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EU: European Commission launches external survey to assess the e-Commission 2006-2010 Initiative

12. September 2010 – 00:59 by Madarász Csaba

from Epractice.Eu

As the e-Commission 2006-2010 initiative is now approaching its end, the Directorate General of Informatics (DIGIT) at the European Commission launched on 1 September 2010 an external survey to assess the progress achieved and to shape the new e-Commission 2011-2015.

The survey is open until 30 September 2010 and can be found and taken by all interested parties at the following link It is a completely anonymous survey and it takes a maximum of 10 minutes to complete.

The e-Commission 2006-2010 initiative aims to enable efficiency, effectiveness, better quality and more transparency for services to citizens, businesses and partner organisations as well as internal staff by making an optimal use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

At the same time 2010 is a transitional year, where the Digital Agenda for Europe invites the European Commission to “lead by example on open and transparent eGovernment by creating an ambitious e-Commission 2011-2015 action plan”.

Therefore, the respondents’ feedback will also show DIGIT and the Commission how to further improve their use of ICT and will shape the new e-Commission 2011-2015 initiative so to better serve the needs of European society.

Further Information:

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Government by collaboration – from GSA

4. May 2010 – 15:07 by Madarász Csaba

(via groupwire)

The Intergovernmental Solutions Newsletter on Government by Collaboration is now available from the GSA Office of Citizen Services and
Communications.  This edition presents the views of 22 trendsetting IT leaders of nations, states, federal agencies, and municipalities and
thought leaders who are working to ensure openness in Government.
Government by Collaboration is the third newsletter in a series highlighting each of the three areas in President Obama’s Open Government
Directive–transparency, citizen engagement and collaboration.

The many contributors include:

Dave McClure, Associate Administrator, GSA Office of Citizen Services and Communications
Dr, Mechthild Rohen, Head of ICT for Government and Public Services, European Commission
Bill Eggers and John O’Leary, Co-Authors, If We Can Put a Man On the Moon

Steve Ressler and Andrew Krzmarzick, GovLoop
Mary Davie, Assistant Commissioner, GSA Federal Acquisition Service
Tamara Erickson, Managing Director, nGenera Collaboration Services
Bev Godwin, Director of New Media and Citizen Engagement, GSA Office of Citizen Services and Communications
Bill Greeves and Pam Broviak, Co-founders, Munigov2.0
Ken Theis, CIO, State of Michigan
John Kamensky, Senior Fellow, IBM Center for the Business of Government

download the document in pdf

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Changing Bulgarian emigrants health insurance through sms – the story of a change

23. April 2010 – 11:57 by Madarász Csaba

We have not heard too much about Bulgarian e-participation cases. Not a surprise if we now understand a bit better the CEE eparticipation current state. However the case below has happened a couple of years ago, it does help to get a small imprint about how to achieve change through electronic means- particularly, if you are a Bulgarian citizen living abroad.

Starting from February 2005 Bulgarian nationals living abroad,  protested with an online petition against “the health insurance taxes
blackmail”. 10000 signatures from people living in 96 countries were collected, asking for a change the Bulgarian health insurance law. The
law disregards the fact that Bulgarian emigrants have regularly paid their health insurance contributions in their respective countries of
residence and forces them to pay this contribution in Bulgaria too.

This continued for almost 2 years before the law was changed. In January 2007 Bulgarian emigrants organized the first Bulgarian rally
in Brussels in front of the offices of the bulgarian diplomatic mission. More than 50 people came from 6 European countries to protest
against the discriminative law.

The opposition party Union of Democratic Forces finally introduced the corresponding law bill, which was rejected by the ruling Socialist
party. On 29 February 2008 MP from the ruling party received thousands of SMS from all around with the same text: Please, do not block the
bill exempting emigrants from health insurance contribution.

Messages blocked their mobile phones and the scandal became a headline news in Bulgaria.

