This Workshop explored how the engagement of citizens—and their organizations in civil society and the private sector—can contribute to improve public accountability in public service delivery and spending. The Workshop enhanced knowledge and built a shared understanding of what participatory institutions, approaches and tools can be adopted by countries to make public service delivery more effective, equitable, transparent, responsive and citizen-centric. This is of particular importance at this time, as the United Nations Members States have identified participatory approaches to the provision of public services as a useful course of action for countries in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
The meeting was held from 12-13 July 2011 in the UN Headquarters in Vienna. I attended on special invitation by Roberto Vilarreal, chief of Management Development at UNDESA/UNPAN and presented the eCitizenCharter as a tool for stimulating citizen engagement. His endorsement: “I reiterate my highest professional regard to you as an expert and consultant on eParticipation. I am of the opinion that your leadership and work in the Netherlands about the eCitizen Charter is the most refined and advanced experience with a practical empowering and results-oriented spirit that I have seen around the world in recent times, and that is why I hope that experience can be brought closer to the UN to assist other countries in expanding similarly the rights of their citizens to benefit from the rapid ongoing expansion of eGovernment services.”