Peristeras, Mentzas, Abecker, & Tarabanis (2009) have defined e-participation and e-governance, as the use of ICT in the interface of society-governance. Therefore, e-participation involves interaction between the government and society through ICT. Ahmed (2006) has argued that e-participation is only possible and important, if the government implements it with the goal of ensuring social inclusion in society, also referred to as e-inclusion. Nonetheless, the major challenge in e-participation is ensuring that e-inclusion promotes the full participation of individuals in different arenas in society, including cultural, social, and political arenas (Ahmed 2006). However, it is possible for a community to achieve inclusion without ICT, as it is also possible for a community to fail to achieve inclusion with the use of ICT, if there is failure of committing to the objectives of e-participation (Ahmed 2006). Nonetheless, there are various models of e-participation, which might be adopted by different governments. All the models aim at inclusion and citizen engagement, which is core to e-participation.
According to Ahmed (2006), the different models of e-participation are grouped under three major categories, which include: (i) information; (ii) consultation; and (iii) active participation. However, involving the public, collaboration, and empowerment, are other categories that e-participation models might be grouped. Similarly, Reddick (2011) has identified managerial, consultation, and participatory models, as the major models of e-participation. In all the identified models, it is clear that, there must be flow of information from the government to the citizens, feedback from people to the government, and citizen engagement. Nonetheless, according to Axelsson, Melin, & Lindgren (2010), whichever way a country decides to implement e-participation, the main focus of this should be the citizens, and the main aim should be to ensure maximum citizen participation in the governance process.
Axelsson, K., Melin, U., & Lindgren, I 2010, “Exploring the Importance of Citizen Participation
and Involvement in E-government Projects,” Transforming E-government and
E-participation, 4(4): 299-321.
Ahmed, N 2006, “An Overview of E-participation Models,” London, United Nations,
Peristeras, V., Mentzas, G., Abecker, A. & Tarabanis, K 2009, “Transforming E-government and
E-participation through IT,” IEE Computer Society.
Reddick, C 2011, Citizen interaction and e-government: Evidence for the managerial,
consultative, and participatory models,” Transforming Government; People Process and Policy, 5 (2): 167-184.
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