As part of the European Network of Excellence Demo-net, the ITA conducted research on the topic of e-participation

In DEMO-net, practitioners and leading European research groups from various disciplines collaborated over more than three years to advance research, development and application in the field of electronic participation.

The ITA’s main contributions were the development of an evaluation framework and an online-training course, as well as advising the Council of Europe on its recommendation on e-democracy. During a “DemoLAB”, an event organised by the Austrian Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (BMUKK), we discussed themes for a democratic future together with high-school students.

e-Participation for more political involvement

DEMO_net, an EU-funded network of excellence (6th Framework Programme) brought together leading researchers and practitioners from 20 European institutions. The goal was to integrate and advance the fragmented research in the strategic field of e-participation and to support its practical application.

The basis was a common definition of e-participation: “E-participation describes efforts to broaden and deepen political participation by enabling citizens to connect with one another and with their elected representatives and governments using information and communication technologies (ICTs)”.

The ITA’s main contributions include the following results:

  • the first systematic stock-taking of the European e-participation research landscape together with a social network analysis which clarified research approaches and cooperation relations;
  • a framework for evaluating the success of e-participation projects derived from three basic criteria: a project perspective (goals and expectations of key stakeholders), a socio-technical perspective (public take-up and usage, tool assessment) and a democratic perspective (impacts on democracy quality);
  • direct policy advice to the Council of Europe on its recommendation on e-democracy (available as a book here), and to the project group on “E-Democracy & E-Participation” at the Federal Chancellery in Austria;
  • stakeholder workshops, user communities and cooperation events that enabled academic research and practitioners to exchange knowledge and learn from each other on key issues of e-participation . In the course of the project, the ITA organized, for example, the democracy learning event “DemoLAB” with the then Austrian Minister of Science Johannes Hahn and high school students;
  • regular PhD tutorials resulting in the publication of a book, involving and encouraging junior scientists, and online-training courses for e-participation organisers.



  • Aichholzer, G., & Kozeluh, U. (2009). Evaluating e-Democracy. In Italia EuroSpace-Group (Ed.), e-Gov. 2.0: pave the way for e-participation (pp. 50-55). Rom: EuroSpace.
  • Aichholzer, G., & Allhutter, D. (2009). e-Participation in Austria: Trends and Public Policies (ITA-manu:script 09-01). Wien. doi:10.1553/ITA-ms-09-01
  • Aichholzer, G., Allhutter, D., & Westholm, H. (2008). A Framework to Evaluate eParticipation (module for DEMO-net online training). Wien.
  • Aichholzer, G., Bruckner, K., Christiansen, E., Cruickshank, P., Davarions, K., Eleftheriou, E., et al. (2008). Development methods and support environments to build eParticipation tools (p. 59). Thessaloniki.
  • Aichholzer, G., Allhutter, D., Aström, J., Balocchi, M., Freschi, A. -C., Medaglia, R., et al. (2008). Analytical report on eParticipation research from a public policy perspective (p. 57). Bergamo.
  • Aichholzer, G., Allhutter, D., Aström, J., Balocchi, M., Freschi, A. -C., Tizzi, G., et al. (2008). Analytical report on eParticipation research from an administration and political perspective (p. 91). Kopenhagen.
  • Westholm, H., & Märker, O. (2008). Studie: E-Partizipation in Deutschland / Stärken-Schwächen-Handlungsempfehlungen. (P. Parycek & Prosser, A., Eds.), EDEM08 - E-Democracy Conference, 29th - 30th September 2008, Danube University Krems. Wien: Austrian Computer Society.
  • Aichholzer, G., & Allhutter, D. (2008). Evaluation perspectives and key criteria in eParticipation. (OCG, Ed.), Proceedings of the 6th International Eastern European eGoc Days: Result and Trends. Prag: OCG.
  • Aichholzer, G., Allhutter, D., Freschi, A. C., Lippa, B., Macintosh, A., & Westholm, H. (2008). eParticipation Evaluation and Impact. Bremen.
  • Aichholzer, G. (2007). E-Participation and Democracy: Evaluation dimensions and approaches.
  • Winkler, R. (2007). e-Participation in Comparison and Contrast: Online debates at the EU's platform "Your Voice in Europe". (D. Remenyi, Ed.). Montreal.
  • Aichholzer, G. (2007). Förderung von DoktoranInnen zu Erforschung elektronischer Demokratie, 10. Retrieved from
  • Aichholzer, G. (2007). Practitioner Stakeholder Engagement Framework for the eParticiopation Community of Practice. Koblenz.
  • Aichholzer, G. (2007). Interdisciplinary framework to address the socio-technical and political challenges of eParticipation. Bremen.
  • Tambouris, E. (2007). Introducing eParticipation. Mazedonien.
  • Aichholzer, G., & Kozeluh, U. (2007). Instruments for evaluating/measuring the quality of e-democracy (tools) – including 'effectiveness and impact', Paper for Third Meeting of Council of Europe Ad hoc Committee on E-Democracy (CAHDE) Informal Working Group.
  • Aichholzer, G. (2006). Elektronische Partizipation in Europa: Fortschritte und Herausforderungen, 4-5. Retrieved from
  • Aichholzer, G. (2006). Towards a Participation profile of Austria. (J. Rose & et al.,, Eds.), European Research Workshop Mapping eParticipation, in conjunction with MCIS 2006 The 7th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems. Venedig.
  • Winkler, R. (2006). Organisatorische und soziale Gestaltung von elektronischer Partizipation, 10. Retrieved from
  • Kubicek, H., Lippa, B., Westholm, H., Aichholzer, G., Winkler, R., & et at.,. (2006). DEMO-net: Deliverable 6.1, Report on state of the art approches, relevant disciplines, key researchers and socio-technical research issues. Bremen: ifib - Institut für Informationsmanagement.



