DigiPart-Index: a need for cooperation between the cantons

Institutional Communication Service

The publication of the third DigiPartIndex Report, to which Università della Svizzera italiana also contributed, is now available. The DigiPart-Index measures, on a scale from 0 to 100, the possibilities of digital participation in political processes in the Swiss cantons. In the third year of the survey, the average score for all cantons remains relatively low. For the third time in a row, the canton at the top of the ranking scores ten times higher than the one at the bottom. While digital participation has remained virtually unchanged in the lower-ranking cantons over the past three years, there has been a further increase in the upper-ranking range this year - this is partly due to the reintroduction of e-voting.

Throughout Switzerland, digital forms of political participation, such as e-voting or online polls, increasingly complement traditional forms, such as ballot papers and printed forms. This trend coincides with people's increasingly digital lifestyle. Consequently, an interdisciplinary team of researchers has developed a Switzerland-specific index to measure digital political participation and to provide a comparative picture of digital engagement opportunities in the different cantons. The index is recorded through a range of standardised values. The values of the DigiPartIndex Switzerland range from 0 to 100 points and include the fields "opinion formation", "participation" and "decision-making".


Differences between the cantons are growing

In the third year of the DigiPart-Index survey, the differences between the cantons are still considerable and have even increased slightly, reaching a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 58 points. The average value stands at 33 points. Rural, smaller cantons usually fall in the group with the lowest scores and offer limited digital tools for political participation. Even in the top group, there is still room for improvement, particularly in the area of electronic requests, where private platforms such as 'petitio' or 'weCollect' currently exist.

There has been little improvement in the lower range of the DigiPart-Index for the cantons in Switzerland over the past three years, while the best cantons are in the upper-middle range. It is important to take caution to ensure that smaller cantons with fewer resources do not fall behind. The smaller cantons can benefit from the expertise of larger ones by strengthening technical cooperation. Although technical solutions are already available in individual cantons, they need to be used on a larger scale through mutual learning. In a small, multilingual country like Switzerland, such cooperation is particularly important for the future. The rapid development of new tools such as ChatGPT will also affect the field of digital political participation.


Participating institutions

The research group consists of representatives from the Aarau Centre for Democracy (ZDA), the Procivis Think Tank, the Institute of Communication and Public Policy and the Institute of Digital Technologies for Communication at Università della Svizzera italiana. The index is updated annually.


The report and datasets are available at