Since 2003, the United Nations has introduced the E-Participation Index (EPI), the first index to evaluate e-participation initiatives worldwide. This index has been subject to criticism for not representing the society side of e-participation initiatives. The EPI assesses e-participation initiatives on the government side only and neglects the society side, which includes all kinds of civil e-participation initiatives. In this work, the society side is included by incrementally extending the EPI with the Human Development Index and the Democracy Index. To identify the weights of the index, the best–worst method (BWM) is used while surveying 23 experts. The results show that political rights and civil liberties are viewed as the most important criteria with which to evaluate e-participation initiatives. Using this ranking, the Balanced EPI (BEPI) is created, giving weight to both the government and society sides. The new index concerns the willingness and empowerment levels of citizens so that the public can influence policy and political decision-making. Dedicated e-participation measures should be developed in further research.
- Balanced e-participation index
- Government-led e-participation initiatives
- Society-led e-participation initiatives