less concerned with providing citizens more access than with streamlining their own work processes; cities have modeled their development after the private sector, meaning they are more and more adept at understanding their constituents as 'customers,' but not as 'citizens.'
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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Evaluating the use of the Internet by the Slovenian government
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Boris Kragelj
University of Ljubljana.


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The purpose of the paper is to evaluate web sites of Slovenian government regarding great potential of new media and considering contemporary trends on world wide web (achieving specific communication goals has advantage before presentation alone). In the first place we present some basic definitions and theoretical conceptions (web site, new media, computer mediated communication), which are necessary for understanding new approaches to web site evaluation. Then we examine special role and characteristics of government web sites with regard to their various potential activities. Considering great potential of new media and particularities of government web sites, we suggest evaluation study as the most appropriate method for their evaluation, and finally, we apply this method in case of evaluating web sites of Slovenian government. Data on condition of Slovenian government web sites used for the purpose of evaluation originate out of public research Analysis of web sites of government services and offices of Republic Slovenia from the end of year 2001. Evaluation results are divided into three parts (complete estimation of quality, identification of problems and solutions, reasonable guidelines for future development) and serve as a critical appeal to Government of Slovenia for appropriate renovation (modernization) of complete system of Slovenian government web sites.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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Enacting E-Budgeting in Mexico: Bureaucracy, Institutions, and the Budget Process
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J. Ramon Gil-Garcia
Center for Technology in Government, U. Albany. CITIDEP

Gabriel Puron Cid
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During the last decade, many countries have attempted to transform their government structures and improve the quality of the services they provide. E-government is seen as a powerful tool for administrative reform. Mexico has been part of this IT revolution and has designed and implemented several projects that can be identified as e-government. Most of these IT initiatives emphasize the operational efficiency and effectiveness of government. Using a top-down perspective, federal government have attempted to install IT solutions in many strategic functions, such as budgeting. The e-budgeting projects were some of the first approved, designed and implemented policies of the current administration. According to Fountain (2001), government organizations enact IT applications that do not affect the current distribution of power and hierarchical structure. The relation between IT and social or organizational structures is bi-directional (DeSanctis & Poole, 1994; Kling, 2000; Orlikowski, 2000). IT has the capability to change government organizations, but, at the same time, they are affected by several organizational and institutional constraints (Fountain, 2001). The purpose of this paper is to explain how organizational characteristics and institutional arrangements shape the functionality of e-budgeting projects in Mexico. It attempts to find some of these answers through a research focused on three e-budgeting initiatives of the Budgetary Office, that is a sub-area of the Ministry of Finance in the Mexican Federal Government.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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Police and Comunity: a social and space analysis of the attendance of the Military Police in Marmlia-SP, through police emergency number calls (190)
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Marceu Dornelles Toigo
Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP / G.U.T.O..

Sueli Andruccioi Felix
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The work consists of the systematization, register and analysis, with bibliographical subsidize, of the Occurrence Acknowledgments, generated through police emergency number calls of the 9th Battalion of Military Police of the Interior, remembering that the called Military Police in Brazil, is the responsible police for the work of prevention and repression to the crime. The objective of this work is focused in the essential characteristic of the Military Police, the ostensive policing and the emergencial(SP?) attendance, that it keeps it in direct contact with the community. The intention is to identify at least two elements defined for David H. Bayley: convenience and degree of reply. These can represent possibilities of definition of a public demand of the police services, allowing the identification of the profile of the user through its allocation in the urban space, as well as the character of the carried through calls, referring criminal activities, rendering of services etc. Of this form, this research will generate rich information for analyses directed the strategies of public security. It is waited that the results subsidize the operational planning of the police and the development of mechanisms of implantation of the philosophy of communitarian policing in the city of Marmlia-SP.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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Evaluating EDEN's Impact on Participation in Local e-Government
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Angus Whyte
International Teledemocracy Centre, Napier University.

Ann Macintosh
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The EDEN project is funded through the European Commission's Fifth Framework Programme under the thematic programme 'Systems and Services for the Citizen' which includes R&D projects aimed at e-democracy. The overarching objective of the EDEN project is to stimulate and support citizens' participation in the decision-making process. Urban planning was selected as a test case, since in Europe it has a longer history of citizen participation than most areas of public administration, with widespread adoption of statutes that formalise(SP?) when it should be undertaken. EDEN integrates a set of Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools into urban planning web-based services, aiming to enhance the accessibility and comprehension of online planning information by citizens and planning professionals, and their acceptance of online consultation procedures. The paper describes the evaluation framework developed in collaboration with public administrations in Antwerp, Bologna, Bremen and Vienna. We describe issues in developing relevant methods and measures of participation, and outline early results from the ongoing evaluation. We discuss the applicability of the OECD's framework for engaging citizens in policy-making, which sees effective information provision as a pre-requisite for effective consultation models, which are in turn the basis for e-participation tools based on partnership between citizens and administrations.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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Empowering e-citizenship, e-governance policies and e-democracy services
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Leda Guidi
Municipality of Bologna.


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The Iperbole Civic Network of the Municipality of Bologna, set up in 1995, has kept on increasing its improvements in term of activities for electronic citizens and consolidating their "sense of belonging" to the digital community realising - at the same time - a concrete and innovative model for a rich in resources and integrated portal for all the territory. Policies and projects pursuing the goal of expanding citizens' participation in decision making processes have been launched and promoted. The Municipality - through its civic network services - has developed and is developing several telematics projects co-funded by the European Union, in order to verify and validate the portability and modularity of the systems adopted and, in addition, to test the exchange of know-how and skills on e-democracy, e-government and e-governance fields. The main risk of the information society and the electronic citizenship is caused by the emerging of new forms of social exclusion and telematic illiteracy: the Administration intends to carry out inclusion activities in order to fight the digital divide with the support of all the public, private and no profit players that share the same concern in the community.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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Political, Economical, Social and Technological Impacts on Computer-mediated Communications in the Information Society
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Natasa KOVAC
Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia
. Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy of the Republic of Slovenia



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Computer-mediated communications (hereafter CMC) and information technology (hereafter IT) play nowadays an important role in changing a policy context on the field of the environment protection. There are several information systems (hereafter IS) and networks in the European Union (hereafter EU) supporting decision-making and public participation. Thus, an Internet becomes a good opportunity to join information and public participation what allows the use of a new form of the democratic participation. Information is seen as one of the significant mechanism enhancing environmental awareness, empowering the public and fostering its participation in decision-making.

The role of information provision requires a better understanding of connections between information and action. In this paper it will be discussed political, economical, social and technological impacts on using CMC and IT on the field of the environment protection. On one hand, politics play an essential role in appropriate and user-friendly policy formation while on the other hand; economy regulates costs and benefits of investments in IT for exchange of the environmental information. Technology generates innovations and allows wider society to become aware of environmental problems. We could identify the main targets and develop the best communication strategies only if we are familiar to all above-mentioned aspects.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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The rise and rise of the e-London public sphere
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Andres Crespo
London Connects.


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Great Britain boasts a robust democracy that has been forged through hundreds of years of evolution, not revolution. With milestones ranging from the Magna Carta in the XIII century, to the 1918 Representation of the People Act that gave some women the right to vote. Nowadays, democratic practices transcend not only to all layers of the political arena, but to every aspect of our civil society.

'Change' is the only constant in the universe and democracy does not escape this universal rule. It evolves with the societies it serves. Current changes show a ìparticipationî(SP?) crisis. Turn-out figures at polling stations illustrate decreasing numbers of participants, not just in Great Britain, but around the world. And what is democracy without its ìdemoî(SP?) (Greek for people)? Can anybody reverse the trend and how?

In this paper, London Connects, the London e-government agency, concerned about the need to re-engage the public in the participation process, will show a variety of case studies that is providing Londoners with a Habermas' model of public sphere. These will highlight that there is no lack of citizens wanting to have a voice, but a lack of ì21st-centuryî spaces where these voices could be raised for political discourse.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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Democratizing Data is a Two-Way Street: Using Internet and GIS to Engage Grass-Roots Participation
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Jim Pingel
City of Milwaukee - Project COMPASS.


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Project COMPASS (Community Mapping, Planning and Analysis for Safety Strategies) is a demonstration grant program funded by the US Department of Justice. Milwaukee, WI was selected in November 2000 as one of the three pilot sites.

Milwaukee's COMPASS project is a collaborative effort to: gather administrative data from across disciplines (i.e., law enforcement, education, housing, economic development); create a GIS to integrate those disparate data sets spatially; develop an Internet presence to provide information to the public, and allow citizens and grass-roots organizations to upload data describing neighborhood problems and assets; and facilitate collaborative, data-driven problem-solving and planning.

The proposed paper will present case examples to illustrate the value of Internet and GIS in:

a) bringing grass-roots NGOs into public administrative processes b) collecting data directly from grass-roots organizations to both supplement administrative data, and create more strategic government-community collaborations.

Outline:

Introduction - COMPASS Case examples - Java applications to automate data flows between grass-roots NGOs and municipal government Analysis and results Benefits to government, NGOs The pitfalls of two-way information sharing, and how to avoid them Future Steps (training is a major community need; data collection systems need a built-in feedback loop, to ensure communication and organizational learning)
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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A GIS and Multimedia web model for stimulating public participation in historic preservation decsions: ALACHUA county, Florida
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Juna Goda Papajorgji
GIS Manager, Alachua County, Florida. Adjunct Instructor, University of Florida


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In Florida, two of the five requirements that a local government must meet to be designated as a Certified Local Government for Historic Preservation, are: a) local governments shall maintain a system for survey and inventory of historic properties and b) local governments shall provide for public participation in local historic preservation programs (CLG guidelines 1999). With current efforts underway in Alachua County to become a Certified Local Government for Historic Preservation, the fulfillment of these two requirements was addressed by a project that aims to stimulate community participation through the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This project was developed by a partnership between the GIS Division at the Department of Growth Management in Alachua County, and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Florida, with funding assistance from the Division of Historical Resources, at the Florida Department of State. The project is a minimal cost multimedia GIS web application that integrates Florida site files, photographs, video clips with a voice narrative, land information databases, and related historic preservation information in an interactive live GIS. A web survey for assessing the role of the project in stimulating participation from the public in decision-making, is also part of the project. A CD that clones the web application, but works off-line, is also provided free of charge to the community.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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A Phased Approach for Developing Human Services Web Portals
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Danny F. Fernandes
Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie
Mellon University. Institute for the Study of Information Technology and Society (InSITeS)

