Computers and the Internet open up new possibilities of participation in political planning and decision-making (e-democracy). An important precondition for this is simple and open access to the data of the administration (Open Data).
Another important element of participation is the barrier-free design of websites and software products. This is the only way to ensure that all citizens can express their interests and participate in the societal discourse.
The Internet raised expectations that it could contribute to the democratisation of society. This is now viewed more realistically. Our e-democracy projects at international, national and local level are mainly focused on the relation between public administration and citizens and the question how democratic participation can be strengthened by the Internet.
Open Government means creating transparency by electronic information given by the public administration. This opening of the administration to the public strengthens democracy because it promotes political participation. Moreover, the understanding of decision-making processes in the public administration can be deepened. Further, Open Government Data enable the provision of target group-specific information and services to citizens and businesses.
The citizen-compatible and therefore barrier-free design of Internet applications allows easy access for different target groups.
We understand accessibility in the sense of universal design and include aspects of usability. With practice tests, the ifib researchers investigate the design of websites from the users perspective. In our projects, we support the design processes of Internet applications, also including the design of working and business processes, if possible. To guarantee sustainable usability, we develop, together with our customers, concepts for quality assurance and offer regular inspections also after relaunch.