E-Participation Mechanisms on the Web-pages of Public Institutions

News | Research | Good Governance | Publications 1 April 2013

1. April 2013

Author: Salome Chukhua

Editor: Levan Avalishvili

E-Participation Mechanisms on the Web-pages of Public Institutions

IDFI (Institute for Development of Freedom of Information) has been monitoring 23 public institution web-pages as well as the web-site of the administration of the President of Georgia in the frames of project ‘Development of e-Participation in Georgia’. Monitoring was conducted according to the 2012 UN E-Government Survey and ‘Evaluating the parameters of information transparency on the official web-pages of public institutions’ elaborated by IDFI in 2011. Project group developed the synthesis of these two researches by elaborating three-component evaluating system.

Evaluating system consists of the following parts: E-information/communication, E- consultation, E-decision making.

Three month long monitoring displayed following tendencies:

  •  The web-pages of public institutions are mainly focused on one-sided communication which is expressed through sharing information and not providing such discussion platforms as blog or forum. In many cases governmental web-resources do not even provide effective mechanisms of information sharing -- RSS or subscription with e-mail.
  • Involvement of citizens in decision making process is very low. This is caused by several reasons -- absence of communication-consultation mechanisms, technical faults or inattentiveness from the web-page administration. 
  • Besides rare exceptions, citizens are not allowed to leave a comment. This negative tendency indicates that the institution is not open to questions, comments and criticism. 
  • During last several months institutions deactivated official Twitter pages. Majority of the institutions do not possess Twitter accounts any more, while most of those who still have it do not actively use Twitter. Just small number of institutions use Twitter actively as a communication tool.
  •  None of the monitored institutions provide special department for at least one vulnerable group;
  • The majority of the monitored web-pages do not provide online service evaluation forms which could serve as means of identifying problems and searching for solution together with citizens.
  • Public figures are unavailable for direct communication. Heads of the institutions do not moderate the discussions and don’t respond to the problems posed by citizens.
  • The majority of the institutions have not elaborated the e-participation action plan (citizen communication strategy).
  •  Institutions mainly leave the messages of citizens without response. In the frame of the project we electrically sent four questions to each monitored institution. Number of received answers was low. Just two institutions responded to all four messages.

The project is being implemented by “Institute for Development of Freedom of Information” (IDFI), in cooperation with “Center for Post-Soviet Studies” (CPSS) with the financial support of the grant “Partnership for Change”, within the framework of the USAID program of “East-West Management Institute”, “Public Policy, Advocacy and Civil Society Development in Georgia” This program was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).The contents of this researche do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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