Wil Gorr
Ramayya Krishnan
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A major goal for Human Services Web Portals (HSWP) of E-Government is to make problem-solving and referral expertise available for clients or their caregivers. The main challenge in setting up an HSWP lies in the diversity and complexity in both clients and their long-term, multi-phased problems. The average person has few resources for dealing with problems such as an adolescent who is addicted to drugs, a newborn child diagnosed with a major disabilities, or an elderly parent who can no longer function independently. Very often, prepackaged solutions are not possible. Needed expertise covers three stages of problem solving: diagnosing the client's problem, identifying available resources for solution, and providing referrals to locally-available resources and assistance in packaging resources into a service plan that will serve as a solution. In this paper we describe phases for developing expertise on an HSWP: 1. Provide short, educational articles on relevant subjects. These are widely available by topic area. 2. Make basic information available on service providers. This is the traditional information and referral function, a catalog searchable by keyword and location. One innovation uses databased(SP?) content and programmatically-rendered Web pages that allow for decentralized input and maintenance of content via Web forms and includes more detailed content for marketing services (virtual tours, interviews with staff and volunteers, calendar of events, testimonials from clients, etc.). It is desirable to add client ratings of service quality. 3. Provide a structured Web guide that combines elements of items 1 and 2.For example, it can classify problems by life cycle and aspect (e.g., financial, legal, health, nutrition, psychological, etc.) and provide systematic and complete compilations of educational information and corresponding referral information. One example is a publication which is a compilation designed by a group of experts to be a complete guide for parents of children with disabilities, including referral information for locally available services. An HSWP would maintain the guide and keep the experts contributing information continuously. 4. If a Web Guide does not provide enough information, the next phase is to provide clients on-line access to experts who are either on retainer by local governments or are volunteers. "Ask-an-Expert" is an example from Seniornavigator.com. This system, which uses a broker to assign questions to experts, reduces the considerable costs of conventional means of finding and contacting experts. Both the questions and answers are transmitted electronically and databased(SP?), and thus can be mined for FAQS. Studying these data may also help structure electronic agents, for the last phase. 5. Provide electronic agents who can diagnose problems and help formulate and implement service plans. We describe a framework for using electronic agents to assist clients navigate the expertise on the Web portal and assist in packaging a service plan to solve the client's problem.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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ART.39 - A Civic Participation tool to Strengthen Democracy
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Javier Angel Alvarez
Proyecto ART 39.

Xavier Urtubey
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Introduction: In the words of Douglas C. North, 1993 Economy Nobel Prize: "It is statistically proven that a society that does not have strong Democratic Institutions cannot develop through time." Situation: In Argentina has important human and natural resources but, even with important foreign aid, it has failed to develop a stable society. One key to this failure has been its institutional weakness through the last 60 years. We believe that to strengthen democracy we need to Increase Civic Participation. The Tool: ART.39 is a project that integrates a series of existing tools that combined, can generate a powerful Democratic Instrument. These are Traditional Media (TV and Radio programs); ICTs (Internet and Software); Article 39 of Argentina's Constitution that allows Citizens to present projects of law to the Congress, by gathering 380.000 signatures. Methodology: From the Television program panels of representatives massively summon citizens. Internet and Software's(SP?) allow the audience to participate creating consensus. The new digital signature provides the legal framework to make this fluid Civic Participation effective. Telecentre and Communication Centers, both from the State and Privet provide cheap access to Internet. ART.39 is supported by Academics, NGOs, and National Government Officials.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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The rhetorical shaping of public space online
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Chantal Benoit-Barne
Universitè de Montreal. CITIDEP


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Technologies have political qualities. This assertion is no longer as controversial as it once was. How we can gain more understanding of these characteristics however is more contentious. This project is an effort to unveil the political qualities of technologies by investigating the language that surrounds their design. It advances a rhetoric-based framework to study the development of a public space online in Canada. Through rhetorical analysis of the language employed by the designers of this artifact, the project demonstrates that technologies are political in at least two ways. First, they are embedded with assumptions about the public good and contain possibilities for ordering public order. Second, technical design is a site for political discourse and activity in the public sphere. Technologies are hence both political objects and objects of political compromise around which citizens congregate to form and negotiate distinct views of the world. Finally, the project outlines process features through which a technology is rhetorically constructed as designers build it ìwith nuts and bolts.î(SP?)
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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E-Seva in Hyderabad, India: Implications for data sharing amongst planning agencies
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Sumeeta Srinivasan
Harvard University.

Peter Rogers
Harvard University
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In 1996 when I first took a course that used the World Wide Web quite intensively (http://web.mit.edu/sap/www/colloquium96/) I surveyed the use of the web by the Indian government agencies for my term paper. I found that there was very little use by either the government or non-government agencies. By 2002, there was at least one Indian city that offered citizens the opportunity to pay property taxes on the web (http://www.esevaonline.com/). Clearly, even in a developing country like India, e-Governement has come a long way in a very short time. In this paper, we survey the growth of such facilities in Hyderabad and its effects on other Indian cities. We look in particular at its effects on local planning agencies and suggest a framework whereby virtual agencies could create data ‘portals’ that allow for inter-agency data sharing. The study relies on interviews with the creators of e-Seva and other government officials who are interested in its use for planning at the metropolitan and regional level. While the study will rely on Hyderabad, India as its main case study the implications to planning in other cities in India as well as other developing countries are also an important of the research.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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Coping with Information overload using Gaia Global
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Luis Borges Gouveia
University Fernando Pessoa.


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The paper addresses the issues resulting from an ongoing digital cities project, coined Gaia Global. Its main concern is to introduce a 288,000 inhabitant city in Portugal ñ Gaia ñ(SP?) to the information and knowledge society. The project aims to provide Gaia with a digital counterpart that represents the region in digital format. This digital representation is not only the World Wide Web but mainly the digital interaction between people and local institutions using any possible channel to solve people's problems and needs. It also wants to grab interaction and day to day activities. Among the issues related with this digital cities project, one of the most challenging is to bring people together to use and take advantage of such an infrastructure to deal with information and provide them with the knowledge to know what and how to use it. As just around 34.000 of the 288.000 inhabitants of Gaia have some higher education degree, a true effort must be on place to introduce the digital cities facilities to the main population. In order to Gaia Global becomes a successful environment to the region it belongs, there is a need to include the greater number of people possible. It is necessary to consider both the required skill that each individual must have and the huge amount of information generated by such an environment. As a result, the paper also discuss information literacy issues that Gaia Global users must acquired and the requirements that Gaia Global must obey in order to deal with information overload problems. The author argue that such an environment can be developed where there is a balanced between the offer of digital services and the people's ability to work with it, both the region and their inhabitants benefit from information and knowledge society impact both in economical and social issues. Such a digital cities facility, must consider human needs and have to provide support for their problems.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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Information Travels Quickly, But Trust Only Builds Slowly: A Discussion of How Cultural Context Shapes the Use of Information in Resident-Controlled Housing
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Robin LeBaron
Parodneck Foundation.


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Over the past decade, Community Assisted Tenant Controlled Housing (CATCH) has sponsored tenant-controlled, low-income mutual housing associations (MHAs) ó(SP?) democratic institutions that closely resemble limited equity co-operatives ó(SP?) in three New York City neighborhoods. Elected resident representatives form a majority on each MHA's board of directors and play the leading role in governing them, while CATCH maintains a minority board presence and provides ongoing technical assistance. MHA boards regularly review detailed information concerning monthly expenses, rental income, legal cases, contracts, and vendors. This information is generated from raw data and packaged into monthly reports by the professional management companies who do the day-to-day work of running the MHA buildings. The MHA resident leaders have encountered serious difficulties in understanding these reports, and their ability to interpret and use the information contained within them has grown over time largely as a result of three processes: training, the accumulation of practical experience, and the development of relationships with and trust in the management company personnel. These processes have occurred slowly, in stark contrast to the speed of information technology, suggesting that information alone is frequently not a sufficient condition to enhance citizen participation.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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Digital Deliberation in Government
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Seung-Yong Rho
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Newark.


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In contemporary democratic society, traditional structures and cultures of policy formation and decision-making are perceived as being remote from citizens. With the rapid development of information and communication technologies (ICTs), traditional models of representation have come under pressure to be more responsive. ICTs can facilitate a more direct interaction between citizens and government. Deliberation has long been considered an essential component of genuine democracy. Public deliberation in the policy making process can lead the public sector to be more effective by listening to, and taking into account the views of the public, allowing government to tap the widest sources of information possible and improving the quality of decisions reached. Also, public deliberation can alert policy makers to any concerns and issues not picked up through existing evidence, and can help to monitor existing policy and necessary changes. By allowing citizen participation in the public policy process, ICTs create opportunities both for receiving important information and for participating in discussions. Because ICTs improve interaction between citizens and decision-makers, it is essential for researchers to examine the new and innovative ways in which ICTs are used in the public policy process. In particular, researchers need to examine the opportunities for citizen input and how such input influences the decision-making process. ICTs offer the means to help educate voters on issues and to facilitate discussion of public policy In this context, this study focuses on public spaces on the Web wherein citizens can debate policy issues. In particular, this research deals with issues of how citizen deliberation on the Web might be established and implemented, and on what barriers should be overcome to make such deliberation effective. This study focuses on twelve digital cases involving digital deliberation in government. Of the twelve, three are Federal, three state, three local, and the remaining three are international.