On 27.03.2008 the Parliament amended the bill and emigrants claimed victory. Unfortunately this bill covers the period till the end of
2007 only. Starting from 2008 bulgarian emigrants have to pay again health insurance contribution, but only if they live outside the
European union.

The online petition:
In the news:

(thanks to Boyan Yurukov)

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European Citizens Initiative – a new (e?)-gate to the Comission?

20. April 2010 – 15:06 by Madarász Csaba

The European Citizens Intiatiave is on the right track after the Lisbon Treaty to open new gates to the European Commission.

European Citizens Initiative

European Citizens Initiative

1 million signature – not so much, if we think about the population of Europe.

The ECI is giving a sharp outlook on their website  about the passed public consultation and Commission’s points.

If you have not heard about the ECI -documents below helps to formulate opinion and getting know the project better visit their website or start browsing the core documents here:

ECI Summary from the Commission

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Learn and share at this years eCampaigning Forum

20. January 2010 – 23:15 by Madarász Csaba

eCampaigning is a mass success, wherever we get a glimpse about it’s achievements – used in the for-profit, non-profit and governmental sectors. The need to communicate better, more efficiently cases, raise money, call to action, advocate on issues and to move people for support is now a fundamental issue of our society.

The eCampaigning Forum – run by Fairsay,-  is an annual event, placed in Oxford in collaborative (e/non-e participative) spirit and methodologies.
A good starting point is the event website’s wiki section and the materials can be grabbed from the site.
The event is from 23-24 March, in St. Anne’s College, Oxford, UK.

For non-profits: why to adapt online communication best practices, a good article from Allyson Kapin explains the basic facts.

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Tenders Electronic Daily – with citizen robots: TedBot

27. October 2009 – 09:54 by Madarász Csaba

I am always loving  the opportunity, to give news of good, impressive, useful services, tools, that are coming from the citizens and their groups, empowered by technology and courage.

Most of us have heard about the Tenders Electronic Daily service of the European Union, which is a compelx service dedicated to European public procurement.

The TedBot is an innovative approach, to visualize the tenders and their results on a google map. In this form, it is a great example of how to use knowledge and personal interest to create an advanced service.

Hopefully, it will catch the eye of the European Comission, and will extend the TED with TedBot, showing a some megabites of wise leadership towards citizen initiatives.

But let’s do listen to the creator:

the TedBot

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Malmo09: the popular conference

15. October 2009 – 16:12 by Madarász Csaba

Most of us has heard about the 5th Ministerial Conference and pre-conference taking place in Malmö late November. However the top politicians are forming the agenda of e-government development, the sound of experts and citizens could be also heard in the same city – and of course over the waves of the net.
Beside the fact, that the Open Declaration on Public Services will be presented on the Ministerial conference, another conference , the “popular Malmo09 event aims to offer a memorable creative statement of what Europeans really want from e-enabled government.”

Taking place at the beautiful location of the Garaget, organizers are offering a wide space for engagement and opinion forming and an artistic presence. In their own words:

Anyone interested is welcome to apply to speak, participate contribute ideas or help in any other way. It is particularly aimed at European digital-rights organisations, consumer advocates, and those with a political, academic, artistic or design interest in e-government. No presentation will last longer than eight minutes. Music, pictures and video content is welcome. The event will close with awards for the “pertinent art” which best expresses popular feeling about e-government, and for the best independently coded or mashed-up projects based on public data or public services.

Please spread the call for artwork you can download it here:

The conference is supported by

and ctrl+shift

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Call for drafting – the open declaration on public services 2.0

7. September 2009 – 12:28 by Madarász Csaba

Do you believe in the power of participation?
Well, if yes, than you should make your professional voice heard, and give the needed phrases, paragraphs to the buttom-up initiative, which is targeting the EU’s long waited public service reform, called the open declaration on public services 2.0, run by a group of people, ran together at the  Public Services 2.0 workshop in Brussels.