  • 06/03/2009 , Bremen
    Doris Allhutter: 
    Inclusion and the rhetoric of eParticipation
    5th European Symposium on Gender & ICT - "Digital Cultures: Participation - Empowerment - Diversity"
    Other Lecture
  • 30/01/2009 , Wien
    Georg Aichholzer: 
    Ansätze zur Evaluierung elektronischer Beteiligung
    AG E-Democracy & E-Participation
    Other Invited Lecture
  • 30/11/2008 , Wien
    Doris Allhutter: 
    Inclusion and eParticipation. How to avoid exclusion and gender stereotypes
    e-Inclusion Ministerial Conference
    Other Lecture
  • 29/09/2008 , Krems
    Hilmar Westholm: 
    E-Partizipation in Deutschland / Stärken-Schwächen-Handlungsempfehlungen
    EDem08 - E-Democracy Conference
    Other Lecture
  • 16/09/2008 , Wien
    Hilmar Westholm: 
    Mit neuen Medien gegen Politik(er)verdrossenheit - neue Befunde zu einem "alten" Thema
    ITA-Seminar 16. Sept. 08
    Other Lecture
  • 23/04/2008 , Prag
    Georg Aichholzer,  Doris Allhutter: 
    Evaluation Perspectives and Key Criteria in eParticipation
    6th International Eastern European eGov Days
    Other Lecture
  • 05/03/2008 , Wien
    Georg Aichholzer: 
    Mehr Demokratie durch e-voting und e-democracy?
    DemoLAB im Rahmen der Demokratie-Initiative der Österreichischen Bundesregierung
    Other Lecture
  • 13/12/2007 , Wien
    Georg Aichholzer: 
    eParticipation and Democracy: Evaluation dimensions and approaches
    CAHDE Informal Working Group
    Other Invited Lecture
  • 21/11/2007 , Vadstena
    Georg Aichholzer: 
    Does e-Government Enhance Democracy?
    ESF-LiU/Demo-net: Electronic Democracy: Achievements and Challenges
    Other Invited Lecture
  • 12/10/2007 , Bremen
    Georg Aichholzer: 
    E-Participation and Democracy: Evaluation dimensions and approaches
    "Evaluation of eParticipation"
    Other Lecture
  • 02/07/2007 , Sofia
    Georg Aichholzer: 
    Instruments for evaluting/measuring the quality of e-democracy (tools) - including effectiveness and impact
    Council of Europe Ad hoc Committee on E-Democracy (CAHDE) Informal Working Group
    Other Lecture
  • 13/06/2007 , Salzburg
    Georg Aichholzer: 
    Technology Assessment of ICT in Public Administration
    Ringvorlesung ICT
    Other Lecture
  • 14/12/2006 , Vienna
    Georg Aichholzer: 
    Current activities of Demo-net
    Council of Europe Ad hoc Committe on e-democracy (CAHDE) IWG Meeting
    Other Invited Lecture
  • 25/10/2006 , Baden bei Wien
    Georg Aichholzer: 
    Österreichs e-Government im internationalen Vergleich
    Strategie Circle Government
    Other Invited Lecture
  • 06/09/2006 , Krakau
    Georg Aichholzer,  Roman Winkler: 
    The perspective of constructive technology assessment and societal impacts of e-participation
    2nd DEMOnet WP6 Meeting, Joint e-Participation socio-technical research
    Other Lecture
  • 04/05/2006 , Wien
    Georg Aichholzer: 
    Multiple Use im Bereich e-Government - Begriffserklärung und Grundfragen
    Forum e-Government
    Other Invited Lecture
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