Workshop G

Government and Citizen Engagement

  • Scott Anderson, Human Services Portfolio Communication Division, Australia
  • Nikolaj Gandrup Borchorst, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Susanne Bødker, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Nathalie Colineau, CSIRO, Australia
  • Amanda Dennett, Human Services Portfolio Communication Division, Australia
  • Matthias Korn, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Cécile Paris, CSIRO, Australia


The trend towards more user contributions on the web and an increased  interest in e.g. social media technology, from both governments and  citizens, leads to new potentials and challenges in designing for  citizen-government interactions.

In the workshop we will look at both of these sides: citizen  empowerment as well as governments as collaborators in these  interactions. Of course, these ideas are not new. However, while the  Internet has often been praised as a means to empower citizens in  democracies, research has shown that merely increasing the available  amount of information about public policy does not lead to increased  democratic engagement.

For several years now, governments have recognized the potential of the  Web 2.0 to bring  citizens and their governments closer together.  Indeed, the social web holds the potential of supporting a better  two-way communication where citizens are engaged through public  consultations, contributing to the design of government policies. The  question is what role governments have to play in this development. How  do we best support the notion of government as a collaborator that is  more accountable, responsive and transparent?

In the workshop we wish to address challenges such as how to render  information more usable by citizens, how to strengthen citizen  influence through citizen-citizen collaboration, how to bridge the gap  between citizen deliberation and concrete citizen influence on  democratic issues,  and how to promote a better two-way communication  between government and citizens, building citizen communities that are  facilitated by government to discuss and improve government services.

Participants are encouraged to present and demonstrate concrete  examples of citizen-government interaction design cases during the  workshop. We will also have interactive discussions to identify the  predominant challenges and opportunities in this area. It is our goal  that the workshop will lead to new insights on a conceptual level, as  well as new ideas for future research and design efforts regarding  citizen empowerment and governments as collaborators in  citizen-government interactions.

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Important Dates

  • Submission of position and experience papers April 1, 2011
  • Notifications of acceptance April 30, 2011
  • Final papers due May 27, 2011
  • Workshop in Brisbane, Australia June 30, 2011

Topics of Interest

  • Data Sharing between Government and Citizens
  • Citizen Influence on Policy-Making Processes
  • Citizen-Citizen and Citizen-Government Collaboration and Community Support through Web 2.0 Tools
  • Boundary Objects in Citizen-Government Collaboration
  • Situating Citizen Deliberation
  • Introduction of Social Media into Government Agencies
  • Grassroots Approaches and Activism
  • Inclusion and Accessibility
  • Designing for Local Conditions
  • Privacy, Anonymity and Public Opinions

Author Guidelines and Submission

Workshop contributions are expected in the form of papers addressing previous experiences and, for example, case studies (6-8 pages), or position papers on the opportunities and challenges ahead (3-4 pages). Contributions should be formatted according to the ECSCW/Springer template (get Word, PDF, and LaTeX templates from the website). Submissions must not be anonymous and will be reviewed by the organizers.

All submissions will be handled via eMail. The documents should be  submitted in PDF format to If your submission  contains additional material (such as a video), then everything should  be packed in one ZIP file. If you have any questions, please email the  workshop’s organizers.

The workshop proceedings will be published in the International Reports on Socio-Informatics (IRSI) (ISSN 1861-4280) after the workshop (post-proceedings). A draft version will be made available to the participants prior to the workshop. Depending on the quality of submissions, we may propose to edit a Special Issue for a journal as a follow-up event.


This full-day workshop aims to bring together passionate researchers  and practitioners in a shared forum to debate important issues emerging  in this rapidly evolving field. Participants are required to submit  position papers, or concrete design cases. Participants will be asked  to actively prepare and participate in the workshop. Apart from  academia, we highly encourage contributions from a wide audience, e.g.  social media design professionals and government.


Scott Anderson is acting Portfolio Manager of the Media & Network Communication Branch in the Human Services Portfolio, which includes Medicare Australia, Centrelink and the Child Support Agency. The branch is responsible for media and event management, disaster recovery communication and digital media production.

Nikolaj Gandrup Borchorst is a Ph.D. Fellow with the eGov+ project in the HCI Group at the Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University, Denmark. His thesis work regards citizen-government collaboration in the provision of public services.

Susanne Bødker, Ph.D. is a Professor at the Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University, Denmark. She has a background in participatory design, HCI theory and works with e-governance services from the perspective of citizens’ interactions with public information systems.

Nathalie Colineau is a Senior Researcher at the CSIRO – Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre, Sydney, Australia.  She has a background in Spoken Language, Discourse Analysis and Human-Computer Interaction. Her recent research interests focus on Online Communities and, more generally, Computer-Supported-Collaborative-Work (CSCW).

Amanda Dennett is a Senior Social Media Adviser, working in the Human Services Portfolio Communication Division. She has experience running online communities for social welfare recipients and using social networking sites to communicate important government information to citizens.

Matthias Korn is a Ph.D. Fellow in the HCI Group at the Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University, Denmark. He works on the boundary between citizen participation and mobile ubiquitous technology to study how location and context in general may support citizens in deliberation activities.

Cécile Paris is a Senior Principal Research Scientist and Science Leader at the CSIRO – Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre, Sydney, Australia. Her main research interests lie in the areas of Language Technology, User Modeling and Human-Computer Interaction. In recent years, her work has included summarisation, the exploration of Web 2.0 technologies, in particular online communities and social media.


  • Alice Baroni, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  • Christopher M. Mascaro, Sean P. Goggins, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Rosyidah Muhamad, Sosiology and Antropology Programme, LaTrobe University
  • Janet Toland, School of Information Management Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • Mohammad Ashraf Khan and Andy Dong, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Nathalie Colineau and Cécile Paris, CSIRO – ICT Centre AND Amanda Dennett, Media & Network Communication Branch, Human Services Portfolio Communication Division
  • Abhishek Shrivastava and Hal Plotkin,, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India