WeGovNow WebPage is live – Towards #WeGovernment

The WeGovNow Towards #WeGovernment: Collective and participative approaches for addressing local policy challenges
Establishing citizens as partners in the delivery of public services. A new type of citizen engagement platform, expanding the viability of and capacity for citizen coproduction in the public sector.

WeGovNow and its 12 partner organisations are building upon earlier research and development by further developing existing solutions and integrating them within a single community engagement platform. This platform will allow people to report problems and suggest improvements, to discuss their relevance, explore ways to fix problems through collective action, find solutions to compensate for resource shortages affecting the quality of publicly provided services, debate topics of strategic nature, and develop and vote upon concrete suggestions for local policy action.

The WeGovNow platform shall:

  • Display all user activities and issues on a user-friendly, OpenStreetMap (OSM) based map interface in ways which boost awareness community interest issues according to user preferences and location in time and space
  • Allow users to interact with each other using social network features
  • Enable the integration and presentation of any relevant open public sector information (PSI) in ways which help raise awareness and trigger discussion about how to address issues of community interest
  • Quality-check the data submitted to the platform as well as the related data on the underlying base map (OpenStreetMap)
  • Effectively support collective formation of opinions
  • Automatically match users and their concrete requests and offers (e.g. concerning participation in collective action and peer-to-peer exchange of neighbourhood support), according to user interests, their time-space preferences and the characteristics of their requests and offers

Underlying this platform is the use of VGI and PSI datasets and the accommodation of different user perspectives and experience. Therefore, it is important to address aspects such as the quality of the data used and the best methods for conveying this quality information to the different end users.

At GIScience in Heidelberg, the focus of the research will be on:

  • Methods for deriving quality metrics for VGI and PSI data to enable the determination of fitness-for-use
  • Identify and implement suitable methods for portraying data quality information to different types of users
  • Derive techniques for importing PSI data into the WeGovNow platform (and OSM where applicable) including the georeferencing of data lacking geographic coordinates.