We Organised the First Discussion Seminar with Sofia Stakeholders Within the ICC Project on the Topic of Е-Government and Citizen Participation

16 January, 2021

At the start of the new year, we held the first discussion seminar Needs Assessment Workshop: E-Government and Citizen Participation in Sofia as part of the city’’s participation in the 100 Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC) project, which aims to support and promote innovation and smart urban development and unites over 120 cities worldwide. The programme consists of 5 different thematic tracks, and Sofia’s focus is in the field of E-government and citizen participation.

The organisation of seminars with local stakeholders is part of the European Commission’s project methodology, and the workshop was the first event organized locally within the ICC.


The aim of the seminar

The aim of the seminar was to start a dialogue between the city and the local stakeholders, organisations and businesses, so that we could together, through discussion, as well as by building on already created documents on the topic:

  •     identify win-win engagement models during the implementation of the programme
  •     analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the local environment in the field of e-government and citizen participation
  •     determine the needs, priorities, challenges and opportunities for Sofia Municipality in the integration of intelligent solutions for e-government and citizen participation
  •     identify specific actions through which the participating organisations can get  involved in the promotion of citizen participation in topics related to the life in and the development of the city

Next steps

More detailed results from the discussion will be presented during our next webinar within the project – Solution Maturity and Strategy Workshop. It will be held at the end of January and will aim to include an even wider range of stakeholders. The conclusions and the proposals from these two webinars will be included in a report-analysis of Sofia’s maturity in the field of “Citizen participation”.

Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming Solution Maturity and Strategy Workshop in our next article on the ICC project next week. After the second webinar, we will share an overview with key insights from the discussions.

We believe that the seminar Needs Assessment Workshop: E-Government and Citizen Participation in Sofia was an excellent start of an active two-way communication with local stakeholders and will lead to new mechanisms for the optimisation and expansion of the level of participation of the citizens of Sofia in issues related to the development of the city, urban decision-making and the control of its implementation.

Thank you!

We would like to thank the participants in the meeting who shared their valuable feedback with us – experts and member companies from the Bulgarian Association of Information Technologies – BAIT, the Biotech and Life Sciences Cluster Bulgaria,the  Bulgarian Association of Robotics and Automation – PARA, the Bulgarian Convention Bureau, the Bulgarian Employers’ Association Innovative Technologies – BRAIT, The Bulgarian Fintech Association,  the Artificial Intelligence Cluster – Bulgaria, as well as representatives of the Bulgarian Center for Not-For-Profit Law (BCNL), Vision for Sofia and Sofiaplan, Resonator, Sofia Tech Park, the Fund of Funds, the Urban Mobility Center.

We are glad that the participants in the meeting shared a common vision regarding the need of stronger ties between the business and the municipality; data regulations and access to open data to support the development of innovation; result-oriented educational initiatives for the citizens and the administration; accessible, understandable, and comprehensive information provided in one place; and the improvement of the channels of interaction and the processes for civic participation, among others. This is the vision and goal of Innovative Sofia’s team in our role of project coordinator.


Don’t hesitate to contact us:

Follow our website and social media profiles for news on the initiative and next workshops announcements. If you represent an organization interested in the field of citizen participation and you think that you can contribute to the development of the project, please share your interest to join the upcoming events by sending us an email to: iskra.yovkova@innovativesofia.bg and ana.georgieva@innovativesofia.bg

The ‘100 Intelligent Cities Challenge’ Program of the European Commission

The Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC) is an initiative by the European Commission bringing together over 120 cities to achieve intelligent, socially responsible and sustainable growth through advanced technologies. Through these technologies, cities in Europe will be able to transform, ensure a higher quality of life for their citizens and improve the quality of the business environment. Find out more about the project and Sofia’s participation on the initiative’s website https://www.intelligentcitieschallenge.eu/, as well as on the special page about Sofia’s participation in the project on our website here.