of users. The collaborative production processes for Wikipedia and Linux were
based on already-existing content, when it became crucial to initiate a
collaborative momentum within these projects. A critical mass of participants
is needed to run collaborative processes and to create a momentum within the
of the main obstacles is that government officials work in hierarchical
structures, and have to adapt their working guidelines to network structures
within these communities. But all users of a collaborative production system
must be empowered equally if they collaborate to any substantial extent. This
is valid for official agents and private-sector or business collaborators.
production must be taken seriously by high-level officials and spokespersons.
Even if collaboration platforms are not successful in their early days, a long-term
perspective must be utilized.
outlined above, the progressive enablement of citizens and social innovation is
based on the availability of authorized, broad-ranging information.
Transparency and participation are motivating factors that could lead to a
re-democratization of our society. But to make this happen, and to make use of
the knowledge of citizens, governments need to implement open government and
open data principles in order to adapt to changing values of governance, and to
include society-held knowledge in policy-making and administrative processes.
Creating awareness of open government, open data and collaborative governance
ideas and initiatives is an important part of this course change. Two priorities
are necessary for every initiative.
first is empower citizens by offering them the capability to develop attitudes based
on true and comprehensive information. This aim will need a fundamental transformation
in roles, and a new way of thinking on the part of representatives and leaders
within Central and Eastern European governmental structures. For instance, people
should not need to dispute why they merit access to information. Given the
existing political, economic and security crisis, governments are struggle
against their diminishing control capability over the administration. This is particularly
true in CEE countries, due to the old government and administrative mentality inherited
from the former communist systems.
priority. However, transparency is necessary when talk about the use of social
media in a governmental framework. It remains questionable whether states in CEE
will accept this transformation with full implications.
online public services alone do not lead to e-Democracy, states have to make
sure to incorporate citizens’ knowledge and expertise by promoting a culture of
collaborative process, even in traditionally hierarchical institutions. The
potential of the informed citizens lies in what they know, what they produce,
how they select solutions, and how they employ their resources. A flat
governance model is likely to give more confidence to user contributions, while
open policy models offer more opportunities for innovation. For now, neither Central
nor the Eastern European states have a flat governance structure that would
facilitate stronger contributions by their citizens.
terms of reaching the goal of enabling citizens through information and
collaboration, legislative amendments and policies are necessary. The state has
to do more than just to provide a basic set of information, data and
applications. Additionally, society should define limits and enhance the ethics
discourse in the context of open government and open data flow. A culture of
open information as the basis for collaboration and participative
decision-making could then transform our current political and administrative
system and fight political disenchantment’s root cause: a lack of real
participation opportunities in today’s non-transparent system.