Abstract: This research project proposes a systematic and empirical analysis, also with theory-building aspirations, about Open Government in the Spanish local layer in a comparative perspective, taking into account the information and communication technologies (ICT) implemented to promote transparency, participation and public innovation through collaboration. Previous research has suggested that digital provision of information disclosed in transparency and open data portals or the involvement of citizens in public affairs by digital means may generate new opportunities and have the potential to transform governments and public administrations and their interaction with citizens. Also, they may face potential challenges for privacy, inclusion and diversity, and control of personal data, among others.
Therefore, this research project is based on the need to analyze the adoption and use of a new generation of social technologies (based on the Web 2.0) in the study of the different dimensions of Open Government. This project supports the hypothesis that new ICT promote transparency, citizen participation and collaboration (based on data and information openness, and dynamics of co-production and public innovation in the provision of services to citizens), whether some political, social, economic and organizational factors are in operation. Thus, this project will analyze a) how technological innovations are fostering the development of new models of smart public governance (Smart Governance) in Spanish local governments and administrations; b) what are the main features and implications of smart public governance at the local level and its impact on citizens; and c) and how this smart environment in public sector management facilitates the solution of social problems and brings about political and economic pay offs in cities.
Based on the previous aspects, this project will be deployed around four objectives, and focused on the analysis of Spanish city councils over 50,000 inhabitants. Each of the objectives presents a series of associated activities and tasks, researchers involved, time schedule and expected deliverables. Methodologically, it is a project that combines quantitative and qualitative techniques, being especially innovative through the use of social network analysis or sentiment analysis (applied to digital social media), research techniques based on big data collection.
Results of this research project are expected to reach high level impacts. This research is aligned with the Spanish Science and Technology Strategy and the Horizon 2020 strategy of the European Union, framed within the " Social Innovations and Changes" challenge. It is also a project that aims at high economic and social impact in Spanish cities, together with the transferability of results in governments and public administrations. Additionally, the research team is coherent, work within two complementary disciplines, and present demonstrated training capacity (a doctoral researcher is requested) and internationalization potential.