29 November from 9.30 to 11.30 - Room 5 - Palais de l'Europe

Interpretation: FR/EN


Sponsored by the INGO Conference of the Council of Europe


E-government is supposed to improve the quality of government by providing public information and services online but is often conceived in a top-down way with little scope for citizen input and influence. Online tools now make it possible for citizens and service users to keep service providers in check by using collective intelligence and public pressure. How successful such initiatives are, what hurdles do they need to overcome and can this become a widespread practice, especially in developing countries?

Women Of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), Uganda

The goals of this initiative are to create awareness of the need for good governance and service delivery among the grassroots communities and local Community based Organisations in five districts of Northern Uganda. The aim is to improve their capacity in ICT skills, to enable them to collect, package and disseminate information on corruption and poor public service delivery from their localities to the wider public, and to document and disseminate voices of the grassroots communities so as to raise awareness on corruption and poor service delivery.

Website: http://wougnet.org/


Ms Otika Brenda AKITE, Uganda, Rural Projects Manager with Women of Uganda Network

Otika Brenda Akite is a Rural Projects Manager at WOUGNET. With a Bachelor's degree in Development Studies, she has extensive experience with Non Governmental Organizations working in the thematic areas of good governance. She is a human rights activist and advocate and was successful in increasing awareness among the communities of Northern Uganda on their rights, roles and responsibilities as citizens of this country. She has also empowered the rural people with ICT skills to enable them to monitor and report governance and service delivery issues within their communities.

Ms Goretti ZAVUGA AMURIAT, Uganda, Senior Officer for the Gender and ICT Policy Advocacy Program of Women of Uganda Network

Goretti  Zavuga Amuriat is a Senior Program Officer for the Gender and ICT Policy Advocacy Program of the  Women  of Uganda  Network ( WOUGNET). She is also coordinator of the project  "Empowering  Local People to demand for Improved Service Delivery  through the Use of ICTs". She has an MA in Agriculture and Rural Development,  a  Bachelors' degree in  Social  Sciences, Economics and Rural  Economy and a post graduate  diploma in Gender and Local  Economic Development.  She has been working with Civil Society Organizations for fourteen years and is a gender and human rights activist and trainer. 

Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society, Iran

Tavaana is Iran's pioneer e-learning institute for civil society. Tavaana – meaning ‘empowered' and ‘capable' in Persian – was launched in 2010 with a mission to support active citizenship and civic leadership in Iran through a multi-platform civic education and civil society capacity building program. Tavaana bridges the worlds of live, interactive e-learning with broad-based public education for democracy. Tavaana has successfully trained over 1,800 Iranians in live e-classrooms on topics ranging from digital safety to trauma healing to women's rights and has distributed learning resources – including e-books and manuals, translations, video and podcast lectures, and case studies – to thousands more. Tavaana's television programming reaches over nine million Iranians each week.

Website: http://tavaana.org/en/


Ms Mariam MEMARSADEGHI, Iran, Co-founder and co-director of the E-Collaborative for Civic Education and Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society

Mariam Memarsadeghi is co-founder and co-director of the E-Collaborative for Civic Education and its flagship project, Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society. She is an outspoken advocate for democracy, internet freedom, and women's rights internationally. Mariam's writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and other publications. She is a frequent speaker at universities and think tanks worldwide and has appeared regularly on English, Persian and Arabic language radio and television news programs. Mariam previously directed Freedom House's Middle East and North Africa programs and founded the organization's Iran Program.



Discussants are invited to make critical comments during the lab on the impact, transferrability, sustainability and risk of the initiative.

Ms Gabriella BATTAINI-DRAGONI, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Ms Battaini-Dragoni was elected to the post of Deputy Secretary General in June 2012. In 2011, the Secretary General appointed her Director General of Programmes, responsible for overseeing the bi-annual programme of intergovernmental activities and for coordinating all monitoring, standard-setting and cooperation activities on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Since 2005 she has coordinated the Council of Europe's projects on intercultural dialogue, preparing the "White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue", the first document of its kind to be adopted at international level. Ms Battaini-Dragoni has published widely on a variety of social and educational policy topics in both Anglophone and Francophone academic journals and international publications.

Ms Carolyn BENNETT, Canada, Member of Parliament, Chair of Liberal Women's Caucus

First elected in 1997, Dr. Bennett has long been focused on the role of citizens in building a healthy  democracy. 'Democracy between elections' is her mantra, both in her riding and in Parliament as well as on-line. As Minister of State for Public Health, Dr. Bennett set up the Public Health Agency of Canada, with robust consultation designed to put the 'public' back into public health. Now, as the Liberal critic for Aboriginal Affairs, her advocacy is focused on the 'duty to consult'.

Mr Jean-Luc SIMON, France, Chair of Disabled Peoples' International

Jean-Luc Simon started his professional life in 1976 as special educator and as psychiatric nurse. He had a severe car accident in 1983 and discovered the real living conditions of disabled persons. He then attended a university program in Social Sciences and came in contact with the disability movement in France in 1984, in Europe in 1989 and in the world in 1992 with Disabled Peoples' International. In 2002-2003, he joined the Cabinet of the French Minister for Family and Disabled Persons to Coordinate the European Year of People with Disabilities.  Jean-Luc Simon chairs the Disabled Peoples' International Europe region since 2005.

Ms Anne WIZOREK, Germany, Blogger and Digital Media Consultant

Anne Wizorek is the founder and editor-in-chief of kleinerdrei.org, a German blog about feminism, politics, media criticism, and pop culture. Wizorek's activism focuses on education around gender-based violence and gender equity, and she uses online tools to achieve offline social change. In 2013 she started the Grimme Online Award-winning Twitter ad-hoc campaign #aufschrei, which brings everyday sexism and sexual harassment to light. Wizorek is a former co-organizer of re:publica, Germany's premier online/social media conference. She works as a freelance digital media consultant and advises corporations and non-profits on social media strategies.  


Rapporteur to the plenary session

Mr Kay‐Michael DANKL, Austria, Youth Representative, Student Activist

Kay-Michael Dankl studied history and political science at Salzburg University, Austria. Since 2009, he is active in student protest movements and in the Austrian Students' Union, focusing on education policy, enhancing student participation, training students in political participation and self-empowerment, and campaign management. He was also involved in various regional NGOs and is currently completing his Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service in Strasbourg, France.He has particular interest for the present state of democracies in Europe and the potential of grass-root movements.


Ms Yulia PERERVA, Head of Unit on Citizenship and Human Rights Education, Education Department, Council of Europe


Ms Violette BERGER

Your opinion

Does/Do the following initiative(s) increase significantly citizens' influence in the policy-making process and/or make democratic institutions more transparent, responsive and accountable? 

For the Wougnet initiative:
% Stimmen
34% 410
a. Yes
66% 799
b. No

Gesamtstimmen: 1.209

Die Abstimmung endete am 29.11.13 12:00 und ist daher gesperrt.

For the Tavaana initiative:
% Stimmen
94% 11.323
a. Yes
6% 741
b. No

Gesamtstimmen: 12.064

Die Abstimmung endete am 29.11.13 12:00 und ist daher gesperrt.