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English
Discussion
Intermediate
e-Participation and Freedom of Information projects in Africa, Latin America and Europe.

Short thesis

Perspectives on digital participation in Africa, Latin America and Europe.

Democracy will be revolutionized. Still to many citizens remain inactive when it comes to political engagement. Their silence is a threat for democracies. Luckily, there are web tools around the world that putting the promise of more direct participation into action. How do participation platforms have to be designed to foster inclusive democratic participation? What challenges need to be undertaken to foster active e-citizenship. What are the prerequisites for an effective and active e-participation? What can Freedom of Information projects learn from each other in making political information accessible to citizens?

Description

Many citizens remain inactive when it comes to political engagement. Their silence is a threat for democracies In times where too many citizens are excluded from political decision making we have to find ways how to better include the silent masses. Digital platforms can be provide tools for participation, however, if not designed carefully they might end up damaging democracy even further. From the Nordics to Latin America, Thomas Wagenknecht from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology analyzed inspiring websites and apps and will present the findings of his research.

In addition, the second half of the discussion will focus on freedom of information platforms as one example of citizen/government interaction. The newly launched Sobanukirwa.rw is the first freedom of information project in Rwanda and one of the first in Africa. “Frag den Staat” has been in existence for some years now and has established itself as the portal to government information.

What challenges need to be undertaken to foster active e-citizenship. What are the prerequisites for an effective and active e-participation?What can Freedom of Information projects  learn from each other in making government information accessible to citizens and how can development organizations facilitate governments opening up to become more transparent and accessible? These questions will be debated by  Claude Migisha (Sobanukirwa.rw) and Stefan Wehrmeyer (FragdenStaat.de) and Thomas Wagenknecht.

The discussion is hosted and facilitated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The session will be opened by State Secretary Mr. Silberhorn.