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Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS)

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WeGovNow!

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WeGovNow! is a three years (2016-2019) project funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme (H2020-EURO-6-2015a). The project is coordinated by Empirica; it consists of 12 partners of which three are local authorities (Southwark, Turin, and San Dona di Piave) to represent the three evaluation trial sites for the proposed technological innovations.

The project involves a set of innovative technologies which we integrate within a unified citizen engagement platform (i.e. WeGovNow! platform), as a solution to overcome limitations of existing digital tools in the context of citizen reporting, e-participation, and citizen-government communication. In doing so, WeGovNow! enables a new type of interactivity, enhancing and expanding the viability of and capacity for citizen co-production in the public sector, not only in a traditional citizen-to-government dynamic, but also in an arrangement where the government informs, assists, and enables private actions, or where citizens assist one another, with IT replacing the dependency on administrations as a vehicle for collective action.

The involvement of ExCiteS in WeGovNow! focuses on technological, user as well as spatial data aspects. First, ExCiteS will provide its expertise to support the technological integration of the various systems and will contribute in the creation of the WeGovNow! platform with its Community Maps and GeoKey systems. These are already used for supporting local authorities and citizens in decision-making processes in various contexts. Second, ExCiteS will work closely with our social enterprise Mapping for Change, also a partner in this project, to engage local authorities in a structured but also iterative process of user requirements elicitation. Finally, ExCiteS will assist with the usability evaluation and user testing of the whole platform as well as of specific components. The philosophy of User-Centred Design (UCD) is not only central to WeGovNow!, it is also pivotal to the ethos and practices of ExCiteS which drivea this process. Finally the ExCiteS group has an extensive experience in the development and use of geospatial tools and data issues and it will further support WeGovNow! in spatial data quality and data integration assessments, with a particular focus on addressing metadata and data reuse issues.