A New Model for Transparency and e-Participation: Who Transforms What Policy into Whose Practice?

A New Model for Transparency and e-Participation: Who Transforms What Policy into Whose Practice?

Ronit Purian (Tel-Aviv University, Israel), Niv Ahituv (Tel-Aviv University, Israel) and Phillip Ein-Dor (Tel-Aviv University, Israel)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-839-2.ch011
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The knowledge hierarchy, which is widely used in Information Systems (IS) research, may provide the desired user-view framework. The knowledge hierarchy can support the selection of targeted stakeholders in accordance with their skills and abilities. This can be done by matching each type of e-participatory activity to the appropriate level in the knowledge hierarchy. For example: matching processed inputs on a conceptual level, termed knowledge, with the wide community; matching specific information with engaged citizens that possess local knowledge in their areas of interest; and matching data with semi-professional local representatives that produce value out of data much as experts do. This model should help understand conflicts such as the ban of mosque minarets in a country with Muslim minority, or the often heard accusation of “too much democracy,” the disfavor of open debates and other expressions of imbalance in the new era of e-participation. Governments and communities may benefit from the proposed user-view framework while designing and implementing new e-participation initiatives.
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ICT are powerful tools, which need to be managed and used properly in order to alter “the principal agent-client relationship in the public sector-citizen interface, most notably through e-governance” (Rumel 2004, p.247-373). To this end, ICT enables and supports three main concepts: “Accountability, meaning that it is possible to identify and hold public officials to account for their actions; Transparency, meaning that reliable, relevant and timely information about the activities of government is available to the public; Openness, meaning governments that listen to citizens and businesses, and take their suggestions into account when designing and implementing public policies” (Kondo 2001, p.7).

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