ICA, International Council for Information Technology in Government Administration
Description of work
WeGov has a clear manageable work plan detailed in work packages (WP), which will run in parallel over the whole duration of the project and are structured as follows:

  • WORK PACKAGE 1: Information exchange with social network sites

  • The objective of WP1 is to develop extraction and injection tools for information and content exchange with a wide range of social network sites in a way that adheres to privacy and safeguarding measures. This WP will investigate the types of information that social networking sites contain, and build interfaces to allow automated access to this information. WP1 will develop mechanisms to write information directly into social network sites, for example to initiate new discussion groups, to start a new topic, and to connect between various relevant pieces of information and/or groups.

  • WORK PACKAGE 2: Analytics of online discussions

  • The objective of WP2 is to develop analytics tools so discussions on government policies can be understood by participants in online communities. In order to understand online discussion on social platforms it is necessary to provide information at a low –and high- level analysis. This WP is focused on building tools for the creation and analysis of topic-discussion-opinion graphs in four main areas:
    (a) Understanding the subject of discussions e.g. a topic of a discussion and opinions expressed by people and how they are related to it.
    (b) Understanding the people and groups involved in the debate through diagnostics that indicate discussion health e.g. number or people involved, any attempts to manipulate a discussion.
    (c) Understanding the direction and dynamics of the discussion and e.g. if the discussion is diverging, converging, going in circles, splintering, or influenced heavily by some individual.
    (d) Understanding the balance of the discussion, e.g. its range of opinions or its weighing of different points of view.

  • WORK PACKAGE 3: Communication models and tools

  • The objective of WP3 is to develop tools and processes for effective engagement of policy makers with citizens in online communities. In particular, its purpose is to stimulate a discussion about placing the best content and how people behave, to encourage debate, and to promote healthy discussion whilst isolating or marginalizing disruptive behaviours. This work package will focus on:
    (a) How to capture and automate the process of communication between policy makers and citizens in a structured way
    (b) How to model peoples’ behaviour in order to inform decision making on promoting healthy discussion and
    (c) How to best place content into social network sites in order to stimulate a discussion.

  • WORK PACKAGE 4: Opinion and Discussion Toolbox

  • The objective of this WP is to develop dashboards for live visualisation of discussions, using service-oriented models on cloud-infrastructures for scalability and performance. This WP includes how to access these tools in an integrated way using a ‘live view dashboard’ for policy makers, and how to organize and operate the toolbox as a service on cloud infrastructures in order to achieve the necessary scalability and performance for large scale discussions across multiple social network sites. This WP includes the systems integration activity of the project (interfaces, integration, testing and technical verification).

  • WORK PACKAGE 5: Scenarios, Testbeds and Evaluation

  • The objective of WP5 is to develop methodology, guidelines and best practice for use of WeGov techniques and tools when interacting with citizens on open social networking sites. WP5 will develop three complementary scenarios for use of the WeGov toolbox. It also includes investigation and analysis of the legal and ethical issues, first in the early stages of the project so it can inform the scenarios and then again in the later stages of the project in the context of evaluation using the testbeds. The experience of the testbeds, the results of the legal analysis, and the findings of the technical WPs will be aggregated in WP5 into a methodology that will be published for use of the toolbox.

  • WORK PACKAGE 6: Dissemination and Exploitation

  • Dissemination and exploitation will be a continuous and ongoing activity in the project using a wide range of mechanisms including project website, conferences and journal publications, market analysis and positioning study, development of an exploitation plan, and agreements on IP licensing. Specific actions will include the use of social networking sites as dissemination vehicles for the tools and methodology we want to promote, and dissemination of the legal investigations of the project as well as the technical achievements and best practice guidelines. Particular emphasis will be given in the exploitation plan to come up with a sustainable model of maintaining the implemented toolbox as a service after the lifetime of the project.

  • WORK PACKAGE 7: Management

  • The project will be organized into a simple management structure, in which all significant operational project decisions are made at the level of a General Assembly (GA), containing representatives of each partner on an equal basis. The project manager will chair the GA, and will be the principal route for information exchange with the EC Project Officer. Technical management of the project, including monitoring of progress and risk management, will be the responsibility of the Technical Steering Board (TSB), chaired by a Technical Manager. All Work Package Leaders will be represented on the TSB. Specific responsibilities, such as dissemination and exploitation will be allocated to appropriate individuals by the GA.