[Table 1] Digital Democracy Cases Federal State Local International Regulations.gov Issue Talk, Minnesota Metropolitan Council Forum, Minnesota Talk Back, Australia Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, U.S. Federal Highway Administration Public Participation Center, Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania. City of Marion Forum, Marion, Iowa CitizenSpace, United Kingdom National Dialogue of Public Involvement, U.S. EPA The Virginia Regulatory Town Hall, Virginia Dansville, NY Government Information Agency, Republic of South Korea

Based on the information dissemination framework developed in this study, six of the twelve cases are static (passive). In other words, they involve information for digital deliberation on published Web sites, but do not require any interaction between citizens and government agencies. For example, "Regulations.gov" engages citizens through e-mail, regular mail, and fax, but without interactions among citizens or between citizens and public servants The remaining six cases use dynamic (active) methods to disseminate information, such as e-mail lists or newsletters. In terms of deliberation type, seven of twelve cases are issue centered, where the public agency creates broad categories for discussion and citizens are able to comment. An additional four cases involve less structured online discussions where the topics are not provided and citizens are free to choose deliberation topics on their own. In one case, the Government Information Agency of the Republic of Korea allows citizens to participate in both structured and unstructured deliberation. In addition, several lessons learned can be derived from the case studies. For example public agencies using ICTs have experienced greater levels of citizen participation, particularly in cases where proposed regulations and policies are discussed between public agencies and citizens. In addition, the benefits of digital democracy go beyond an increase in citizen participation in the policy-making process, and address performance issues that allow public managers to be more responsive by acting quickly and accurately. These advantages equate to improvements in government effectiveness, as well as efficiency, through cost savings related to time and reduced paperwork. However, even though the online population is increasingly reflective of society as a whole, the digital divide still appears to exclude certain segments of the population that public agencies have had a hard time reaching in the past. The digital divide presents governments with an interesting dilemma regarding digital democracy, particularly because individuals affected by that divide often do not have access or the skills to deliberate public policy via ICTs. Making matters worse, these individuals are often already disenfranchised and do not participate in the public policy process. Should digital democracy efforts replace the traditional "town meeting" or should such efforts supplement face-to-face interactions between citizens and their government? Digital democracy presents several other difficulties. For example, citizens often find it difficult to keep up with the flood of messages and the large number of conversations going on at any one time. In addition, many citizens do not have time to read all the messages. Also, citizens often find digital communications difficult to interpret due to the lack of nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions or voice tone. As a result, it is likely that some comments could be misunderstood. Often digital facilitators or moderators are used to move discussions along and enable democratic deliberation while maximizing efficiency and minimizing disruption. Several recommendations for enhancing citizen digital deliberation in government can also be drawn from this study. For example, establishing a realistic timeframe is essential for facilitating public policy deliberation online. Much like the timeframe for a face-to face meeting, scheduling a start and end time ensures that the issues deliberated are approached as concisely possible. It is also important to establish "frequently-asked-questions" (FAQs) and guidelines for participation. Guidelines for digital consultation and deliberation in government should be clear to encourage citizen engagement in policy-making processes. Furthermore, it is essential to distribute background materials online, as well as through traditional mechanisms. Public agencies must also become more adept at promoting or marketing opportunities for citizens to participate in digital deliberations. In addition, when digital moderators or facilitators are used, they need to be properly trained to move discussions along without alienating individuals. Online discussions are often similar to face-to-face discussions in their use of jargon, abbreviations, and informal language. Facilitators need to refrain from using jargon and informal language so as not to alienate citizens who are not familiar with the cultural norms of the discussion. Finally, facilitators always need to keep in mind that despite the informal nature of the Internet, their comments are public record and reflect upon their agencies. Agencies should also take advantage of technologies that allow citizens to participate in online polls. Online polls represent a simple web-based technology that public agencies can use to gather feedback. The results of online policy deliberations should also be synthesized, analyzed and the results should be distributed through traditional and online mechanisms to maximize stakeholder input.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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E-Democracy in marginal social surroundings. Some experiences of political and electoral participation by means of the New Information Technologies in Mexico
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Luis Miguel Rionda
Universidad de Guanajuato. CITIDEP


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We will analyze in this paper the development of the New Information Technologies (NTI) into an area that we will denominate as marginal entour(SP?) ---in social and economic terms--, making reference to a country that, in spite of its vicinity with the greater economy of the world, the United States, still demonstrates a relative delay in the development of the average NIT as to facilitate the citizen participation in the decision making of political and electoral character. In the recent years, the three spheres of the Mexican government (federal, state and municipal) and also some private foundations in Mexico have made very outstanding efforts to facilitate the access of the marginalized population --in social terms-- to these technological resources in order to facilitate the participation, but witch results that have been very varied and even controverted, that will be analyzed resisting them with the proposals of the political parties, the government development plans and the strategies of expansion of philanthropic efforts. On the other hand, the uses of these resources between the leaderships of the social and opponent movements will be analyzed, that --making contrast-- have discovered the revolutionary potential of the NIT.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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Performance Measurement, Information Technology and Participatory Process in Metro Manila Water Distribution
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Peter Cook
Building and Sharing Partnerships (b-sharp).

Jonathan Stevens
PM Global Infrastructure, Inc.
1915 I St., NW Suite 700
Washington DC 22201

Dr. Aura Matias
University of the Philippines
National Engineering Center
Manila, Philippines
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The paper describes the use of new technology and process change to create a multi-faceted system of communication and feedback between the privatized utilities, the public and the MWSS (regulator of the water distribution system in the Metro Manila area) in the Philippines. It describes a technique for public performance assessment based on service quality indicators constructed both from utility-generated data and from user-generated data and the information system that was developed along with GIS technology to communicate it. The MWSS used this process to facilitate public participation in evaluating utility performance and interacting with utility managers to establish priorities for service improvements. The MWSS adopted four new means of communicating with the stakeholders, using different technologies. This paper describes the changes in the participatory process that resulted from the use of the new technologies and how these resulted in positive actions f!
or consumers, utility managers and the regulatory agency. Finally, it presents lessons learned for Public Participation in government and implications for accountability of all parties that can be applied in many countries.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Government
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Reforming State Tax Administration in Brazil: Technological and Institutional
Innovation in Public Sector Bureaucracies

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Monica F. Pinhanez
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). International Development and Regional Planning (IDRP)


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In this paper, I look at the roles that modernization, restructuring, and computerization are playing in changing local governments and public bureaucracies' performance in Brazil. Policy analysts saw development failures, disappointments, and the welfare state crisis not simply as the result of inappropriate policy choices, but also because state institutions were performing poorly. They proposed modernization, restructuring, and computerization as a panacea to these problems. Particularly, local governments used technological strategies as a means of rationalizing and of increasing efficiency and effectiveness in the public sector. In the State Taxation Offices, computerization has led to faster and more accurate information, which, in turn, led to greater accountability and transparency in the tax collection. Moreover, these technological changes affected the organizational structure, the professionalization of public officials, and the institutional arrangements. This is particularly relevant in Brazil, where 27 State Taxation Offices have undergone extensive organizational change and computerization. I study six cases in Brazil and reveal the existence of core strategies for change, their sequencing, results, and timing affecting the organizational structure, the cadre of professionals, their workplace, and institutional arrangements. The latter includes the relationship among public sector agencies and private organizations and professional associations, such as public officials’ unions. Also I show how local culture and political ideology affects the use, sequencing, and timing of these strategies and changes.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
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Stakeholder-Assisted Modeling and Policy Design Process
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Ali Mostashari
Program for Urban, Regional and Global Air Pollution, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jospeh M. Sussman, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Environmental policy analysis, design and implementation is complicated by the fact that environmental problems are almost always part of a complex sociotechnical system, the behavior of which is not intuitive. The complexity of the problem necessitates a technical and scientific analysis process, which by its nature excludes the majority of the stakeholders in the given problem. To overcome these challenges, this research proposes the engagement of stakeholders from very early on in the process using computer-assisted visualization and representation of complex sociotechnical systems. Specifically it proposed the use of system dynamics simulation in illustrating the complex interactions of the different sociotechnical system elements. Using instant simulation of the system, stakeholders can then decide on the best strategies to address the issue on a more objective basis. The availability of instant computing power will enable them to look at the effect of a vast number of strategies in a relatively short time. The underlying hypothesis of the stakeholder-assisted modeling and policy design process is that with a better understanding of the system and total involvement of stakeholders, better policy design and implementation is achieved. The proposed case study for the research is the transportation-air pollution link in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
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Automated Analysis of Stakeholder Behaviour in GIS-enabled Participatory Processes
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Christine Giger
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ).

Manfred Loidold
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After decades of strict top-down planning processes the increasing juristic and political power of affected people and lobbyists caused the necessity of cooperative procedures. Subsequently in the early 90ies Participatory Geographic Information Systems (PGIS) were developed which involve all relevant people aiming at finding a consensual solution to a given task.

But this aim can only be achieved, if all participants cooperate in a positive-constructive way. Particular self-interests, called NIMBY (Not In My BackYard) behaviour, would prevent the development of a common solution. Our approach DeNIM (Detecting NIMBYs) is designed to discover such attitudes and to minimize their negative impacts on the solution finding process:

The basic idea is that a participant's intentions can be detected by analysing his or her behaviour. This behaviour is represented in the interaction data, which is generated during the interactive discussion process based on a PGIS. All participants contribute to the process by editing geographical objects (e.g. drawing a line symbolising a street). These geo data are stored, classified, and analytically compared with typical NIMBY behaviour patterns, which were observed in previous planning tasks. If NIMBY-like behaviour is recognised, a wide range of consequences against the respective participant (from lower weighting of scenario evaluation to exclusion) is possible.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-planning
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Promotion of the information and public participation methodologies in the scope of the implementation of Local Agenda 21: the experience in the smallest municipality of Portugal
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Marta Pinto
Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Universidade Catolica Portuguesa.

Conceicao Almeida, Margarida Silva, Nuno Quental, Pedro Santos
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The municipality of Sao Joao da Madeira has initiated its process of implementation of Agenda through a partnership between the City council and the university (Universidade Catolica Portuguesa). This process is considered to promote the sustainable development on the basis of participative democracy tools. In this context it was defined a set of instruments and ways to promote the information and public participation and adopted methods specially designed to deeply involve the stakeholders. Some of the developed actions say respect to the constitution of discussion groups, establishment of strategic partnerships, direct auscultation of the population, provision of technical support to local opinion leaders, in particular teachers and journalists. It was given privilege to proximity actions and also to the use of internet. In the communication we analyse the information and public participation techniques and methodologies used in this process, and the needed adaptations due to the specific characteristics of the municipality. The small dimension of the area favours partnerships and direct work with diverse targets. In the communication still it is analysed how the measured perceptions of the population about potentialities and problems of the municipality correspond to the same categories identified by politicians and technicians of the City council, identifying the points in which the public participation comes to clarify and to assist the decision makers.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
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Public consultation in cases of university expansion: possibilities and failures
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R. Timothy Sieber
University of Massachusetts Boston. CITIDEP


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With more than 50% of all universities in the USA located in urban areas, plans for university institutional expansion typically have significant impact on the physical, social, and economic character of host neighborhoods and sometimes entire cities. Within the USA, a wealth of varying social, historical, political and legal frameworks have produced quite varied patterns of "town-gown" relations for universities, however, depending not only on local conditions but also on universities' planning approaches. Town-gown tensions typically develop when universities plan without meaningful public participation, especially at the local neighborhood or wider urban level. This paper examines a notable recent (1999-2003) failure of university planning in Boston, Massachusetts, over the University of Massachusetts' plans to build dormitories for 3000 students in its city neighborhood. We will diagnose why this planned expansion was successfully blocked through the actions of local political officials and neighborhood activists, and place this failed initiative within a wider range of recent university planning outcomes- in both the public and private sector - throughout North America. The Massachusetts case is instructive in suggesting what planning approaches, and especially forms of public consultation, are likely to produce positive outcomes for contemporary North American universities.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
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Helping Communities Design their Future: The PennSCAPEs Project
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Michael Rios
Hamer Center for Community Design Assistance, Penn State University.

