MITACS Internship - Citizen Engagement 2.0

  • Whitehallpolicy
  • Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • Jan 01, 2022

Job Description

The UVic MITACS Accelerate Research Cluster:Web2.0 + Web3.0 Approaches to the Information / Decision Interface in Public Policyis seeking expressions of interest for a four month, half-time internship. This position can start at the convenience of the student any time between July 1 2011 and September 1 2011. The candidate must be a graduate student or post-doctoral fellow in good standing at the University of Victoria. Subject to the student's home department, this position may qualify for co-op credit and may be used as part of the student's thesis, dissertation or other graduating requirement. Confirmation of this opportunity is subject to funding which may be received before May 31.

During a MITACS Accelerate internship, the intern spends approximately half of his/her time over the four-month period gaining a better understanding of the research issue in question and collecting data. The intern will be required to spend on average one day per month in the offices of our private sector sponsor. In addition to focusing on their own sub-project, the intern is expected to contribute to the environment that supports the overall MITACS research cluster. It is expected that the balance of the intern's time is spent at the University further advancing their thesis or dissertation research under the guidance of a faculty supervisor. Each intern in this project receives a stipend of $10,000.

We are currently searching for candidates for the following internship:

Gov2.0 Public Participation, Deliberation and Collaboration: Toward Citizen-Engagement2.0?

This internship (#3) is intended to provide a theoretical and applied overview of the themes explored in this MITACS Research Cluster as they relate to the use of technology to support civic engagement related to governance and policy development. This project will involve a survey of literature and emerging projects organized around the concept of Web2.0-supported participation, deliberation and collaboration as deployed by governments or civil society actors as a means of bringing together a broadly defined public in interactive settings addressing issues of governance.

This survey will be focused on academic research and leading edge technology implementations related to the application of Internet-based tools and engagement techniques that embody robust Web2.0 features, and that have been or can be deployed in support of public participation activities. On the basis of that background it will consider whether something like Gov2.0-enabled deliberative democracy and collaborative governance is emerging from earlier public participation movements as a transformed civic space.
Research Questions
Under the broad heading of Gov2.0-supported participation, deliberation and collaboration, this survey will provide a framework and assessment of the state-of-play in this rapidly changing technology-driven and politically responsive field. The central research question guiding this review is:
  • when considering the tools or approaches available, what situational conditions determine the appropriate form of engagement?

A number of subsidiary research questions flow from this:
  • what tools, and under what conditions, are best suited to meeting the citizen engagement objectives of government and the participation expectations of the citizenry?
  • how can Gov2.0 citizen engagement contribute to governments' policy objectives?
  • what conditions define an effective engagement process that also effectively deals with policy issues?
  • how do Gov2.0 tools and approaches address enduring questions about the appropriate relationship between bureaucratic expertise and political decision making?
  • what negative implications of Gov2.0 engagement should be considered when deploying these tools and approaches?
  • what are the challenges to government and what might be possible dark sides of Gov2.0?
  • does Citizen-Engagement2.0 represent a fundamental shift, or a continuation of the history of public participation?
  • can one construct a simple typology that provides a useful analytical construct for understanding the Gov2.0-supported participation, deliberation and collaboration space?

The deliverable for this internship will include the preparation of a draft working paper offering a survey and initial appraisal of selected technology-assisted engagement, deliberation and collaboration strategies. The draft paper will also include an annotated bibliography of leading academic literature in this field, and a summary document linking to a list of tools consulted in the conduct of the research. The research paper will be the subject of a small number of discussions with leading practitioners in the area of Gov2.0-enabled deliberation, consultation and collaboration in order to validate the findings of the draft survey and to confirm its comprehensiveness.

Project Milestones (subject to project start date):
  • September 1 2011: Start of Internship Term
  • October 31 2011: Draft Paper for Discussion
  • November 20 2011: Completion of Practitioner Discussions
  • December 15 2011: Final Draft

Interested students are asked to submit a cover letter, cv and writing sample (e.g., a recent essay) to the MITACS Research Cluster Coordinator at [email protected] Questions can also be directed to this address. This position will remain open until filled.