A new eParticipation project/network has just launched:
PEP-NET will be a European network of all stakeholders active in the field of eParticipation. PEP-NET therefore already includes public bodies, solution providers and citizen organizations as well as researchers and scientists. The network is open to all organizations willing and actively trying to advance the idea and use of eParticipation in Europe.
The project aims to help overcome fragmentation and promote best practice by connecting established and experienced eParticipation players and networks throughout Europe as a critical first step. The objective of this project is to achieve critical mass for the establishment of a Pan European eParticipation Network (PEP-NET). Such a network will act as a repository and disseminator of good practice and exchange of experience, and be a visible resource for all interested parties across the European Union.
PEP-NET will ensure wider access to European eParticipation projects and permit more effective dialogue between eParticipation experts, researchers, practitioners, public administrations, civil society organisations and the interested public with the ultimate goal of facilitating knowledge transfer, encouraging further eParticipation trials and establishing European leadership in this field.
Hat-tip Chris Haller.
PEP-NET will be joining a crowded field. A quick scan back through past items I’ve flagged e-participation comes up with the following:
- DEMO-net, possibly the daddy of them all – it’s been around since as far back as 2006, and has begun to spin of special interest groups (SIGs) and look forward to creating its own sustainable network of practitioners
- eParticipation and eDemocracy Network on e-Practice.eu – I thought I was already a member: I’ve joined now
- eParticipation Community Portal – Led by Thanassis Chrissafis (a big figure at the EC’s DG INFOSOC), mainly aimed at the research field. Currently 6 projects: Dalos Legese Lex-is LexiPation Seal TID+
- The Momentum Project which includes ICELE as “the main policy issues driver, plus the national initiatives master mind”. It’s a European SSA to “strengthen political, social, scientific, and technological excellence in eParticipation by integrating results and practices of relevant initiatives building upon the ICT research capacities of individuals and organisations”
- The modestly named e-Participation site which claims to hold a database of best practise in internet based participation projects in the United Kingdom and in Germany (Only. Why?).
There’s also a project called the European eParticipation portal which seems to be a Leeds ICS project to keep track of all these things. Its claimed aim is to “identify People with involvement or experience in eParticipation at the European level. eParticipation initiatives, projects, events, etc., especially at the European level, that can be considered good practice, or from which lessons can be learned”.
Update 1: DO Europe
I remembered today about another network for e-participation practitioners. It’s part of the Democracy Online network and still being put together:
European Democracy Online Exchange is an Online Group for people who run or who want to run citizen focused, popular democracy websites anywhere in Europe. It is not a research list, although a lot of knowledge about what makes sites succeed and fail will be swapped. It is open both to individuals working in grassroots organisations, and within governments. The only common bond is a desire to use the Internet to make democracies in Europe work better, and to improve the health of civil society. It was founded at the BerlinInAugust unconference in August 2007. Co-hosts from each European country are invited to volunteer and join lead host Tom Steinberg (mySociety.org, UK) to encourage the exchange. Join now, opening for posting soon.
Find out more here.
I suppose the difference is that PEP_NET is an institutional network whereas DO Europe and epractise.eu are for individuals.
Update 2: PEP-NET Workshop notes now posted
Notes from the kick-off workshop last week have now been posted which deal with some of my questions, including the relationship with DEMO-net. More here