Saturday, April 7, 2007

Open Source Tools

Gov2U is a Greek NGO that has been working to promote the use of technology in citizen-government decisionmaking.

According to their website at , "Gov2U was conceived and founded in 2005 as a non-profit, non-governmental organization by a group of visionary professionals from the fields of Legislative Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and community activism aiming to develop tools that facilitate the everyday work of elected officials and that offer citizens a greater stake in political discourse by enabling them to contribute their ideas, suggestions, and opinions."

In an October 2006 email from Project Manager Evika Karamagioli, she writes: "Our principal achievement to date has been the development of Gov2DemOSS ( ), an open source, generic, informative and collaborative e-participation platform. Gov2DemOSS provides an efficient channel for institutions and organizations to keep their communities informed, manage their information repositories, interact directly with their constituents and to gauge public opinion. The open source nature of the software means that it is provided free of charge to interested parties, with Gov2u services covering the planning process, customization and deployment of the software, training of site administrators and users, support and maintenance.

"Though initially the platform was envisioned as primarily a tool for various levels of government, we are increasingly attracting interest from a wider range of stakeholders including community groups, civil society organizations and even corporations who are seeking an efficient medium for interacting with their membership base. Currently the platform is being implemented in the US and in Spain.

"Furthermore, we participate as a partner, in the EU co-funded "Virtual Desktop for the Mobile Elected Official - e-Representative project" FP6 -2004-26985 ( Gov2U is a member of the implementing consortium in partnership with: Napier University International Teledemocracy Center , Hewlett Packard Nederland B.V. , Scytl Secure Electronic Voting S.A., Dutch Parliament , Lithuanian Parliament, Catalonian Parliament, Hungarian National Assembly, and Westmeath City Council (Ireland). The project is investigating the potential impact of a "virtual elected representative's desktop" to support the work of elected officials at the national, regional and local level by making legislative services more effective and more tailored to meet their individual requirements."
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