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Assessing e-Participation indices, A Call for More Valid Measurement


Hofmann, Gabriel; Serdült, Uwe; Benli, Marine Charlotte; Vayenas, Costa; Villeneuve, Jean-Patrick; Picco-Schwendener, Anna; Colosante, Leonardo (2023). Assessing e-Participation indices, A Call for More Valid Measurement. In: ICEGOV 2023: 16th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance, Belo Horizonte, Brasilien, 26 September 2023 - 29 September 2023, 270-277.

Abstract

Digital political participation is seen as an important milestone towards more equitable and sustainable development. It is connected to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 16 on Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, which is one of the three cross-cutting objectives. Thus, it is essential to establish a dependable and valid way to measure this global trend. We argue that current measures of digital political participation, such as the United Nations’ E-Participation Index (EPI) or the Balanced-EPI (BEPI), fail to capture the full extent of digital political participation. They are skewed toward e-services, which discounts digital political participation. Additionally, most indices are unable to track developments over time. To tackle these issues, this paper proposes the implementation of DigiPartIndex (DPI) at the national level. The initial focus is on democratic countries that exhibit high levels of digital political participation. The DPI is a composite index based on the subnational DPI used in Switzerland. Adjustments have been made to make the index relevant and robust for national-level analysis. The national DPI-score ranges from 0 to 100 points. We have identified significant differences among the countries studied. Moreover, the measures presently in place appear to capture a reduced variance of digital political participation in the scrutinized countries. Further scrutiny reveals that the existing indices capture only specific aspects of digital participation, i.e. opinion-formation and information gathering, while failing to account for the participatory aspects central to the concept.

Abstract

Digital political participation is seen as an important milestone towards more equitable and sustainable development. It is connected to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 16 on Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, which is one of the three cross-cutting objectives. Thus, it is essential to establish a dependable and valid way to measure this global trend. We argue that current measures of digital political participation, such as the United Nations’ E-Participation Index (EPI) or the Balanced-EPI (BEPI), fail to capture the full extent of digital political participation. They are skewed toward e-services, which discounts digital political participation. Additionally, most indices are unable to track developments over time. To tackle these issues, this paper proposes the implementation of DigiPartIndex (DPI) at the national level. The initial focus is on democratic countries that exhibit high levels of digital political participation. The DPI is a composite index based on the subnational DPI used in Switzerland. Adjustments have been made to make the index relevant and robust for national-level analysis. The national DPI-score ranges from 0 to 100 points. We have identified significant differences among the countries studied. Moreover, the measures presently in place appear to capture a reduced variance of digital political participation in the scrutinized countries. Further scrutiny reveals that the existing indices capture only specific aspects of digital participation, i.e. opinion-formation and information gathering, while failing to account for the participatory aspects central to the concept.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:02 Faculty of Law > Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau (C2D)
08 Research Priority Programs > Digital Society Initiative
Dewey Decimal Classification:340 Law
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Human-Computer Interaction
Physical Sciences > Computer Networks and Communications
Physical Sciences > Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
Physical Sciences > Software
Language:English
Event End Date:29 September 2023
Deposited On:01 Feb 2024 14:00
Last Modified:06 Feb 2024 12:30
ISBN:979-8-4007-0742-1/23/09
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3614321.3614358
Official URL:https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3614321.3614358
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)