Kelleann Foster, Associate Professor of Landscape
Architecture
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Although Pennsylvania has over 2,500 municipalities, only half of these communities have zoning regulations. Of the municipalities that utilize zoning, many of these regulations are outdated. With this background, an interdisciplinary team of academics and professionals conducted a multi-year participatory action research project that engaged citizens, municipal officials, regional and statewide organizations to address neighborhood planning and regulatory issues. The results of this research ---PennSCAPEs (Pennsylvania Strategies, Codes, and People Environments) --- is the creation of a policy and empowerment tool made accessible to citizens to learn about design principles and find answers to questions regarding how to build compact, walkable, and environmentally-oriented neighborhoods. This new IT tool also contains sample zoning provisions that can be adopted at the local level. PennSCAPEs multimedia communications format -- with numerous graphics, interactive explanations and direct links between related information -- provides an engaging delivery system to make planning more accessible to the public. This paper will provide an in-depth discussion of: 1) the results of a participatory research study to assess the feasibility of compact neighborhood development, that led to: 2) the development of a web-based neighborhood design tool that graphically explains design strategies and illustrates sample zoning provisions.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
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Planning with the environment in the Digital Age: Opportunities for e-EIA in Italy.
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Michele Campagna
Universita' degli Studi di Cagliari, Dipartimento di Ingegneria del territorio.

Giancarlo Deplano
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The adoption at regional level of European Commission Directives on Environmental Impact Assessment, according to the national legislation of the member state, is still an ongoing process in Italy. With the recent decentralization process, while some of the Regional Governments have already issued a complete legal framework on EIA, some others are on the way of developing regional regulations. On the background of research findings on the diffusion of digital cities in Italy, presented by the authors in a recent study focused on opportunities and threats for digital participation in planning, in the paper is discussed the methodological approach proposed in the guidelines under development with the Region of Sardinia funding as basis for the upcoming regional regulation on EIA. Within the Sardinian case study, the focus is the opportunity to develop digital collaborative EIA online processes, involving regional and local authorities, and the developers, with the aim of building ex ante environmental-consistent projects and plans. Stress on the opportunity for citizen digital participation in the EIA process is also given. According the approach adopted in the guidelines, the development of a spatial data infrastructure is seen as the necessary ground to found online digital collaborative processes on a shared knowledge base.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
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Rethinking The Digital Divide
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Howard Fink
College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago.


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Traditional discussions about the digital divide have emphasized access to information and technology rather than focusing on their effective use. However, access to hardware and software has become relatively inexpensive and various governmental and non-governmental programs have made these technologies available to large cross sections of the American population. In this context, we have to ask whether the digital divide still exists. I argue that the new digital divide affects both affluent and low-income communities because users are misinformed and lack education on utilizing technology to maximize resources and accomplish their goals.

Faculty and graduate students from the College of Urban Planning embarked on a year-long planning initiative with the Village of Oak Park Illinois. Although Oak Park is widely considered as an affluent municipality with progressive politics, their ability to use information technologies to support day-to-day planning and management was somewhat limited. UIC's project designers conducted a careful analysis on the available resources, goals, objectives, and training needs of the village to determine what technology applications were most appropriate. This was done through frequent meetings with the village staff and residents, graduate student research, and prior knowledge of participatory planning. In this paper, I describe how the UIC process enhanced our ability to support public participation without extensive financial burdens. In addition, we will discuss the issues on how this process can be used to improve public participation in communities where resources are scarce.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
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Institution Building and Information System Development as Inherent Counterparts: Notes from a Contemporary Indonesian Initiative
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Mulya Amri
COMBINE Resource Institution, Indonesia, and University of California, Los Angeles.


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After more than three decades of top-down planning, Post-Soeharto
Indonesia has received enormous pressure for decentralization and
increased public participation. Advancing the community's role in
local decision-making processes, however, has not been an easy task
as most community institutions have been politically weakened and
deprived of access to information needed for policy-making.

An Indonesian initiative called COMBINE (Community-based Information
Network) since 1999 has developed a strategy of simultaneously
developing local-specific information systems and strengthening
community institutions. As inherent counterparts, the former attempts
to give community institutions the knowledge and perspective to
participate in decision-making processes involving their lives while
the latter tries to raise their bargaining position vis-à-vis other
development stakeholders. A community-based information system
typically consists of data that are acquired through participatory
mappings and appraisal methods, analyzed into strategic information
using simple database tools, and communicated via community media to
accommodate a two-way flow of information.

This paper will present lessons learned from the COMBINE initiative,
with emphasis on strategies that organizers have used to build a
community- based information system geared towards local
problem-solving while coping with the general lack of IT
infrastructure, the community's limited technical skills, and the
community's preoccupation with their immediate problems.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
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Organizing Active Citizenship: IT and poetic representation of citizens' dreams for a territorial plan
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Laura Colini
University of Florence, Italy. MIT


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For Italy the 1990s represented a period of renewed interest in public participation in urban planning. Local, county and regional governments instituted new laws that defined and required citizen participation in designing urban and territorial plans at all levels of government and Tuscany was one of the first provinces in Italy to do so.

In addition to using citizen participation for urban planning processes, these laws have spurred Tuscany to seek greater citizen participation in all forms of civic life, in great part as a response to the current political situation in the country in which the prime minister (a media baron before being elected) practically monopolises(SP?) the media and other public information channels. This situation has thus catalyzed various experiments in direct democracy, such as the ìLaboratories for Democracy and the ìNetwork of the New Municipalities.

This paper describes one such experiment: an award-winning process for the design for a county plan in Tuscany, which uses basic information technology and traditional hand drawing (called poetic maps) to structure a participatory process that involves a wide spectrum of local civil society, ranging from local administrations to local social forums. In addition, this paper discusses both the negative and the positive aspects of using IT to support participatory process.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
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Character, Commerce, Computers, and Collaboration: Participatory Planning in Oak Park, Illinois
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Laxmi Ramasubramanian
University of Illinois at Chicago. CITIDEP


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This paper will reflect critically about a year-long collaboration between the Village of Oak Park, Illinois and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Oak Park is rich with professional planning and design expertise and the community (citizens, staff, and elected officials) collectively began to have conversations about planning process, and the need for a vision for the future that would mitigate the negative impacts of ad-hoc planning and policy making. UIC faculty used interactive digital tools for visualization and communication to design and formalize a easily replicable process to enhance the Villageís planning capacity.

Our participatory action research project developed conceptual frameworks and techniques for improving the quality of deliberation among relevant participants. We used information technology applications (working both on-line and off-line) to facilitate collaborative planning and complement traditional methods of community participation. We posit that planning that works well improves the intelligence of participatory democracy by helping participants learn how to evaluate and anticipate the shared consequences of proposed projects for the future.

The summary of the recently concluded project can be found on-line at: http://www.uic.edu/cuppa/udv/contents/index.htm
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
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Public Participation with e-tools: A Metropolitan Experience
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Hubert Morgan
Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, Chicago.

Jignesh Mehta, Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, Chicago
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It is every citizens' right to help shape a vision for the region making
it an even better place to live, work and grow. One of the ways Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission accomplishes this goal is through its Common Ground process that combines GIS tools, facilitation skills, web based technology and decision support tools like keypads and networked computers to create a Land Use Framework Plan for Chicago Metropolitan region. In a session at ICPPIT-3, the presenters will bring together two distinct technologies that NIPC has integrated into its regional planning processes for the communities around Chicago metropolitan region. During the session the presenters will recreate the participatory environment within a Common Ground session. The attendees will first use keypad polling with the visual preference survey to identify a set of shared values. Later, NIPC will introduce the interactive GIS software Pain- the-Town. The software allows participants to study and modify multiple GIS layers containing land use, natural resources, transportation and infrastructure information for a community. After a period of study and discussion, participants will be encouraged to propose alternative land use scenarios. At the completion of the scenario drafting the indicators embedded in software will allow the participants to compare different scenarios and gauge their impacts on the quality of life and environment. The last part of the session will create a room-wide dialogue around the planning issues concerning the community. The keypads will then be put directly to use in prioritizing the desirable parts of the scenarios.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
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Reality Based tele-Medicine: Planning decentralization of health care through Health ICT Programs for Developing and Least Developed Countries
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Xavier Urtubey
Fundacion ERA DIGITAL.


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In Least Developed Countries Public Health Care authorities face a political and budgetary dilemma between covering basic supplies and funding organizational reforms. Nevertheless decentralization of public healthcare providers is one of the key topic for stopping rural emigration. WHO s recommendations for strengthening the Referal System to increase equity of health services access , confronts a lack of qualified professionals in the rural zone. The utilisation of ICT to overcome constraints of distance and available medical expertise may be one solution. The author proposes a methodology for the implementation of planned scalable Reality-based Telehealth Projects for Developing Countries used during 2003 Telemedicine expertise missions he conducted in several Countries. This includes the evaluation of pilot projects viability; the identification of health needs, both in an individual and a collectivity(SP?) focuses; their relation with technological requirements and human resources ramp up requirements; a realistic and cost-accessible project planning; the risks and the precaution to take as the preliminary conditions regarding ICT and Network readiness.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
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Incorporating Technology to Improve the Application of the Empirical Model of Citizen Consultation (EMC2)
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John Gaber
Auburn University.


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Citizen participation in the plan-making process is often seen as political (Arnstein, 1969). Unfortunately, for
under-organized communities who have little political power, citizen participation only provides them a small voice in the chorus of
voices that directly shape proposed plans.

One way to improve the impact citizen comments can have in developing plans is to listen to them "anthropologically as empirical
data" rather than "politically" as just another interest group demand. Theoretically and methodologically, I developed the Empirical
Model of Citizen Consultation (EMC2) that combines Petit's "anthropological approach to planning" with John Dewey's "lived
empiricism" and provides a model on how planners can empirically listen to the community. The EMC2 model was successfully applied in a
controversial planning situation in Lincoln, Nebraska.

One problem with the EMC2 model was the time, effort, and cost associated with the recording, transcribing, and analyzing
citizen comments. For this paper I will illustrate/discuss how digitally recording community comments and then downloading them
through voice recognition software can make empirically listening to community comments more cost effective. It is hoped that by making
the empirical recognition of citizen comments cost-effective, more progressive governments will look into the empirical perspective of
citizen participation to increase the volume of the communities voice in the development of plans.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
--------
GIS and the Challenges of Brownfields in Environmental Justice Communities
--------
Daniel Spiess
University of Michigan.


