Abstracts: April 19th, 2005

This survey of local authorities, undertaken by the MORI Social Research Institute on behalf of the Local e-Democracy National Project, revealed that 71% of councils feel that young people are a priority for engagement through e-democracy. The survey is complemented by a literature review carried out by MORI Market Dynamics, which explores the extensive body of e-democracy knowledge now emerging in this country and abroad. The review shows that e-democracy is helping to reinvigorate public interest and engagement where local councils have piloted e-democracy tools. There are particular examples of work amongst young people and other ‘hard-to-reach’ groups.Further findings from the survey, which sampled 178 English local authorities, show that e-democracy is still a relatively new undertaking for many councils. Only one in five (19%) so far have a written e-democracy strategy in place, although a further third (36%) do have plans to draw up a strategy.

The most common e-democracy activities local authorities offer are online comments and complaints, and online surveys. The National Project is piloting communications such as online surgeries and e-petitioning, which modernize a traditional technique and could be an easy first step into e-democracy for many councils.”

The Survey is available at: http://www.e-democracy.gov.uk/documents/retrieve.asp?pk_document=259&pagepath=http://www.e-democracy.gov.uk/knowledgepool/