e-democracy in focus in Norway
At a conference arranged by the Norwegian department for local governments in Sandnes in May, Andreas Cederbom, Head of Analysis at Funka was invited. The presentation covered our study on digital tools for citizen participation in the local democratic process.
Even though there are several tools on the market, the use of them has so far been quite limited in Norway. Most local governments have experimented with surveys and social media. The interest for this kind of tools is increasing, and at this event many local representatives from all over the country were engaged in the discussions about possible ways forward.
e-democracy is really just taking off, there are both possibilities and challenges, not least when it comes to acessibility and including everyone in the democratic process, says Andreas Cederbom, Head of Analysis at Funka.
In the first part of this assignment, Funka has mapped how digital tools are used in local governments and created a knowledge base covering the different types of tools used to involve and engage citizens. In the next part of the assignment, which we hope to be able to start right after the summer, we are going to test some of the tools in real implementations in local governments in Norway.
Even if usage is still rather limited, we do see an increasing interest. Funka is performing several studies, assignments and projects arounf e-democracy. One example is a newly started research project with funding from the Norwegian Directorate for children and families where we are testing the accessibility of the tools. Accessibility is of course a key factor to succeed in creating real democracy.