--------

The ability for communities to protect human health and the environment is often not assisted and even hindered by environmental programs themselves. Specifically, policies that dictate the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields often contain provisions that typically reflect the absence of community input and rarely instill the needed mechanisms for their own success. For example, the term "Brownfields", as defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency and many US states provides no measurements for brownfields properties (acres, frontage, methods of access, etc.), no official zoning requirements, no official tax status, and doesn't even require that the property be contaminated ñ the site can be totally clean and just have the perception of contamination keeping it from being redeveloped. This lack of a definition with measurable parameters denies full use of certain technologies, such as GIS, that are available to assist local communities with identification and quantification. Given a different kind of definition for brownfields however, communities that lack resources and need the most assistance (i.e. environmental justice communities) could benefit greatly from existing GIS technology.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
--------
The Political Status of Electronic Comments in Planning
--------
Pamela M. Lebeaux
Rutgers University.


--------

Websites designed for public involvement in planning offer promise in attracting new participants. Theorists have suggested that participatory websites can encourage involvement by those with time constraints that preclude meeting attendance. Internet participation may also help engage citizens in planning for large regions, where face-to-face dialogue is not always possible. As experience with participatory websites grows, it is also important to consider what happens to electronic comments once they are received and registered in a database. What are planners' responsibilities concerning the solicitation, organization, analysis, and reporting of "disembodied" comments, often submitted without names or locations? What steps can planners take to help ensure that the management of public comments serves the discourse needs of comment makers, as well as the convenience of decision-makers? This paper outlines practical and ethical issues emerging from early experience with transportation planning websites. Examples are drawn from practitioner interviews and include projects in Colorado, Texas, and New Jersey. Issues include the ethics of comment disclosure and discourse control; alternatives for comment categorization, aggregation, reporting, and response; and metadata issues. Consideration is also given to issues posed by the emergence of software dedicated to "tracking" public concerns on behalf of project sponsors.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
--------
Which tools for e-community-planning ? some critical review
--------
Bernard Marchand
Institut Francais d'Urbanisme, Université de Paris. CITIDEP


--------

I would like to subject to discussion the use of some famous
tools of e-planning. I do not mean they are useless, but I wonder about
a few points :

- If the technical magic does not obfuscate the real social needs ?

- If social mechanisms do not follow a different pace and make
e-technics quite irrelevant ?
For instance, can e-techniques represent social conflicts of
interests, either between groups, or between individuals ? Is not
information itself a precious
stake which is more often fought for than used in fact for a practical
goal ?

- If some IT methods like GIS are not excessively underlined and often
quoted because they are well-known and widely available, while other
tools could be
more useful but also more difficult to develop ?
For instance, is really mapping through GIS that important ? Are not
maps considered often as goals in themselves, rather than tools to
realize something else
? And what do you do with maps ? Would not such a study be most useful
?

- If other computer approaches, like cellular automata or simulation
models, might not be more useful to teach people how their city is
managed rather than
simple communication devices ? (Some practical examples could help).

- Rather than communication , often conceived as institutional
publicity, would not disseminating information be more useful and, true,
more dangerous for
people in power ? For instance :
- details on local finances and their management
- land prices and their evolution
- urban projects in detail, with their cost and the power plays
behind them
- environment degradation, with their true causes, the
responsabilities and the costs
- ...

- Even if local authorities play honestly the game, do they have enough
knowledge, enough ability and enough time to avoid disappointing
concerned citizen
and give the disastrous impression it was all a gadget ?
For instance, many french municipalities have tried and offered
to answer e-mail questions, but just could not cope with the flows and
had to abandon the
project ...

- Finally, is not direct democracy a la Rousseau the unconscious model
lurking behind most propositions for citizen participation through
e-methods ?
Is such a "direct democracy" viable ? Under which conditions ?
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
--------
Public Participation in Planning Social Development Policies and e-mail Technology: Lessons learned from practice after MIT academic experience
--------
Remedios Ruiz
ALEPH, S. A. . CITIDEP


--------

After finishing in 19888 her Master's degree in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, the planner Remedios Ruiz, has being working as a consultant for international agencies in the Caribbean Region in designing and in facilitating social development policies and planning processes at the national and local levels in the Caribbean Region.

For instance, during the last two years Mrs. Ruiz has being facilitating the process of reviewing the National Youth Policy of Jamaica through a participatory process including a multisectoral representation of governmental, non-governmental, private sectors, international agencies, media communication and, the Jamaica Youth. Three months ago, the Jamaica Government approved this Youth Policy, and Mrs. Ruiz is currently providing technical assistance to this Government in developing a participatory process to design a National Strategic Plan for Jamaica Youth Development through a multisectoral approach.

During the last six moths, Mrs. Ruiz had the responsibility to evaluate a National Program to Development of the Dominican Civil Society to participate in designing social development policies. The evidence from this evaluation indicates that the use of e-mail technology is supporting public participation in planning and designing social development policies at the national and local levels is still a challenge.

And, during the last three years, the author has being holding the position of Regional Coordinator for Latin America of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF). This Global Association is based in the United States and has representation in the five continents using virtual communication and e-mail technology. In the process of facilitating virtual communication amongst facilitators from the Latin America and the Caribbean region, the author has many lessons learned about the used of e-mail communication for development the art and mastery of the facilitation profession in social development planning processes in the region.

Given her multiple professional practices in social planning after MIT academic experience, this paper would address the following issues: a) Roles and responsibilities of multisectoral actors in the planning process of social development policies (State and Civil Society stakeholders).

b) Spaces and processes for public participation and the use of e-mail technology in theses spaces and processes.

c) Lessons learned from her experiences in public participation in social development policies while working for the Jamaica Government, evaluating the Dominican Civil Society Program and facilitating e-mail dialogue amongst professionals in the Latin America Region.

d) Challenges to foster better governance, public participation and e-mail technology in the region.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
--------
Multiple Methodologies Achieve Broad Spectrum Stakeholder Involvement
--------
Richard Roberts
The Praxis Group.


--------

Traditional public consultation processes rely on only a few public involvement approaches - most frequently open houses, public meetings, information sessions and comment sheets. And in most processes, only one or another of these approaches are used. These approaches tend to target self-selected audiences and are frequently criticized for representing the views of limited sectors. As well, in today's society many stakeholders and the public in general do not have the time or the inclination to attend open houses or public meetings. Consequently, traditional approaches miss many sectors of society.

The Praxis Group having worked in this discipline for over 18 years has recognized and addressed this by developing methodologies that target a broad spectrum of stakeholders. These methodologies take advantage of current telecommunications and Internet technologies and include approaches such as web-based on-line surveys, telephone surveys, intercept surveys as well as the more traditional surveys that can be quickly analyzed through the use of scan-readable survey technology. When these approaches are combined with the more traditional consultation techniques identified earlier along with other methodologies such as information sessions, focus groups, sector-specific discussion sessions, and expert interviews, a much broader range of stakeholders can be engaged than through traditional approaches alone. Clients feel satisfied that consultation initiatives have targeted not just those with vested interests but also the broader population.

The paper explores three case studies where multiple approaches were used: the Ghost Waiparous Access Management Planning Process, the Alberta Public Safety and Sour Gas public process and the Kananaskis Country Recreation Development Policy Review.
The case studies confirm that these approaches help target and solicit input from a broad range of stakeholders. Public acceptance and use of technology-based methodologies has also been confirmed by a 95% response rate for some of our on-line surveys.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
--------
Design and communication strategy for the TroiaResort eco-tourism project
--------
João Joanaz de Melo
New University of Lisbon. CITIDEP

Francisco Andrade
--------

Troia is a sandy peninsula at the mouth of the Sado river in Portugal. Heavy construction was laid down in the 1970´s for a sun-and-sea type tourist resort, but the business concept failed and the largest landowner in Troia, Torralta, went bankrupt. By 2000, the credits of Torralta were acquired by the Portuguese multinational Sonae, following negotiations with the Government, the main creditor. By then, Sonae had found there were major environmental constraints and no competitive sun-and-sea market in Troia. Thus, they decided to downsize the project and redirect it towards eco-tourism. An innovative information and communication strategy was laid down with the help of IMAR: 1) A strategic environmental assessment was conducted by 1998; 2) The general concept of the project assumed environment both as a constraint and a major business opportunity; 3) Stakeholders (national and local authorities, NGOs and the general public) were successfully involved in project discussion from 1999; 4) Environmental impact studies were performed between 1999 and 2002, with demanding guidelines for project design; 5) Formal environmental impact assessment was conducted by early 2003, including the display of the complete environmental impact statement on the internet for the whole public hearing, the first ever in Portugal.
TOPIC: PP-IT in e-Planning
--------
Strategic planning and simulation of electricity transmission grid infrastructure: New opportunities for Public Participation
--------
Gernot Paulus
School of Geoinformation, Carinthia Tech Institute.

Peter BACHHIESL, School of Telematics/Network Engineering, Carinthia Tech Institute
Wolfgang POSPISCHIL, Verbundplan Digital Systems

--------

Planning of new new electricity transmission grid infrastructure is a complex spatial task.
There exist theoretically a lot of different possibilities for the laying of a transmission line between 2 points depending on the combination and consideration of individual factors and constraints like economic, ecologic or social issues in the planning process. Furthermore, the reduction of construction costs, transparent planning and simulation of future investment decisions are critical competition factors in a liberalized market. In order to achieve this goal, we developed the intelligent planning tool NetQuest, which combines powerful capabilities of a Geographical Information System (GIS) with methods of mathematical optimization. In a structured workflow based on a Spatially Balanced Score Card planning relevant landuse classes (e.g. residential area, agriculture, forest, highways and roads, environmental protection areas, slope distribution, exclusion areas etc.) are determined. Various planning scenarios (e.g. ecologic scenario, economic scenario) can be developed using different cost weighting factors for the individual planning relevant landuse classes. For every scenario the cost-optimized laying of the transmission lines are calculated in the mathematical optimization module. The results of the optimization process are finally visualized within the GIS environment and can be very efficiently communicated using orthophotos and 3D animation.




