Digital Government Society of North America

* dg.o 2007

Analysing eParticipation Contributions

Sunday, May 20, 2007, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm


The overall purpose of this workshop is to develop a better understanding of the technological and socio-technical tools and techniques to analyse user-contributions in eParticipation initiatives.

Across the US and Europe there is a widespread sense that the public has disengaged from formal political processes, such as voting, joining parties and following political news; and this disengagement reflects a crisis of public trust in governments at all levels in Europe. The overall eParticipation challenge is to improve democratic decision-making in such a manner that enables citizens and governments to engage collaboratively with one another to deliver evidence-based policy.  This workshop recognises the multi-disciplinary skills that are needed to achieve this. 

The overarching goal of this workshop is to identify and understand the potential for using advanced analytical tools and techniques to support the analysis of user contributions to eParticipation initiatives. eParticipation, for the purposes of this workshop, describes efforts to broaden and deepen political participation by enabling citizens to connect with one another and with their elected representatives using information and communication technologies.

Typically the current analytical tools as applied in the eParticipation domain, do not offer sufficient support to the policy/rule-makers to analyse inputs and understand the results for grounded policy/rule-making. The challenge of large-scale analysis for eParticipation remains to be resolved. The analytical techniques and scalability of existing tools, to an extent which is required to meet the needs of a participatory democracy, is very limited. Large scale eParticipation pilots have taken place and these have clearly demonstrated the limited scalability of available systems. To date, analysis of eParticipation contributions has typically focused on quantitative metrics rather than analysis of argument flows and consensus finding.

 In particular, the workshop has the following objectives:

  • Start to facilitate close and sustained co-operation between eParticipation researchers from different academic disciplines, in order to better understand the available methods.

  • Assess and compare research already made on analyzing user-contributions in eParticipation worldwide.

  • Identify eParticipation research challenges in the analysis user contributions

Call for Participation

This workshop seeks theoretical and applied research white papers and welcomes internationally comparative contributions and case studies.  Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Research discourse analysis techniques to explore agenda setting, and alliance building at different levels.
  • Current and emergent eParticipation technologies to support analysis, e.g.:
    • Text mining
    • Argumentation support systems
  • Current and emergent eParticipation socio-technical methods.
  • Emerging criteria which allow evaluation of eParticipation initiatives to be undertaken in a systematic and standardised.

Authors must submit a proposed 2-page white paper for presentation at the workshop to the organizer Professor Ann Macintosh by April 9, 2007. Acceptance and rejection notices will be sent out by April 14. Authors may be asked to revise their white paper. Camera-ready copy must be submitted by April 26, 2007. Submissions should follow file format requirements of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Proceedings:  Please note the textbox containing the permission statement appearing in the bottom left hand corner of the first page should NOT be included.  Authors will retain the copyright to accepted papers.

Workshop enrollment will be limited to 15 participants.  

Workshop Program Committee


(Main Contact) Professor Ann Macintosh, International Teledemocracy Centre, Napier University, 10 Colinton Road, Edinburgh, EH10 5DT, UK.

Telephone: +44 (0) 131 455 2421  Fax:  +44 (0) 131 455 2282


Professor Gregoris Mentzas, Institute of Communication and Computer Systems School of Electrical & Computer Engineering National Technical University of Athens

Athens, Greece

Tel: +30-210-7723895


Dr. Thomas F. Gordon, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Berlin, Germany
Tel: +49 30 3463 7219


Professor Yigal Arens, Co-Director, Digital Government Research Center, Director, Intelligent Systems Division, Industrial and Systems Engineering, USC/Information Sciences Institute, 4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 1001, Marina del Rey, CA 90292, USA

Phone: 310-448-8766,   Fax: 310-822-0751


Dr. Eduard Hovy, Co-Director, Digital Government Research Center, Deputy Director, Intelligent Systems Division, Dept of Computer Science, USC/Information Sciences Institute, 4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 1001, Marina del Rey, CA 90292, USA

Phone: 310-448-8731,  Fax: 310-822-0751