The WeGov project will develop a toolset that allows full advantage to be taken of a wide range of existing and well established social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, WordPress etc.) to engage citizens in two-way dialogues as part of governance and policymaking processes. A key feature of our approach is to allow policy makers to move away from the limitations inherent in the current practice of using bespoke and dedicated platforms (e.g. specific opinion soliciting websites hosted by government) and instead make full use of the high levels of participation and rich discussions that already take place in existing social networking communities.
In particular, engagement between policy makers and citizens will be mediated via tools that will:
- make it possible to detect, track and mine opinions and discussions on policy oriented topics.
- will allow discussions to be seeded and stimulated through injection of policy discussion points into relevant communities in a secure and managed way.
- will allow the origins and evolution of opinions to be tracked to provide auditable records of provenance, guard against misuse, and ensure trust and privacy for all involved.
Our target audience includes:
- MPs and IT staff from Parliaments,
- Citizens and other stakeholders, such as networks, regional bodies,
- International organizations,
- and the media.