TOPIC: PP-IT in Teaching, Education and Arts
--------
Literature, Information Technology, and the Return to the Dark Ages
--------
Timothy Richard Wutrich
Universite Catholique de Lyon. CITIDEP


--------

Since the first CITIDEP congress in Lisbon in 1999, some of the millennial panic about the "death of the book" has subsided. People still write, read, sell, and buy traditional books. At the same time, the manufacture and use of electronic texts has continued. One might claim that things have settled and that the printed word and the electronic word have learned to co-exist in a happy symbiosis. However, before drawing a conclusion that is too optimistic, one ought to consider a few potential problems that neither literary traditionalists nor the digital avant-garde care to consider. In this essay I start with the premise that the languages and literatures traditionally associated with scholarship, (ancient Greek, Latin, German, French, and English), still are important. I then assess four sites widely venerated for their scholarly merit, inquiring into issues such as textual authority, accessibility, and translation. Finally, I speculate whether the growth of texts, traditional or electronic, has kept pace with human discussion of ideas or whether we are sinking into a vortex where individual thinkers are further isolated rather than unified.
TOPIC: PP-IT in Teaching, Education and Arts
--------
Cooperative Learning using IT in classes of philosophy:New strategies of teacherís training.
--------
Isabel Medina Silva
Portuguese Catholic University. CITIDEP


--------

The introduction of Information Technologies in Portuguese high-schools curriculum presents new challenges: the choice between a normal use of those tools, repeating the same procedures, or a different and creative way of applying those new media in learning activities. The search of other methods and the need of new IT resources are particularly important in the classes of Philosophy because they must help the construction of new skills of knowledge and they must contribute to learn how to think critically. But, first of all, we had to change old habits and attitudes in teachers and students performances towards new technologies. In order to achieve this goal some strategies of teacher's training have been applied envolving(SP?) 6 stage teachers and their classes. Working together as a Seminar Group, and using cooperative learning strategies inside the classroom, they designed didactic applications (websites, webpages, software adapted, Ö(SP?)) and they promoted interactive learning activities (role-plays, judgments, webquestsÖ(SP?)). After this experiment we got the conclusion that all policies that forget the participation of students and teachers in the processes of educational innovation are condemned to fail because outside human experience nothing can be learned. All real changes always arise from human quest.
TOPIC: PP-IT in Teaching, Education and Arts
--------
Patterns Of On-Line Communication: A Portuguese Study
--------
Maria Joao Antunes
University of Aveiro.

Eduardo Anselmo Castro, "scar Mealha
--------

The revolution in information and communication technologies had a profound impact in the major sectors of society and, above all, in the way people communicate and access to information. Some authors considered that the apparent independence of this new media to geographical spaces could result in a lost of importance of places and personal contacts.

At an empirical level, it remains unclear to what extent is the Internet supporting new forms of human relationship (give a chance to create weak ties) or simply keeping contacts based on strong ties. It is also important to know how membership of networks, embedded in geographical places, affects people's capacity to interact in wider networks. To obtain answers to these questions a survey, directed to the Portuguese community of Internet users, was designing using a computer self-administered questionnaire, in an open web site. This paper presents the main results and conclusions concerning the data collected, between November 2002 and January of 2003, from 3129 respondents.
TOPIC: PP-IT in Teaching, Education and Arts
--------
The Media Use In Leisure Time And Health Perception In College Students
--------
Isabel Silva
Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciencias da Educacao da Universidade do Porto.

Luisa SANTOS, Jose PAIS-RIBEIRO
--------

The objective of the present exploratory, transversal and correlational study was to analyse the relation between leisure time spent and satisfaction with watching television, computer use, reading and going to the cinema and the perceived health in first year college students. A convenience sample of 426 individuals; 36.4% of whom were males; aged between 17 and 23 years (M=19.2; SD=1.39) was studied. Respondents voluntarily answered to SF-36, Leisure Behaviours Inventory and to a demographic questionnaire. Data analysis suggests that the frequency of these leisure time activities is positively correlated to health. Nevertheless, data showed that satisfaction with watching television is not statistically significantly related to perceived health, though satisfaction with using computer, reading and going to the cinema is positively correlated to it. Results also suggest that there are no gender differences concerning these four leisure activities. Age proved to be negatively correlated to frequency of watching television, although it was not statistically significantly correlated to frequency of the other activities, neither to satisfaction with those activities. We also verified that the older the students were, the better was their perception of health transition (feeling that their health improved during the last year).
TOPIC: PP-IT in Teaching, Education and Arts
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ACROSS.net: Facilitating an online community of practice for mental health workers in rural and remote Australia
--------
Leanne Wood
Queensland University of Technology.

Lyn Simpson
Jo Dower
--------

Recent Australian research shows that rural and remote workers, particularly mental health workers, have limited opportunities to participate in communities of practice to address their isolation and inadequate access to resources, and provide professional support. They therefore have a strong need for enhanced support mechanisms to complement their existing networks. Technological supports are recognised by rural workers as alternative solutions to issues of distance and isolation (Hodgson et al, 2000).

This paper first describes the research findings that provided the foundation for ACROSS.net, an innovative online support project seeking to address the needs of such workers. Second, we discuss the recent development and implementation of ACROSS.net as an online community of practice that will enable workers to seek and share resources, actively participate in discussion, and benefit from the collaborative knowledge of geographically-dispersed colleagues with a range of levels of expertise. Third, the paper highlights some complex ethical, professional and technical issues associated with the use of online systems for reducing professional isolation that are emerging during the development of ACROSS.net as an online community of practice.

By exploring such issues, this paper aims to contribute to existing research on the potential and current uses and benefits of online communities of practice for individuals, communities and organisations.
TOPIC: PP-IT in Teaching, Education and Arts
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Promoting citizenship in schools through an european environmental study and using new technologies: the PEOPLE-Citizenship project
--------
Tania Marisa Dias Almeida Fonseca
Public High School P. Jeronimo de Andrade. CITIDEP

Tânia FONSECA 1, Pedro FERRAZ DE ABREU 2, Domingos COSTA 3, Conceição LIQUÍTO 4, Isabel MEDINA 5
1Teacher, ES Açores, CITIDEP, tania__fonseca@hotmail.com
2DUSP PhD Fellow, MIT, CITIDEP, pfa@mit.edu
3Teacher, ESE-IPVC, dbelo@ese.ipvc.pt
4Teacher,EB1 Monserrate, ccfl@vodafone.pt
5Faculty,U. Catolica, CITIDEP, isabelmedina@netcabo.pt
--------

The process of decision-making about scientific issues in social contexts involves a critical examination of the relevant scientific knowledge. When citizens are required to take an active role in social life with respect to science, they are expected to be scientific literates. However, scientific literacy process involves explicit methodologies in order to facilitate a compromise between learning and action and between education and society. The project here presented, PEOPLE-Citizenship, is a large educational project promoting citizenship in schools through a European Union (EU) environmental study about benzene air pollution. Its purpose was to promote an integrated approach to science, technology and social education, raising the awareness of citizens about air quality and the impact of personal behavior on pollution. It enhanced the participation on scientific data gathering concerning the benzene pollutant, and promoted new forms of public participation in the discussion about science, human behaviour and social responsibility. This project led policy makers in EU to recognize the central role of schools in such projects were it is essential to promote society changes, and that the path to learning citizenship is to improve the capacities of the students to both understand and criticize the challenge of techno-scientific advances.
TOPIC: PP-IT in Teaching, Education and Arts
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Art and Community Planning through A Chinatown Banquet, how Boston's Chinatown community uses digital technology for civic activism
--------
Jeremy Liu
Asian Community Development Corporation.

Mike Blockstein, Lead Artist/Co-Creator, A Chinatown Banquet (www.chinatownbanquet.org)
--------

A Chinatown Banquet creates a physical, technological, and social infrastructure for community development through story-telling, documentation and presentation of physical and social history, "qualitative" community planning, and the education and leadership of community youth. It was created in 1999 in parallel to The Chinatown Initiative (TCI) that was completing a major update of the 1990 Chinatown Community Plan through a comprehensive, community-wide planning study to engage residents, gather input and ideas, and formulate revisions to the Plan. The Banquet was conceived as a means of enhancing the engagement, accessibility and impact of the updated Plan.

Both the Banquet and TCI are community-based efforts to ensure that the changing needs of the community and neighborhood are met. The Banquet was designed to and has increased the engagement of youth and community members by using media, technology and graphic communication. It substantiates the statistics of the Plan by using the stories of the people and places that are Chinatown. Through the Banquet we build our capacity to tell compelling stories of the neighborhood thereby increasing the stewardship of the community, to create infrastructure for culture-based community activism, and to expand the use of new media and technology for grassroots community development.
TOPIC: PP-IT in Teaching, Education and Arts
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The Sending Context : A Basis for Understanding the Ethnic/Racial Identity Development of Cape Verdean Immigrant Youth in the United States
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Ambrizeth Lima
Harvard. CITIDEP


--------

Immigrant youth's sense of ethnic/racial identity is crucial for their adaptation in their new country, especially as it relates to their academic achievement (Suarez-Orozco & Suarez-Orozco, 2000; Ogbu, 1986; Waters 1996; Valencia, 1991; Noguera, 2001; Portes, 1995).
Several studies done with Caribbean and Central American youth (Phinney, 1997; Suarez-Orozco, 2000; Bailey, 1999; Waters, 1997) have examined the issue of adolescent ethnic/racial identity development, which shed light on the process of integration in the host country and the impact of this process on their academic achievement. No research, to my knowledge, however, has been done on Cape Verdean youth, although they constitute a large portion of students in Massachusetts and Rhode Island school systems (Massachusetts and Rhode Island Department of Education, 2001). Research on Cape Verdean youth is critical since a disproportionate number of these youth drop out of school or find themselves engaging in oppositional behavior that lead to incarceration or deportation . (Boston Globe, 1999; Bilingual Education Handbook, 2000).
It is my intent to probe in this paper, the myriad layers of complexities that characterize the ethnic/racial identity development of Cape Verdean immigrant youth as they integrate in the host country, the United States, and the impact of this process on their academic achievement. I will build upon Portes' (1995), Segmented Assimilation Theory, which proposes that both the opportunities within the host country (receiving context) and the factors in the country of origin (sending context) must be taken into account in understanding the adaptation of immigrant youth. Therefore, the proposed literature review will explore the racial/ethnic constructs that these youth bring from Cape Verde as well as the existing small body of literature that sheds light on the identity formation of other racialized immigrant youth in the U.S.
TOPIC: PP-IT in Teaching, Education and Arts
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Introducing the Internet at the primary schools in Viana do Castelo district: How are the teachers, directors of schools local education and municipal authorities, accepting it?
--------
José Portela
Escola Superior de Educacao, Instituto Politecnico de Viana do Castelo (ESE-IPVC). CITIDEP

Isabel Vale (Ph.D.), Prof. Adjunta da ESE-IPVC
--------

The Internet@EB1 (Internet at the elementary Portuguese schools)began as a challenge made by the former Minister of Science and Technology to the 14 higher schools of education (teacher's colleges or Escolas Superiores de Educação - ESE) and to other 4 universities (Aveiro, Vila Real, Évora and Algarve). The challenge was to give basic competencies to all the elementary school's 4 graders. The aim was to train them to be able to use a word processor, attach a file to an e-mail message, print the file and search for specific information using the web. Portugal has about 8500 primary schools, and each of the 18 institutions was responsible to coach all the students at each district (a traditional administrative territory division). Viana do Castelo district has 335 elementary schools for a population of bout 250 thousand people. The district has large schools (about 200 students) in the main cities and small schools (about 1 student) far away from the ESE in the mountains. (A new law is closing all elementary school with less than 10 students, which is creating a great deal of concern to the isolated population).
After hiring and preparing 16 trainers for accomplishing the task, that is, coaching the students (and the teacher), it was decided to involve the 10 counties (Viana do Castelo, Melgaço, Monção, Valença, Paredes de Coura, Vila Nova de Cerveira, Caminha, Ponte de Lima, Ponte da Barca e Arcos de Valdevez) inviting all the 10 mayors for a meeting to explain what was the purpose of the project. The elementary schools are under a mixture of the administrative and management supervision: the city hall is responsible for functioning and the executive council of the "agrupamentos de escolas" (a school cluster, composed of kindergarten, elementary, middle school and high school) is in charge of planning, management and supervising. This executive council, under the supervision of area educational center, which is under a regional board, which is under the direction of the Ministry of Education, was not aware of the project. Many elementary school teachers didn't allow the trainers to enter their room (who were exhibiting a credential).