We don’t know, what is going behind the curtains, but hopefully, this declaration will be presented in Malmö, at the pre-conference (eGovernment Research and innovation – empowering citizens & government service aross sectors and borders) for the 5th Ministerial eGovernment Conference.

Turn the pages and move on to submit your ideas to make our public services better armed with 2.0!

photo credit: extranoise – hands on moving stairs

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OECD on Public engagement practices – new publication

6. July 2009 – 12:37 by Madarász Csaba

Complex policy issues cannot be solved by government alone. People have a major role to play in ensuring high-quality public services economically and achieving shared public policy goals.
How are OECD governments putting the principles of open and inclusive policy making into practice?  How can they ensure broader, more inclusive, participation?

This book provides answers to these questions, and more, based on a survey of governments in 25 countries, 14 in-depth country case studies and 18 opinion pieces from leading civil society and government practitioners. It includes 10 guiding principles to support open and inclusive policy making and service delivery in practice.”,3343,en_2649_33735_42216857_1_1_1_1,00.html

Citizen Engagement

ISBN Number:
Publication Date:
8 June 2009
Pages: 200

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Participation Camp: CHANGE THE RULES!

23. June 2009 – 06:48 by Madarász Csaba

Democracy is the game where we can change the rules together! How do we make this game more serious, more fair and more fun? Please let us know if you are interested in convening a virtual session at this event on a topic of your choice, or collaborating with us in some way!

Participation Camp, Change the Rules, in New York on June 27,28th, will provide the spark for an explosion of sharing, experimentation and collaboration around this question. Participants may attend a wide range of physical and virtual presentations (or deliver one themselves), compete in a conference wide web participation game called Nomic (, or roll up their sleeves in a hands on workshop. For preliminary details see:

If you might be interested in collaborating with us, please check out our wiki at:

What Makes “Change The Rules” Different?

Virtual/Physical Hybrid Structure: One particular feature of this event is that we will be bridging the physical and virtual worlds. We will be opening up virtual spaces in advance of the actual session so as to engage virtual participants in the project. We will also have a room where virtual presenters can connect with those at the conference.

Open Space/Defined Hybrid Structure: We will be using Open Space principles for the creation of some of the sessions, but will also be seeking out the involvement of those that would like to actively engage participants on a specific topic. If there is an issue or a question that you would like to discuss at this event, please let us know!

Play Game: We will be playing the game, Nomic ( This is a game that is designed to teach participants, by virtue of their experience, some of the interesting features of governance, democracy, rule making, rule following, collaboration etc.

Pre-Session Dialogue: We have opened a SkypeChat space that enable those that are interested in the PCamp theme(s) to connect with each other, exchange ideas, plan potential sessions etc. (already opened)

Sustain Dialogue: Due to the fact that virtual environments are accessible from anywhere, it becomes possible for participants to continue their conversations with others after the conclusion of the session. This makes it possible for them to continue to explore the ideas and projects that they are interested in, as well as to cultivate the relationships with those that they have connected with. We hate the fact that what happens when events end is that there is little or no follow up!


Here are a few questions that we have been thinking about. Are there any such questions that are of interest to you, and around which you might be interested in organizing a virtual session?

What, generally speaking, is the role that technology can play in fostering citizen engagement?

What are the best tools for creating the right frameworks for fostering citizen engagement?
What are the particular challenges of using open, collaborative, platforms?

What sorts of business models are consistent with ‘open collaboration’? How can organizations that subscribe to these principles also generate revenue?
How do we utilize technology to mobilize the youth vote?


On June 20th, we created a chat space/conversation in Skype to which we invited all those that had expressed interested in participating in an open dialogue on issues relating to open governance. This chat space allow you the opportunity to:

* Introduce yourself and your project to others that are like minded
* Connect with others that might be interested in your project or might have interesting project ideas.
* Learn, via participation, about how open, collaborative, patterns of interaction work
* Learn, via participation, how groups self organize