Politicians internal dialogue and collaboration: this is the first purpose of AreALibera, a social network created by Nicola Orazzini which offer tools to promote meetings among the administrators. The platform is designed to create thematic groups as in whatsapp, with a different level of privacy selected by users. AreALibera has a second dimension connected to politicians and citizens dialogue. The platform can be used by the administrators to inform citizens about political programs, political ideas and solutions. The citizens may have a two different way behaviour: being active and pressing politicians for specific problems, questions and information or being passive and gaining knowledge about their initiatives, acts and ideas. This is possible thanks to the open and mix groups and a smart newsletter that keep the citizens informed. The third dimension is the e-Decision making and the democracy participation. The administrators and the citizens work together to identify the political issues and the proposed solutions to overcome the problems of the city.
Born in November 2014, the AreALibera project employees 3 persons and is registered under the Italian law as innovative start up in the section of the company register of the Chamber of Commerce of Livorno dedicated to the innovative start-ups. From 31 December until today, the results achieved are excellent: the local administrators using the platform increased from 250 to 400, an increase of 284% on an annual basis. The portal opened access to citizens in June 2016, performing 250 registrations in two days. An agreement with the city of Reggio Calabria is to be signed in the near future, expanding the experiences already made in Tuscany and Basilicata. The platform has an high potential impact in term of users and can be replicated in similar frameworks in Italy and in Europe. Reaching a European dimension soon is a key ambition of the project. The first step to make this goal possible is to map all of the different patterns of public administration in Europe. The countries analysed will amount to a minimum of 14 among the ones which joined the EU. Various different law traditions featuring different institutional and administrative models will be taken into consideration. The study process foresaw the following stage: (1) Administrative context (2) Institutional levels (3) The concrete benefits (4) Language translation and the exploitation of an empirical trial. The ambition is to reach many European countries.
The analysis of AreALibera’s expected impacts starts from the segmentation of users in categories. The identification of needs for each category has been useful to select the ones who can be interested in platform in its current stage of development. Local politicians are the basic users of the social network created by Nicola Orazzini and the real target of the platform. They are the most strategic users because the tool is useful to coordinate their actions and to control and manage the territory. The target has been tested: 40 interviews to elected member of municipalities coming from 6 regions in Italy. The pilot test has shown that the most important function of AreALibera is related to communication with citizens, keeping them informed about political initiatives. Helping citizens on political options is another important impact of the platform, which is also a great value for coordinating actions and exchange experiences and best practices. AreALibera impacts all of these needs, giving the citizens a correct information about the on-going initiatives and creating a direct link with them, strengthening the cooperation. It’s the first form of real collaboration, something which moves from the desire to share problems and solutions.