The project end up accomplishing, after passing many hurdles, one of the aims, which was prepare the 4th graders to succeed a ICT basic competencies test. There was many actors involved in this project: the fccn-national foundation for scientific computation; uarte- unit of support for educative network, higher schools of education and universities, trainers, administrative support services, teachers trainer centers, city halls, regional educational services, local educational services, school clusters, executive councils, directors of schools, teachers, students, parents, parents associations, maintenance and technical support companies. 

There are many lessons to be learned from this project. One key example of the kind of difficulties was the fact that two ministers of the national government didn't "talk" about the project (or thought it was not important, appropriate or whatever reason). In this paper we discuss the results and provide a description of the involvement of each actor and the difficulties encountered during the implementation of this first year of the project. 
TOPIC: PP-IT in Teaching, Education and the Arts
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Lobster Tales
--------
Nathan W. Michaud
Island Institute.

Chris Brehme
--------

Lobster Tales is a project linking fishermen, teachers and students from Maine lobstering communities with consumers around the world. The project allows communities to collaboratively ëbrandí(SP?) their most valuable commodity ñ lobsters ñ by creating a message of locality directed to the consumer. At the same time as they distribute this message of community identity (which often counter widely-held stereotypes of small Maine villages or misconceptions about the management of the fishery), Lobster Tales allows students and fishermen to track the distribution of local lobsters to places of consumption around the world. Customized claw bands asking the question ìWho(SP?) Caught ME?î(SP?) direct consumers to a website (www.LobsterTales.org) where they can learn the origin of their lobster and view locally-produced photos and biographical sketches of the fisherman who caught it. By entering their zip code, consumers add to GIS databases of lobster distribution which local schools use in a variety of educational projects. By using the Internet and GIS technology to connect consumers and Maine coastal communities, Lobster Tales is developing a model that links local harvesters and global consumers, raising awareness of interconnections, and allowing for the sort of mutual producer/consumer education, which will prove necessary for the sustainability of globalization.
TOPIC: Public access to information
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Leaves, Sticks and Pebbles: The Role of Context in Building a PPGIS
--------
Renu Khosla
National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA).

Dr. Lorlene Hoyt, MIT
Ms. Claudia Canepa, MIT
--------

Much of the literature on public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS) highlights how the "bottom-up approach" facilitates collaborative planning processes and empowers local constituents. This paper argues that PPGIS are highly responsive to the context in which they are created, in fact, they are systems designed to fit within existing processes. Thus, the extent to which a PPGIS achieves these goals depends upon the local social and political relations that link or divide groups, individuals and institutions. Through case study analysis, the authors examine a PPGIS in New Delhi, India intended to improve the delivery of basic services to poor communities. Findings show that the existing social and political forces affected this PPGIS in three distinct ways. First, marginalized residents - women, youth and the illiterate - were involved in data collection through mapping workshops which occurred in front of people's homes; to communicate basic demographic information about the population the residents used on leaves, small sticks and pebbles. Second, the integration of local knowledge with traditional forms of data occurred to a limited degree due to low levels of trust between government agencies and informal settlement residents. Lastly, traditionally marginalized residents, empowered by the information collected through community mapping workshops, mobilized effectively to secure important service improvements for their community.
TOPIC: Public access to information
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Mediated access: a comparative approach
--------
John W. Sherry
People and Practices Research Group, Intel Corporation.

Anthony Salvador
--------

Shared access points such as telecenters, cyber-cafÈs(SP?), or village kiosks have emerged as important means of digital participation for a very large number of users. Several analyses have differentiated among the various types of shared access, primarily based on ostensive function or purpose. This paper takes a somewhat finer-grained approach, based on ethnographic research across a variety of sites, looking specifically at the constellations of technological and human actors in each of the settings. We compare three such settings: a telecentro in Chile, a system of village kiosks in India, and a number of telecottages in Hungary. Findings indicate that, despite the roughly similar purpose of these centers, the specifics of their implementation, particularly the networks of human relationships involved, have significant consequences for their actual functioning. Our goal in this comparison is as much practical as theoretical: to identify possibilities for technological intervention that might best serve the purpose of each center by facilitating access to the technology in ways most suited to local needs and practices.
TOPIC: Public access to information
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Public interaction with health information using the Internet: Leading the way to an informed patient
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Ramaprasad Arkalgud
University of Illinois Chicago.

Amit Prakash
Ramchander V
Shobhna GUPTA
Sridhar PAPAGARI
--------

Information technology, by disseminating information to the public and facilitating their participation in government can create an informed citizenry. By the same token, eHealth applications, using Internet technology, can create informed patients by helping them obtain information, learn interactively, manage their transactions, and monitor their progress.

The Center for Research in Information Management at the University of Illinois conducted a study of eHealth applications across all 46 hospitals in Chicago, the capital of the largest health care system in the world. We studied the availability of, accessibility to, and the type of these applications. The study revealed significant variations in both the number and the type of applications provided by these hospitals. The mapping of the data on these applications, the location of the hospitals' patients, and the corresponding demographics revealed a digital divide based on geography, race, income and education. Hospitals, government and community organizations have to bridge this digital divide by implementing more effective applications, teaching patients to use them, and providing incentives to providers and patients. More interactive and transactional applications can help reduce industry costs and increase customer satisfaction. A patient better informed by these applications will be a healthier person and a happier citizen.
TOPIC: Public access to information
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Digital Divide Measurements
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Vesna Dolnicar
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Methodology and Informatics.

Vasja Vehovar
--------

The notion of the digital divide is much more complex than just a distinction between "haves" and "have-nots". The paper thus first discusses some specifics regarding terminology and concept of the notion "digital gap", which can be further structured into first, second, dual and third digital divide. The paper also extends the measurement of the digital divide phenomena above the simple comparison of percentage related to the ICT penetration among different countries and socio-demographic segments (e.g. young, male, educated, rich, urban). More proper approach to digital divide measurement ñ where multivariate interactions are studied ñ may thus give radically different conclusions compared to the simple bivariate analysis. The paper highlights these problems with case study on Slovenia and with comparisons of results among EU countries. Next, a composed measure ñ the Digital Divide Index (DIDIX) in SIBIS (Statistical Indicators Benchmarking Information Society) project is discussed. This index provides the integral digital divide measure for benchmarking EU countries and the US.
TOPIC: Public Access to Information
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DC's Neighborhood Planning and the Neighborhood Cluster Database: Participation and Accountability of Local Governance at the Neighborhood Level
--------
Julie Wagner
District of Columbia Office of Planning.

Claudia Canepa
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In June 2000, under the leadership of Mayor Anthony Williams and Director of the Office of Planning Andrew Altman, Washington DC initiated an intensive Neighborhood Planning initiative, engaging all 130 neighborhoods across the city. While neighborhood planning efforts in many cities target their efforts in select areas, the Mayor used planning as the framework for creating a more equitable, participatory and accountable system of local governance at the neighborhood level. This was a particularly crucial strategy for DC, as many years had passed since neighborhoods experienced direct dialogue with government, producing tangible results that "mattered". As directly expressed by the citizens themselves, they were tired of, and tough on planning rhetoric - although they were ultimately still committed to improving the physical, social and spatial aspects of their communities.

For these reasons, DC's Neighborhood Planning Initiative focused on short-term (2-year) action planning, where priorities were exclusively defined by the neighborhoods. As such, neighborhood priorities varied greatly, ranging from safety and security, the environment, open space and parks, housing, neighborhood economic development and more. Ultimately, this intensive engagement produced a series of detailed matrices outlining priorities and recommended strategies for improving their neighborhoods.

The initiative differs from neighborhood planning efforts in other cities in one other important way, however. It relies heavily on the District of Columbia Neighborhood Cluster Database, a technological tool that facilitates the collection, sharing and management of thousands of government commitments to neighborhoods across the city. First, it provided an institutional mechanism for aligning the budgets of over 35 government agencies to specific neighborhood priorities. The collection and collation of such intensive data allowed the City Administrator and the Deputy Mayors to understand how agency operations and capital budgets were helping advance neighborhood priorities. As a result of this information, over $3 million dollars was added to help implement unfulfilled neighborhood commitments - even during a tough budget year.

Second, since government accountability to implement government commitments is paramount in an environment of such distress and distrust, the database was designed as an accountability tool. Its basic architecture was built to manage and monitor complex commitments that often required more than one agency to implement. Specifically, agencies are alerted every three months to log on to a dedicated website where detailed updates on commitments are requested. The database is also organizationally-sensitive in that the database literally "learns" the organizational structure of each agency so the person with the most direct knowledge (such as police officers, housing inspectors, and landscape architects) is responsible for providing the updates.

While the development of such a database was lengthy and at time arduous, the Neighborhood Cluster Database continues to fulfill its purposes of directly linking neighborhood priorities with the budget; decentralizing and de- politicizing the budget process; and providing direct accountability. It has become the lynchpin(SP?) of this successful initiative and institutionalized the role of neighborhood planning in DC's local governance structure.
TOPIC: Public access to information
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(De)Constructing citizen participation
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Murali Venkatesh
School of Information Studies, Syracuse University.


