Designing e-Participation with Balkan Journalists


  • Ella Taylor-Smith International Teledemocracy Centre, Edinburgh Napier University
  • Kathy Buckner Centre for Social Informatics, Edinburgh Napier University



eParticipation, eDemocracy, scenario, media, Balkan, accession


This paper describes the use of scenarios as a central part of the design methodology, in a project to create an e-participation initiative, working with the national news agencies in 3 Western Balkans countries. The stakeholders in the project came from a variety of backgrounds, with different skills, experiences of technology and ideas about participatory democracy. For design purposes, the most important stakeholders involved are journalists from the Balkan news agencies, as these will be major users of the tool, creating content and managing e-participation processes. Scenarios were used to put these journalists at the centre of the design and specification process. This method also provided the diverse stakeholders with a focus for discussion and shared understanding. The use of scenarios influenced the design of all aspects of the e-participation initiative, including the format of the online tools, the rules and methods for managing online discussions and the offline path of influence with those in power.


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Author Biographies

Ella Taylor-Smith, International Teledemocracy Centre, Edinburgh Napier University

Senior Research Fellow in the International Teledemocracy Centre, Edinburgh Napier University, working in eParticipation since 2001. All Ella’s research has involved working with end user groups throughout the lifecycle of projects: requirements specification, design, implementation, evaluation.

Kathy Buckner, Centre for Social Informatics, Edinburgh Napier University

Kathy Buckner is the Director of the Centre for Social Informatics at Napier University, Edinburgh. She specialises in investigating human, social and organisational factors which are affected by and have an effect on the use of technology in work and non-work contexts such as domestic environments, the health and education sectors and more recently in e-democracy and e-participation.



How to Cite

Taylor-Smith, E., & Buckner, K. (2009). Designing e-Participation with Balkan Journalists. JeDEM - EJournal of EDemocracy and Open Government, 1(1), 12-20.



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