Activity 1: Crowdsourcing on ‘Air Quality’
CODE Europe is a project about empowering citizens to co-create policies with decision makers through Crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is a participatory democracy mechanism that takes advantage of the availability of technological solutions to solicit and analyse “the wisdom of the crowd”. We want to empower citizens by giving them the opportunity to learn from each other, collaborate and participate in the decision-making.
The CODE Europe project is piloting a Crowdsourcing activity in five European countries on the subject of air quality. We have chosen this specific topic because of its transnational nature and the problems associated with it, as it has been estimated to be responsible for more than 400.000 premature deaths each year.
The consortium has four technological partners (ManaBalss.lv, Citizens Foundation, OneSource, SciFY) who design and develop the relevant platforms which are being used for the implementation of the four crowdsourcing phases:
- Phase ‘Problem Mapping’ ran from January till March 2022. Citizens of the cities with crowdsourcing pilots were asked to identify the specific problems related to air quality that they encounter in their daily life.
- Phase ‘Problem Solving’ ran from April to July 2022. Citizens were asked to propose solutions to the air quality problems they had mapped in Phase 1.
- Phase ‘Ideas Selection’ runs from August till October 2022. Citizens are evaluating and selecting which of the solutions proposed in Phase 2 to support, in order to put them forward to policy makers on the EU, national and local level the most popular ideas and priorities.
- Phase ‘Policy Formulation’ will run in October-December 2022. Based on the previous phases, citizens will formulate policy proposals on ‘air quality’ with experts in the field and guided by the European Environmental Bureau.
The Crowdsourcing on air quality is running from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022 in 5 cities across Europe: Athens (Greece), Riga (Latvia), Tallinn (Estonia), Lisbon (Portugal), Burgas (Bulgaria) and Budapest (Hungary).
Activity 2: Digital Dashboard on ‘Air Quality’
CODE Europe includes the development and implementation of a Digital Dashboard for social listening in order to gather online opinions on the issue of ‘air quality’.
The project specifically focuses on ethical ‘social listening’ which benefits from the availability of big data while protecting individual privacy and safeguarding citizens against inappropriate access to and use of data. The consortium will test the social listening method to increase the reach to citizens’ opinions on ‘air quality’ beyond those already actively engaged in the Crowdsourcing activity.
The donor expertise partner from Iceland – Citizens Foundation, is developing the technological tool for social listening, the Digital Dashboard. The creation of the Digital Dashboard, to capture public online conversations on the topic of ‘air quality’, includes the following four steps:
- Collecting and scraping the data;
- Social listening mechanisms;
- Categorisation process;
- Creation of an automated system – the Digital Dashboard.
The combination of social listening and Crowdsourcing is intended to improve the understanding of stakeholders what the public at large thinks about ‘air quality’ and the possible solutions for policy-makers.
Activity 3: E-Participation Assessment Framework and Ethical Guidelines for Social Listening
CODE Europe’s ambition is to answer two major research questions: 1. How can we define the success of an e-participation project? and 2. How can we make sure we are doing online social listening in an ethical way?
- We are developing a universally applicable methodology for assessment of e-participation experiences. The E-Participation Assessment Framework allows objective comparison of the impact of e-participation projects across time and geographical space ensuring systematic and impactful knowledge-sharing, exchange of good practices and capacity building. The partners, led by e-Governance Academy, will implement a comparative analysis of cases on the basis of a jointly developed assessment framework with the goal of creating a final “check list” of success factors for e-participation initiatives. The Assessment Framework will be applied to the project’s Crowdsourcing pilots in order to collect feedback, validate and improve the methodology.
- We commit to carrying out the social listening of the project in compliance with strictly defined Ethical Guidelines. These Guidelines ensure that the project will perform social listening with integrity and a sense of responsibility when dealing with personal data, in line with the expectations of European citizens and current legislation.
Once ready, the E-Participation Assessment Framework and the Ethical Guidelines for Social Listening will be published here.
Activity 4: Events and Awareness Raising
CODE Europe is organising a variety of national, regional and pan-European events aimed at raising public awareness about the crowdsourcing activities and the resulting policy recommendations.
This major CODE Europe event will bring together project partners, experts, activists and policy-makers to look at the results of the crowdsourcing experiment so far; and plan for the follow-up actions and campaigning in 2023, when crowdsourced solutions will be...
This virtual visit to Iceland, the first big CODE Europe event, was all about sharing the experience of the country in participatory democracy and crowdsourcing; and learning from the Iceland Citizens Foundation, a nonprofit which helps governments connect...
On December 14, 2021 our partners in Portugal, OneSource, developers of one of the crowdsourcing platforms of the project, and organisers of the crowdsourcing pilot in Lisbon, organized the first large scale public face to face event of the CODE Europe project. The...
Activity 5: Policy Recommendations
CODE Europe is both a transnational experimentation of e-democracy platforms for the co-creation of policies and a research project on e-participation.
The results of the Crowdsourcing and social listening activities will be evaluated using the E-Participation Assessment Framework to give recommendations on how to improve digital democracy in Europe. Furthermore, citizens’ contributions on the air quality crowdsourcing will result in policy proposals which will be presented to the relevant local, national and EU decision makers.
The project will come up with:
- Recommendations to policy-makers for improving Air Quality in Europe;
- Recommendations on how e-participation mechanisms, specifically Crowdsourcing, can improve democratic societies.
The adopted policy recommendations will be published here.
Centre for Social Sciences
(Hungarian Academy of Sciences)