Most government attempts at online citizen and stakeholder engagement find their roots in the approaches of public opinion research. However, these approaches typically do not engage citizens in the process that ensures their participation is well informed. Commonly employed tools for citizen input, such as Web-based surveys or submission Web-forms are simplistic. In some cases, the tools are accompanied by lengthy, often difficult to understand, policy documents. While there have been some government attempts to provide processes that are more engaging, they have been few and far between. This paper will describe the Dialoguecircles methodology, a new approach to citizen and stakeholder engagement, created by Ascentum (www.ascentum.ca). By applying its online technology platform, the approach has been successfully employed for a number of e-government initiatives with respect to citizen and stakeholder engagement, both in Canada and internationally. Dialoguecircles came to being based on the belief that these techniques need to be brought online to help governments engage its citizens en-masse. Dialoguecircle's success can be attributed to the firm's process expertise with citizen and stakeholder engagement, as well as, expertise with Web-based technology. The paper will also focus on how the firm's process expertise has been embedded into its innovative technology platform to meet needs that are unique to citizen and stakeholder engagement. Finally, the paper will describe the successes and challenges of various Dialoguecircles based online engagement initiatives.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Active participation, Citizen and stakeholder engagement, Dialogue and deliberation, Feedback, Informed response, Online consultation
Conference 4th International Conference on e-Government, ICEG 2008
Citation
Timms, K. (Kevin), Pal, S. (Shibu), & Ji, S. (2008). Dialoguecircles - A case study in successful online citizen engagement. In Proceedings of 4th International Conference on e-Government, ICEG 2008 (pp. 441–453).