RegioNet Project Proposal

Participatory Democracy Models in Administrative Regions, and Information Technologies for Public Information

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Coordination Objectives Methodology Work Done Team Funding

Last Update: 27 April 99



Project Manager: Nuno Vieira, Lic. (;

Science Coordinator: J.M. Palma, Ph.D. (



The main research question is the role that new information technologies may have in public participation / consultation processes for the implementation of administrative regions in Portugal.

In order to evaluate that role we intend to:

* Analyze the impact of the usage of new information technologies in the participation of the public in information/ public consultation/ opinion gathering processes;

* Create and implement an Internet-based Interactive Information System in order to sustain the public debate on the creation of administrative regions (which and how) in Portugal;

* Test the utility of participation and opinion debate models;

* Deepen the reflection on the concept of participatory democracy, through the evaluation of new information and opinion debate channels;

* Prepare the basis for a new and broader research project, on the comparative study of region models in several European Union countries.


- Literature survey on the subject;

- Content analysis and creation of the question-lists (FAQ model);

- Conception, design and implementation on the Internet of an interactive model made of sequential parts, capable of integrating and forwarding several consultation options and a set of questions and answers, to facilitate the access to information on the regionalization proposals put forward by the political parties;

- Measurement of attitudes and opinions;

- Continuous and systematic evaluation of both the process and the model.

Work Done:

- Literature survey on the subject;

- Systematization of basic concepts related to the subject;

- Survey of background in the process of region policy and implementation in Portugal, after the 25th April 1974;

- Content analysis on proposed legislation and political debate;

- Debate on regional policy with CITIDEP members and invited guests;

- Identification of the issues of the regionalization process;

- Presentation of the project on the Internet.


Dr. Nuno Vieira, Lic. (Biology), Project Manager; Prof. José Manuel Palma, Ph.D. (Psychology), Science Coordinator; Prof. Rui Ponte, Ph.D. (Earth Sciences), Science Adviser; Prof. Viriato Soromenho Marques, Ph.D. (Philosophy), Science Adviser; Prof. Manuel Antunes, MPhil (Sociology), Science Adviser; Eng. Ana Teresa Chinita, MSc (Environment); Dr. Filomena Henriques, Lic. (Social Service); Dr. Sofia Santos, Lic. (Psychology); Eng. Jorge Mendonça (Mechanical Eng.); Pedro Borges (Electronics Eng., student); Pedro Santos (Environmental Eng., student).

Dr. Simona Florio, MPhil (Economy, European Property Development and Planning): Leonardo da Vinci's grantee, from the University College of London.


European Community Program Leonardo da Vinci (one individual Grant); requested to the Portuguese Parliament, and proposals considered to other research programs (Portugal, EU).

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