From October 2011, Ella is a full time research student, with a draft project theme: "Participation space
studies. How do interpretations of online and offline spaces influence (e)participation
in community and civic life?
Ella joined Edinburgh Napier's International Teledemocracy Centre (ITC)
in September 2001. Her research within the ITC mainly focused on using the Internet to get people more involved in democracy, especially young people: ITC projects working with young people
ITC projects are now conducted within IIDI's Centre for Social Informatics (CSI)
The EU funded project HUWY: Hub Websites for Youth Participation
is now complete. HUWY piloted a distributed discussion -aiming to find good ways to support young people to discuss Internet problems and improvements and to encourage policy-makers to interact with the resulting ideas. The HUWY project started in January 2009 and ran for 28 months. Ella led the proposal and consortium, as Edinburgh Napier are the coordinating partner, with 9 other partners, from 4 countries: Estonia, Germany, Republic of Ireland and the UK.
project - Western Balkans Democratic Participation finished in Spring 2009. The project's primary aim was to establish a communication and information management network, hosted by the National News Agencies of the Western Balkan countries. ITC's role within the project focused on 2 aspects: specifying and monitoring e-participation aspects of the network and evaluation.
Ella is active in a number of participation networks (digital and otherwise). In 2009, she organised the ESRC-funded eParticipation Scotland Baseline Workshop
Her previous responsibilities (2001 -6) included development of a suite of e-democracy tools for Highland Youth Voice
(a youth parliament for the Highland region of Scotland). These tools take the form of a website, including an online policy debating forum, a content management system for news and information and an e-voting section, which was used to elect new HYV members in Autumn 2002 and 2004.
Ella has also worked with the University's Secretariat to provide e-voting systems
to support elections to Napier's Academic Board.
Initially Ella joined the ITC to work on the "What sort of Scotland do we want to live in?" e-consultation as part of her dissertation: "Usability and Community in a Dynamic e-Democracy Website
.", completing an MSc in Multimedia Technology (Napier University, Edinburgh).
Ella is on the Program Committee of the following conferences:
Ella is on the editorial board of JeDEM - eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Government http://www.jedem.org/
Until July 2007, Ella worked under her maiden name: Ella Smith. Here is a full list of publications for both names.