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Evaluation of Eparticipation Service´s Availability on Czech Municipal Websites
Rapid expansion of eParticipation as a tool of engagement and strengthened cooperation between governments and citizens is a contemporary trend worldwide. The objective is to improve access to information and public services as well as to promote participation in policy-making by usage of Information and Communication Technologies. eParticipation is also considered as a necessary component or a prerequisite of eDemocracy. The paper is focused on the issue of eParticipation and its application on local level of government in the Czech Republic. The aim of the research is to evaluate the offer and availability of eParticipation services provided on the municipal websites by the municipalities with extended powers in Moravian-Silesian Region. The methodology and structure of the criteria for assessing the level of eParticipation services in the presented research was designed on the basis of the Digital Governance in Municipalities Worldwide methodology. The data were obtained from author`s own investigation on the municipal websites. The data analysis was supplemented by cluster analysis. On the basis of the results of cluster analyses, the municipalities were divided according to their success in the selected criteria. The results of the research point out the insufficient offer of eParticipation services on municipal websites and on the poor options of citizen´s eParticipation at the local level of government in the Moravian-Silesian Region. Similar results may be expected across the Czech Republic. The results of this research are particularly relevant to the municipal authorities of the selected region and local government to indicate the weaknesses of online opportunities for society. At present, the topic of participation at the local level is very important as it contributes to the implementation of the concept of Smart Cities. This research emphasizes that the offer and availability of eParticipation services for citizens needs to be expanded. It is very useful and comfortable to use current technological possibilities and offer participation services online.
eParticipation services, Moravian-Silesian Region, Municipalities wit Extended Power.
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