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Citizen participation is often a desired goal of public information and communications technology (ICT) projects (e.g., community networking projects). But the reality is that ordinary citizens usually are poorly represented in such efforts. I examine the reasons at two levels: the macro-social (social structural) and the micro-social (phenomenological). The latter concerns the discursive moves of actors engaged in the development process. I look at how human actors construct/translate problems and prefigure preferred solutions. How are (vested) interests enrolled as a consequence of such discursive strategies? How are interests disenfranchised and dis-enrolled? Even when broad-based participation is a stated project goal such strategies, at the level of everyday practice, can be used (with or without intent) to bias the design of artifacts. Analyses of participation often neglect the micro-social. I analyze ICT and other projects to show how translation/enrollment can be used to bias design process and products away from marginalized interests. How can we resist this? The progressively inclined advocate/action researcher must research effective bases for counter-translations to represent the marginalized and enroll them as part of a social mobilization effort. How the researcher bounds the embedding macro-social field will color the types of counter-translations chosen, the interests selected for enrollment, and targets selected for collective action.
TOPIC: Public access to information
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Immigrant's Information Use and Access: Refining the Communicative Planning Approach
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Mandeep Grewal
University of Michigan.


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We live in an era when access to ethnic information sources, not just interpersonal but also electronic and mass mediated ones, is unprecedented. How, if at all, do these information technologies impact immigrants' communication patterns? Specifically, are immigrants, especially those in dire need of services, aware of and able to access their entitlements and available services? What do ethno-culturally specific communication patterns of immigrants mean for planners, especially communicative planners, as they strive to take into account diverse meaning-systems to generate emancipatory knowledge?

This research project uses the case of abused immigrant Indian women in the U.S. to document their ethno-culturally specific communication patterns and identify how, if at all, these contribute to their ability to know about and access information and services. As such, their access to and use of different information sources: informal (friends and family); formal (government organizations, non-profit agencies, peer groups, religious and community organizations); Indian and American mass media (television, newspaper, radio and Internet) is documented.

Communication studies literature is relied upon to suggest a framework wherein planners, as learners first, can understand the information dependence and socialization of immigrant populations before leveraging appropriate frames and information sources to design and implement culturally-sensitive planning interventions.
TOPIC: Public access to information
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SMEs and broadband access : the case of Ile de France region
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Valerie Aillaud
French Institute of Urban Planning - University of Paris 8. CITIDEP


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Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are seen by most governments as a major force in the economy, particularly in the light of the recent slowdown in economic growth. Like in others OECD countries, SMEs represent in France, over 95% of enterprises, and generate over half of private sector employment. SMEs play also a significant role in the development of the digital economy and moreover of the information society. Beyond the ICT advantages for SMEs (increase of employee productivity and the reduction of company's operating costs), they allow them to make a major contribution to innovation, job creation and continuing education for the worker-citizen. Most governments apply an array of policies and programmes to encourage and enhance the ICT use in SMEs and set up a secure e-business environment. However the necessary step towards Information Society which is an efficient connectivity (basically broadband access) and a competitive telecommunications market seems to be neglected in France. This paper examines the difficulties inherent in SMEs access to high speed internet and the impacts on the regional planning policies. The Ile de France Region case is instructive in mixing a high concentration of various SMEs, a low rate of SMEs which can benefit from the competition between telecommunications operators in some areas, a high concern of local governments which advocate the private-public partnership for building new infrastructures.
TOPIC: Public access to information
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The National Historical Geographic Information System: Democratize Access to the Census
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Kai Chi Leung
Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota.


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The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) is a project to create and freely disseminate a database incorporating all available aggregate census information for the United States between 1790 and 2000. United States summary census data are the primary source of statistical information about growth and change of the American population. Social researchers and community leaders have been using census data to study local trends and effects of policy changes for years. However, the great bulk of the census data are largely inaccessible as they are scattered across dozens of archive. Moreover, high-quality electronic boundary files does not exist before the 1990 census year. It makes temporal study of the census data very difficult as geographic boundaries change between censuses. Technological change presents an unprecedented opportunity to tackle these issues and make these data readily available for public uses. This paper demonstrates how NHGIS °V which will be the largest social science database in the world °V would democratize access to the census and benefit community planning through its web-based system data extraction system.
TOPIC: Public access to information
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Non-professional user's understanding of Geographic Information
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Mette Arleth
Aalborg University, Department of Development and Planning.


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Public participation in the planning process requires well developed communication between the authorities and the public; communication in which various sorts of geographic information (GI) plays an important role. With the growth of the Internet this communication has been enriched with the assets of digital media, including online access to a variety of GI-based services; maps, online Geographic information systems, interactive 3D models etc. However, can we expect that a citizen, who has no sort of relevant professional basis for understanding the concept of geographic information, should be able to use GI-based Internet services and comprehend the information contents? Using the GI-based Internet services qualitatively in the participatory processes obviously requires knowledge of the non-professional user's understanding and use of GI. This paper discusses the needs for research into this field and into the relevant research methods. Studies are made regarding the use and users of three different applications, which are all parts of the Digital North Jutland project.
TOPIC: Public access to information
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Geographic digital including: The method union for a better generation and divulgation of criminal information.
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Marcel Santos Silva
Grupo de Pesquisa e de Gestao Urbana de Trabalho Organizado/UNESP.

Sueli Andruccioli Felix
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The society is always looking for information. It's easier using information systems that are growing and becoming better in a incredible velocity. With the advantage of the information technology, it starts a new method for a digital inclusion, that is an union of internet, information, and geography, this union is called Geographic information system. Our work offer spatial information of criminality for the users, let then watch the features, the problems, lastly, the reality of the urban space. Providing the internet information let the digital geographic include where the users can a new form of learn and work on the generation and divulgation(SP?) of the informations(SP?). The new way of visualize the informations(SP?) through the information system enable the users, using data, make forms of ministry their reality. This social inclusion using digital inclusion is being realizing in MarÌlia, interior of Sao Paulo, Brasil, through the project "the Geography of the Crime", Diagnostic(SP?) for a communitarian social action, financed for the FAPESP (Foundation of Support to the Research of the State of Sao Paulo).
TOPIC: Public access to information
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Citizens as Mobile Sensors for Environmental Collaborative Monitoring
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Cristina Gouveia
Instituto Geográfico Português.

Alexandra Fonseca
Instituto Geográfico Português

António Câmara
Grupo de Análise de Sistemas Ambientais
Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia,
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Quinta da Torre, 2795 Monte da Caparica, Portugal
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The use of citizens' collected data for environmental monitoring is not a new idea. Examples can be found since the early 1900s in projects such as the National Audubon Society Christmas Count. Nevertheless, recent developments within information technologies, namely collaborative systems, wireless communications and sensors, have created new opportunities to use citizens and their knowledge to monitor the environment. Such technologies enable to develop tools that explore data characteristics, which are spatial, multimedia and multi-sensory, while supporting volunteers monitoring major tasks: data collection and processing, data search and presentation, data validation and community building. However, to take advantage of such technological developments it is necessary to develop environmental collaborative monitoring networks (ECMN) that support citizens' activities and promote the use of citizens' collected data.

This paper presents the major components of ECMN and explores the use of mobile communication systems to support in situ data collection and registration by concerned citizens. Additionally, the use of sensors for environmental monitoring by concerned citizens is reviewed as a way to promote data credibility and validation. On the other hand, the spatial component of the data is explored to facilitate data integration and to create context aware tools that increase public awareness on environmental conditions. To conclude, a summary of the key issues analyzed in this paper and some research questions are presented.
TOPIC: Public access to information
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The data-bridge as a technology to reduce the digital divide
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Rodrigo Sandoval Almazan
ITESM. CITIDEP

José Torres , ITESM
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Poverty is an outcome of asymmetric information. If poor people can improve their options to choose, they have more freedom and can reduce their condition. Information technology could be the best chance to achieve this goal, however the so called digital divide ñ which includes the cost of technology access and the education - could be an obstacle to do this. This paper proposes an introduction to the technology called data-bridge that tries to reduce this obstacle and improve the capabilities of poor people to change their condition with information.
TOPIC: Public access to information
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A Standard-Based Geospatial Data Access System for Public Participation
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Zhong-Ren Peng
MIT.


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Internet GIS, serving spatial data and GIS functionality on the Web offers a special and potentially important means to facilitate public participation in the planning and decision-making process. This paper discusses a framework for the design of a standard-based geospatial data access system to facilitate information access and public participation. The design framework is based on a taxonomy that is created to describe the level of services in serving public participation according to the information contents, level of user interactivity and system functionality. This framework is based on several national and international standards, i.e., the standard geospatial data model proposed by the Geospatial One-Stop initiative for data modeling, Geography Markup Language (GML) to code and link geospatial data, the Web Feature Service (WFS) to access and extract data at the feature level, and the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) standard to display GML data on the Web browser as maps. The system is designed to enhance the public participation in the planning and decision-making process by providing the general public with data, analysis tools and a forum to explore knowledge, express opinion, and discuss issues, as well as evaluate, comment, choose and form planning alternatives.
TOPIC: Public access to information
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Barriers to the use of IT by small towns: Does race or income matter most? The case of Southern Arizona
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Lucie Laurian
School of Planning, University of Arizona. CITIDEP


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This paper focuses on small towns’ Internet use to inform the public about local issues and participatory opportunities. I consider small towns (of fewer than 50,000 residents) in Southern Arizona, to identify the key determinant of Internet use for public information purposes. The two main factors considered are community income and ethnic distribution (i.e., the proportion of Hispanics and Native Americans). About 30 cities are included in this study. Their use of the Internet is assessed by analyzing their web sites, focusing on the information available to the public about environmental matters and participatory opportunities. Income and ethnic distributions are derived from Census 2000 data. The findings of this research indicate whether funding to support the IT efforts of small towns (in terms of capacity building, staffing or training) would be better directed to Hispanic or more generally to low income communities.
TOPIC: Public access to information
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Ambiguity, SARS, and Media System Dependency
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Chang Yan
Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California.


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This paper begins with a comparison between ambiguity, uncertainty and other synonyms. It is suggested that the term ambiguity works better for future systematic and interdisciplinary researches. It then proceeds to explain the routinization of media system°Øs centralized roles, using Giddens°Ø structuration theory. Ball-Rokeach°Øs (1973) definition of ambiguity as absence of a °definition of situation°± is adopted. Two types of ambiguity (i.e. inability to define the situation, inability to choose from over two definitions) are discussed later in the case of SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which combines the previous discussion of ambiguity and centralization of media system. The first type of ambiguity emerges out of China°Øs authoritarian media system. The second type of ambiguity emerges out of Hong Kong°Øs responsive media system. Both types of ambiguity are analyzed in multi-level storytelling systems. Finally, a relationship between ambiguity, SARS and media system dependency theory was summarized. It is claimed that SARS is a perfect example of pervasive ambiguity in which people form more intense media system dependency relations.


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