Measure to Improve: A Study of eParticipation in Frontrunner Dutch Municipalities

  • Anne Fleur van Veenstra
  • Marijn Janssen
  • Andreas Boon
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6847)


eParticipation is still in its early phases of development, in which government organizations undertake many experiments. There is no systematic overview of these experiments, which inhibits learning from each other. Measuring and benchmarking eParticipation provide the opportunity to inspire new developments by sharing best practices. This paper presents the development of a measurement instrument that is subsequently used to investigate eParticipation in frontrunner Dutch municipalities. This instrument combines factors related to the role of citizens, the type of media deployed, and the organization of the municipality. Using these factors to measure eParticipation in seventeen municipalities we found a large focus on traditional media forms usually supporting informative and consultative practices for policy development. This study, however, has been largely limited to measuring the type of ICT that is used to facilitate eParticipation. Therefore, we recommend extending it with measurements that give insight into the actual use, effectiveness, and the inclusion of citizens’ input in policy making.


eParticipation measurement benchmarking measurement instrument municipalities 


  1. 1.
    Macintosh, A.: E-democracy and e-participation research in Europe. In: Chen, H., Brandt, L., Gregg, V., Traunmuller, R., Dawes, S., Hovy, E., Macintsh, A., Larson, C.A. (eds.) Digital Government: E-government Research, Case Studies, and Implementation, pp. 85–102. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    European Commission: European e-Government 2005-2007: Taking stock of good practice and progress towards implementation of the i2010 eGovernment Action Plan. Research for the Directorate General for Information Society and Media (2007) Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Niemi, R., Weisberg, H.: Controversies in Voting Behavior. CQ Press, Washington, DC (2001)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fraser, M., Dutta, S.: Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom: How Online Social Networking Will Transform Your Life, Work and World. John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex (2008)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    McDermott, P.: Building open government. Government Information Quarterly 27, 401–413 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    International Center of Excellence for Local eDemocracy (ICELE): Transformational Democracy, 3rd edn. (2008) Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Macintosh, A.: eParticipation in policy-making: the research and the challenges. In: Cunningham, P., Cunningham, M. (eds.) Exploiting the Knowledge Economy: Issues, Applications and Case Studies, pp. 364–369. IOS Press, Amsterdam (2006)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Committee of Ministers: Recommendation CM/Rec(2009)1 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on electronic democracy (2009) (accessed March 14, 2011)
  9. 9.
    Albrecht, S., Kohlrausch, N., Kubicek, H., Lippa, B.: eParticipation – Electronic Participation of Citizens and the Business Community in eGovernment. Institut fur Informationsmanagement Bremen (2008) Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    UNPAN: UN e-government survey 2008: From e-government to connected governance. United Nations, New York (2008) Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    West, D.M.: E-Government and the Transformation of Service Delivery and Citizen Attitudes. Public Administration Review 64, 15–27 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    UNPAN: Benchmarking e-Government – A Global Perspective. United Nations, New York (2002) Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Capgemini: The User Challenge Benchmarking The Supply of Online Public Services, 7th measurement (2007) Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Accenture: Leadership in Customer Service: New Expectations, New Experiences (2005) Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Potnis, D.D.: Measuring e-Governance as an innovation in the public sector. Government Information Quarterly 27(1), 41–48 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Janssen, M.: Measuring and Benchmarking the Back-end of E-Government. In: Wimmer, M.A., Chappelet, J.-L., Janssen, M., Scholl, H.J. (eds.) EGOV 2010. LNCS, vol. 6228, pp. 156–167. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Magd, H., Curry, A.: Benchmarking: achieving best value in public-sector organizations. Benchmarking: An International Journ. 10, 261–286 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hoogwout, M.: Super Pilots, Subsidizing or Self-Organization: Stimulating E-Government Initiatives in Dutch Local Governments. In: Traunmüller, R. (ed.) EGOV 2003. LNCS, vol. 2739, pp. 85–90. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Grant, G., Chau, D.: Developing a Generic Framework for E-Government. Journal of Global Information Management 13(1), 1–30 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bannister, F.: The curse of the benchmark: an assessment of the validity and value of e-government comparisons. International Review of Administrative Sciences 73, 171–188 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Janssen, D., Rotthier, S., Snijkers, K.: If you measure it, they will score: an assessment of international eGovernment benchmarking. Information Polity 9, 121–130 (2004)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Aichholzer, G., Kozeluh, U.: Evaluating e-Democracy. In: EuroSpace Group (ed.) E-Gov. 2.0: pave the way for e-Participation, pp. 50-55. EuroSpace Group, Rome (2009) Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Loukis, E., Xenakis, A.: Evaluating Parliamentary e-Participation. Paper presented at the Third International Conference on Digital Information Management, London, November 13-16, pp. 806–812 (2008)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ferguson, R., Griffiths, B., Miller, L.: Digital Dialogues, Second Phase Report, August 2006 – August 2007: An independent investigation into the use of online technologies to promote dialogue between central government and the public. Hansard Society (2006) Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Islam, M.: Towards a sustainable e-Participation implementation model. European Journal of ePractice 5 (2008) Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Li, C., Bernoff, J.: Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Forrester Research Inc., Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston (2008)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kafentzis, K., Goulandris, V., Alexopoulos, P.: E-dialogos: an holistic approach for enhancing e-Participation in local government. In: EuroSpace Group (ed.) E-Gov. 2.0: pave the way for e-Participation, pp. 162–171. EuroSpace Group, Rome (2009)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Rentinck, L., Otto, W., Langenhoff, J., Sieverts, E.: E-overheid lijkt consistent, maar vergeet vaak de klant. Informatie Professional 11, 12–27 (2007)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Tambouris, E., Liotas, N., Tarabanis, K.: A Framework for Assessing eParticipation Projects and Tools. In: Proceedings of the 40th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Waikoloa, Big Island, Hawaii (January 3-6, 2007)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Bannister, F.: ICT Hyperbole and the Red Queen Syndrome. In: EuroSpace Group (ed.) E-Gov. 2.0: pave the way for e-Participation, pp. 115–125. EuroSpace Group, Rome (2009)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Parycek, P., Rupp, C.: E-democracy: ICT and policies for participation, e-Democracy in Austria. In: EuroSpace Group (ed.) E-Gov. 2.0: pave the way for e-Participation, pp. 56–62. EuroSpace Group, Rome (2009)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Central Office of Information: Effective public engagement: A guide for policy-makers and communication professionals (2009) (accessed March 14, 2011)
  33. 33.
    de Bruijn, J.A., ten Heuvelhof, E.F., in ’t Veld, R.J.: Procesmanagement. Over procesontwerp en besluitvorming. Academic service, Schoonhoven (1998)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Fleur van Veenstra
    • 1
  • Marijn Janssen
    • 1
  • Andreas Boon
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Technology, Policy and ManagementDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Deloitte Consulting B.V.AmstelveenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations