E-Tunisia / e-consultations: overview

Continuation from the previous post - E-government for Tunisia (E-Tunisia) : Help to move forwards

We, the people, are the government

E-consultations constitute interactive “tell-us-what-you-think” on-line services where ordinary citizens, civic actors, experts, and politicians purposively assemble to provide input, deliberate, inform, and influence policy and decision making. E-consultation is complimentary to existing practices.

E-consultations are also more formal and structured than discussions in the informal virtual public sphere. They tend to have a set duration, agenda, employ the use of moderators, with topics for discussion pre-defined by the host.

There are five common types of e-consultations:
  1. question and answer discussion forums
  2. on-line polls
  3. e-petitions or on-line testimonies
  4. e-panels
  5. editorial consultations
Usual challenges:
  1. population coverage
  2. integrity
  3. visibility
  4. transparency and disclosure obligations are vital (with confidentiality only applying on matters of a personal nature)
  5. usual distrust towards new electronic applications
  6. balance of central and local power
Local challenges:
  1. 10 million people
  2. huge diversity in education and income
  3. political instability
  4. lack of a comprehensive Internet infrastructure
Local opportunities:
  1. the top African country in the UN e-government study 2010
  2. high level of the IT local resources

Solution architecture will be another post .


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