Monitor Online Participation NRW – Database of local online participation processes in North Rhine-Westphalia

Did you know that in your neighbouring town citizens spring into action and shape local affairs – by online means?

In recent years public participation has become an important topic for municipalities. In this process there are different designs and channels to enable citizens to have an impact on political and administrative decisions that they consider important – for instance urban land-use plannings or budgeting. Some municipalities in North Rhine-Westphalia therefor increasingly use the Internet.

But  since 2016, there was no survey of how many municipalities use online means in public participation for which processes and offers. The PhD programme wanted to meet this challenge and registered all internet-based public participation processes in a freely accessible database.

The DIID Monitor “Online-Participation” provides a systematic overview of local e-participation of the German federal state North Rhine-Westphalia for the first time. All municipalities in North Rhine-Westphalia were asked via a quantitative standardized survey (online as well as offline) to what extent they used the Internet to involve citizens in political and administrative decisions.

The results were presented in an interactive map:

The evaluation shows that about one-third of all municipalities (March 2016) have already implemented at least one procedure for online citizen participation. The phenomenon is not limited to large cities. So far, most of the e-participation procedures have taken place in the participatory budget. However, for some years, the topics and fields of local e-participation are becoming more and more diversified.

After the successfull survey of 2015/2016 the study is continued 2019. The “DIID monitor 2.0” aims at continuing the first data collection as well as developing new fields of research. The survey is also intended to be a basis for academic research in the field of online participation in North Rhine-Westphalia and foster networking among municipalities, which are interested in the use of the data.

There is more information available in German.

In the first phase of the project was carried out by a team of PhD students of the programme from various disciplines:

  • Peter Gladitz (political science)
  • Malte Steinbach (business studies)
  • Sabrina Schöttle (sociology)
  • Nadja Wilker (political science)
  • Theresa Witt (law)
The team was assisted by:

Dr. Tobias Escher (Institut für Informatik)
Dr. Hanna Hoffmann (Institut für Sozialwissenschaften)
Dipl.-Soz. Johannes Krause (Institut für Sozialwissenschaften)
Prof. Dr. Martin Mauve (Sprecher des Forschungskollegs)
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rosar (Dekan Philosophische Fakultät)

If you want to know more about this project or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us: