Citizen Participation in Smart Government: A Conceptual Model and Two IoT Case Studies

  • Ali A. GuenduezEmail author
  • Tobias Mettler
  • Kuno Schedler
Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 30)


In its simplest form, smart government can be understood as the combination of new technologies and organizational innovation strategies to further modernize the public sector. Within this development, the Internet of Things (IoT) often forms a key technological foundation, offering government authorities new possibilities for interaction with citizens and local communities. On the one hand, citizens can indirectly participate in governmental services’ value creation by using public infrastructure or (un)knowingly sharing their data with the community. On the other hand, smart government initiatives may rely more intensively on citizens’ active participation to improve public service delivery, increase trust in government actions, and strengthen community sentiment. In this chapter, we discuss active and passive participation scenarios of smart government initiatives and explain how sensor-based systems may enhance citizens’ opportunities to participate in local governance. We present two practical cases from Switzerland demonstrating these two citizen involvement modes. We argue that active and passive participation of citizens and other stakeholders play a key role in generating necessary data for algorithmic decision-making to enable personalized interaction and real-time control of infrastructure in the future. We close with a discussion of the possibilities and boundaries of the IoT in the public sector and their possible influences on citizens’ privacy and policy-making.


Participation Smart government Internet of things IoT Sensors Big data Algorithmic decision-making 



Electronic government


Internet of Things


Information technology


Long-range wide area network


Mobile government



The authors are grateful to Prof. Dr. Michael Bächle, Prof. Dr. Stephan Daurer, and Prof. Dr. Andreas Judt of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Ravensburg-Friedrichshafen, as well as to Dr. Christian Geiger (Chief Digital Officer, City of St. Gallen) and research assistant Michel Schibler (University of St. Gallen).


  1. Albesher, A. S., & Stone, R. T. (2016). Current state of m-government research: Identifying future research opportunities. International Journal of Electronic Governance, 8(2), 119–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anthopoulos, L. G. (2017). Smart government: A new adjective to government transformation or a trick? In Understanding smart cities: A tool for smart government or an industrial trick? (pp. 263–293). Cham: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anttiroiko, A.-V., Valkama, P., & Bailey, S. J. (2014). Smart cities in the new service economy: Building platforms for smart services. AI & SOCIETY, 29(3), 323–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Atzori, L., Iera, A., & Morabito, G. (2010). The internet of things: A survey. Computer Networks, 54(15), 2787–2805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baccarne, B., Mechant, P., & Schuurman, D. (2014). Empowered cities? An analysis of the structure and generated value of the smart city Ghent. In R. P. Dameri & C. Rosenthal-Sabroux (Eds.), Smart city (pp. 157–182). Cham: Springer.Google Scholar
  6. Bächle, M., Daurer, S., Judt, A., & Mettler, T. (2016). iCare—Supporting people with increased need for care with smart and mobile it. European Journal of Epidemiology, 31(Supplement 1), S34–S34.Google Scholar
  7. Bächle, M., Daurer, S., Judt, A., & Mettler, T. (2018). Assistive technology for independent living with dementia: Stylized facts and research gaps. Health Policy and Technology, 7(1), 98–111. forthcoming.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bertot, J., Estevez, E., & Janowski, T. (2016). Universal and contextualized public services: Digital public service innovation framework. Government Information Quarterly, 33(2), 211–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bhatti, Z. K., Kusek, J. Z., & Verheijen, T. (2015). Logged on: Smart government solutions from South Asia. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  10. Bohn, J., Coroama, V., Langheinrich, M., Mattern, F., & Rohs, M. (2004). Living in a world of smart everyday objects - social, economic, and ethical implications. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 10(5), 763–785.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bovaird, T. (2007). Beyond engagement and participation: User and community coproduction of public services. Public Administration Review, 67(5), 846–860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bovaird, T., Van Ryzin, G. G., Loeffler, E., & Parrado, S. (2015). Activating citizens to participate in collective co-production of public services. Journal of Social Policy, 44(1), 1–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Brabham, D. C. (2010). Moving the crowd at threadless: Motivations for participation in a crowdsourcing application. Information Communication & Society, 13(8), 1122–1145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bright, J., & Margetts, H. (2016). Big data and public policy: Can it succeed where e-participation has failed? Policy and Internet, 8(3), 218–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Capdevila, I., & Zarlenga, M. I. (2015). Smart city or smart citizens? The Barcelona case. Journal of Strategy and Management, 8(3), 266–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cardone, G., Foschini, L., Bellavista, P., Corradi, A., Borcea, C., Talasila, M., et al. (2013). Fostering participaction in smart cities: A geo-social crowdsensing platform. IEEE Communications Magazine, 51(6), 112–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Caudle, S. L. (1994). Reengineering for results : Keys to success from government experience. Washington, D.C.: Center for Information Management, National Academy of Public Administration.Google Scholar
  18. Chun, S., Shulman, S., Sandoval, R., & Hovy, E. (2010). Government 2.0: Making connections between citizens, data and government. Information Polity, 15, 1, 2), 1–1, 2), 9.Google Scholar
  19. Coe, A., Paquet, G., & Roy, J. (2001). E-governance and smart communities - a social learning challenge. Social Science Computer Review, 19(1), 80–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cohen, J. E. (2006). Citizen satisfaction with contacting government on the internet. Information Polity, 11(1), 51–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Cooper, T. L., Bryer, T. A., & Meek, J. W. (2006). Citizen-centered collaborative public management. Public Administration Review, 66(s1), 76–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dahl, Y., & Holb, K. (2012). Value biases of sensor-based assistive technology: Case study of a gps tracking system used in dementia care. Paper presented at the Designing Interactive Systems Conference, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.Google Scholar
  23. Dais, A., Nikolaidou, M., Alexopoulou, N., & Anagnostopoulous, D. (2008). Introducing a public agency networking platform towards supporting connected governance. In M. A. Wimmer, H. J. Scholl, & E. Ferro (Eds.), Electronic government (pp. 375–387). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Darke, P., Shanks, G., & Broadbent, M. (1998). Successfully completing case study research: Combining rigour, relevance and pragmatism. Information Systems Journal, 8(4), 273–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Davison, R. M., Wagner, C., & Ma, L. C. (2005). From government to e-government: A transition model. Information Technology & People, 18(3), 280–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. de Matos, E., Amaral, L. A., & Hessel, F. (2017). Context-aware systems: Technologies and challenges in internet of everything environments. In J. M. Batalla, G. Mastorakis, C. X. Mavromoustakis, & E. Pallis (Eds.), Beyond the internet of things: Everything interconnected (pp. 1–25). Cham: Springer.Google Scholar
  27. Dinev, T., Albano, V., Xu, H., D’Atri, A., & Hart, P. (2016). Individuals’ attitudes towards electronic health records: A privacy calculus perspective. In Advances in healthcare informatics and analytics (pp. 19–50). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building theories from case study research. The Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 532–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fledderus, J., Brandsen, T., & Honingh, M. (2014). Restoring trust through the co-production of public services: A theoretical elaboration. Public Management Review, 16(3), 424–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gil-Garcia, J. R. (2012). Towards a smart state? Inter-agency collaboration, information integration, and beyond. Information Polity, 17(1), 269–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gil-Garcia, J. R., Helbig, N., & Ojo, A. (2014). Being smart: Emerging technologies and innovation in the public sector. Government Information Quarterly, 31, I1–I8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Guenduez, A. A., Mettler, T., & Schedler, K. (2017). Smart government – Partizipation und empowerment der Bürger im Zeitalter von big data und personalisierter Algorithmen [smart government – Participation and empowerment of citizens in the era of big data and personalized algorithms]. HMD Praxis der Wirtschaftsinformatik, 54(4), 477–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Harsh, A., & Ichalkaranje, N. (2015). Transforming e-government to smart government: A south Australian perspective. In L. C. Jain, S. Patnaik, & N. Ichalkaranje (Eds.), Intelligent computing, communication and devices (pp. 9–16). New Delhi: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ignacio, C. J., Francisco, R.-M., & Ramon, G.-G. J. (2017). Enacting social media success in local public administrations: An empirical analysis of organizational, institutional, and contextual factors. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 30(1), 31–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jaeger, P. T. (2002). Constitutional principles and e-govemment: An opinion about possible effects of federalism and the separation of powers on e-govemment policies. Government Information Quarterly, 19(4), 357–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Janssen, M., Konopnicki, D., Snowdon, J. L., & Ojo, A. (2017). Driving public sector innovation using big and open linked data (BOLD). Information Systems Frontiers, 19(2), 189–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kortuem, G., Bandara, A. K., Smith, N., Richards, M., & Petre, M. (2013). Educating the internet-of-things generation. Computer, 46(2), 53–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kubitschke, L., Cullen, K., & Müller, S. (2010). ICT & ageing: European study on users, markets and technologies – Final report. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  39. Lent, M. (1995). Government online. New York, NY: Harper Perennial.Google Scholar
  40. Lessig, L. (1999). Code and other laws of cyberspace. New York NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  41. Linders, D. (2012). From e-government to we-government: Defining a typology for citizen coproduction in the age of social media. Government Information Quarterly, 29(4), 446–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Loebbecke, C., & Picot, A. (2015). Reflections on societal and business model transformation arising from digitization and big data analytics: A research agenda. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 24(3), 149–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mageroski, A., Alsadoon, A., Prasad, P. W. C., Pham, L., & Elchouemi, A. (2016). Impact of wireless communications technologies on elder people healthcare: Smart home in australia. Paper presented at the 13th International Joint Conference on Computer Science and Software Engineering, Khon Kaen, Thailand.Google Scholar
  44. McDermott, P. (2010). Building open government. Government Information Quarterly, 27(4), 401–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mellouli, S., Luna-Reyes, L. F., & Zhang, J. (2014). Smart government, citizen participation and open data. Information Polity, 19, 1), 1–1), 4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mergel, I., Rethemeyer, R. K., & Kimberley, I. (2016). Big data in public affairs. Public Administration Review, 76(6), 928–937.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Michael, M., Michael, K., & Perakslis, C. (2014). Uberveillance and the internet of things and people. Paper presented at the IEEE International Conference on Contemporary Computing and Informatics Mysore, India.Google Scholar
  48. Mileo, A., Merico, D., & Bisiani, R. (2008). Wireless sensor networks supporting context-aware reasoning in assisted living. Paper presented at the 1st International Conference on Pervasive Technologies related to Assistive Environments, Atherns, Greece,Google Scholar
  49. Millard, J. (2018). Open governance systems: Doing more with more. Government Information Quarterly, 35(4), S77–S87. forthcoming.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Mutimukwe, C., Kolkowska, E., & Grönlund, Å. (2017). Trusting and adopting e-government services in developing countries? Privacy concerns and practices in rwanda. Paper presented at the International Conference on Electronic Government, Lyon, France.Google Scholar
  51. Myers, M. D. (1997). Qualitative research in information systems. MIS Quarterly, 21(1), 241–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Nam, T. (2012a). Citizens' attitudes toward open government and government 2.0. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 78(2), 346–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Nam, T. (2012b). Suggesting frameworks of citizen-sourcing via government 2.0. Government Information Quarterly, 29(1), 12–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Nam, T., & Pardo, T. A. (2014). The changing face of a city government: A case study of Philly311. Government Information Quarterly, 31, S1–S9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Noveck, B. S. (2009). Wiki government: How technology can make government better, democracy stronger, and citizens more powerful (pp. 1–224). Washington: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  56. Ostrom, E. (1996). Crossing the great divide: Coproduction, synergy, and development. World Development, 24(6), 1073–1087.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Pantelopoulos, A., & Bourbakis, N. G. (2010). A survey on wearable sensor-based systems for health monitoring and prognosis. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics-Part C: Applications and Reviews, 40(1), 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Paskaleva, K., Cooper, I., & Concilo, G. (2018). Co-producing smart city services: Does one size fit all? In R. Bolívar & M. Pedro (Eds.), Smart technologies for smart governments: Transparency, efficiency and organizational issues (pp. 123–158). Cham: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Putnam, R. D. (1993). Making democracy work. Civic traditions in modern Italy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Regan, P. M. (2004). Old issues, new context: Privacy, information collection, and homeland security. Government Information Quarterly, 21(4), 481–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Robson, C. (1993). Real world research: A resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  62. Rochet, C., & Correa, J. D. P. (2016). Urban lifecycle management: A research program for smart government of smart cities. Revista de Gestão e Secretariado, 7(2), 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Rossel, P., Finger, M., & Misuraca, G. (2006). " Mobile" e-government options: Between technology-driven and user-centric. Electronic Journal of E-Government, 4(2), 79–86.Google Scholar
  64. Salim, F., & Haque, U. (2015). Urban computing in the wild: A survey on large scale participation and citizen engagement with ubiquitous computing, cyber physical systems, and internet of things. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 81, 31–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Saunders, T., & Baeck, P. (2015). Rethinking smart cities from the ground up. London: Nesta.Google Scholar
  66. Schaffers, H., Komninos, N., Pallot, M., Trousse, B., Nilsson, M., & Oliveira, A. (2011). Smart cities and the future internet: Towards cooperation frameworks for open innovation. The Future Internet, 431–446.Google Scholar
  67. Schedler, K., Summermatter, L., & Schmidt, B. (2003). Electronic government einführen und entwickeln. Von der Idee zur praxis [introducing and developing electronic government. From the idea to the practice]. Bern: Paul Haupt.Google Scholar
  68. Scholl, H. J., & Scholl, M. C. (2014). Smart governance: A roadmap for resarch and practice. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 2014 iConference, Berlin.Google Scholar
  69. Schwartz, P. M. (1999). Privacy and democracy in cyberspace. Vanderbilt Law Review, 52(6), 1609-+.Google Scholar
  70. Sean, W., Robert, A. P., & Thomas, G. (2012). Value co-creation through collective intelligence in the public sector: A review of us and european initiatives. Vine, 42(2), 251–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Shareef, M. A., Kumar, V., Dwivedi, Y. K., & Kumar, U. (2016). Service delivery through mobile-government (mgov): Driving factors and cultural impacts. Information Systems Frontiers, 18(2), 315–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. St. Gallen (2016a). St. Gallen ist bereit für das “Internet der Dinge” [St. Gallen is ready for the “Internet of Things”].
  73. St. Gallen (2016b). Vorlage Stadtparlament. Smartnet: Immissionsarmes Funknetz als Ergänzung zum Glasfasernetz zur Realisierung eines “Internet of Things” in der Stadt St. Gallen [bill to the city parliament: Smartnet: Low-immission wireless network as a supplement to the fiber-optic network for the realization of “internet of things” in the city of St. Gallen].änzung%20zum%20Glasfasernetz%20zur%20Realisierung%20eines%20Internet%20of%20Things%20in%20der%20Stadt%20St.Gallen.pdf.
  74. Stake, R. E. (2006). Multiple case study analysis. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  75. Stankovic, J. A. (2014). Research directions for the internet of things. IEEE Internet of Things Journal, 1(1), 3–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Sun, H., De Florio, V., Gui, N., & Blondia, C. (2009). Promises and challenges of ambient assisted living systems. Paper presented at the 6th International Conference on Information Technology: New Generations, Las Vegas, USA.Google Scholar
  77. Swan, M. (2013). The quantified self: Fundamental disruption in big data science and biological discovery. Big Data, 1(2), 85–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Tudor Car, L., El-Khatib, M., Perneczky, R., Papachristou, N., Atun, R., Rudan, I., et al. (2017). Prioritizing problems in and solutions to homecare safety of people with dementia: Supporting carers, streamlining care. BMC Geriatrics, 17(26), 1–8.Google Scholar
  79. Uppström, E., & Lönn, C.-M. (2017). Explaining value co-creation and co-destruction in e-government using boundary object theory. Government Information Quarterly, 34(3), 406–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. van Waart, P., Mulder, I., & de Bont, C. (2015). A participatory approach for envisioning a smart city. Social Science Computer Review, 34(6), 708–723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Verba, S., Schlozman, K. L., & Brady, H. E. (1995). Voice and equality: Civic voluntarism in american politics. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  82. Warren, M. (2007). The digital vicious cycle: Links between social disadvantage and digital exclusion in rural areas. Telecommunications Policy, 31(6), 374–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Wimo, A., Jönsson, L., & Winblad, B. (2010). Health economic aspects of dementia. In D. Ames, A. Burns, & J. O’Brien (Eds.), Dementia (4th ed., pp. 327–340). Boca Raton: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  84. Yassaee, M., Mettler, T., & Winter, R. (2016). Using affordance analysis to design individual analytics ecosystems. Rüschlikon: Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue.Google Scholar
  85. Yildiz, M. (2007). E-government research: Reviewing the literature, limitations, and ways forward. Government Information Quarterly, 24(3), 646–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research (4thed. ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  87. Zakareya, E., & Zahir, I. (2005). E-government adoption: Architecture and barriers. Business Process Management Journal, 11(5), 589–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Zanella, A., Bui, N., Castellani, A., Vangelista, L., & Zorzi, M. (2014). Internet of things for smart cities. IEEE Internet of Things Journal, 1(1), 22–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali A. Guenduez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tobias Mettler
    • 2
  • Kuno Schedler
    • 1
  1. 1.Smart Government Lab, Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance, University of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland
  2. 2.Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration, University of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations