NSEC Conclusion

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The initial trial with the NSEC clearly identified some issues:

  1. Key issues were technological, personnel and financial resources. You cannot fully automate a consultation, people still need to manage and run it.
  2. As has been identified in other trials (Waterways Ireland and The Wheel), the technology proved easier than anticipated but the process more complex than expected. The extensive promotion of the consultation process is essential to ensure participation. Thousands of schoolchildren don’t spontaneously visit the NSEC offices in Dundalk. So why expect them to visit nsec.info or nsec.e-consultation.org?
  3. Given the complexity of the consultation domain, which in NSEC case involved a significant number of stakeholders who are both interrelated and interdependent, there is a clear need for extensive pre-consultation research. This would ensure that the precise context of that the e-consultation was understood.
  4. There are lessons to be learned on technical issues. Due to the increasing levels of nuisance e-mails and spam that people are receiving there is an increasing unwillingness to download attachments or go to websites with which they are unfamiliar.