Tutorial 1 - ICEDEG 2024

Title: Voting Advice Applications — Design, Implementation, and Impact


Target Audience

The tutorial is designed for researchers in eDemocracy and eParticipation (and closely related areas). Its introductory nature makes it suitable for students, early-career researchers, and more experienced researchers. Additionally, the tutorial will interest professionals in civic education, voter mobilization, and political transparency. The slides used in the tutorial will be publicly available afterward. 

Importance of Topic

This tutorial summarizes the state-of-the-art VAA design (Voting Advice Applications  - VAAs), implementation, and impact in different projects in countries including Switzerland, Ecuador, Australia, Luxembourg, and Kosovo. 


  • VAAs: definition and history 
  • Walk through the smart vote VAA, with audience participation
  • VAAs in different countries and political systems
  • Impact of VAAs on civic education, voter mobilization, issue-based political discourse, transparency, and accountability
  • VAAs and Recommender Systems
  • Dynamic Profiles


Robin Bartlett Rissi (1984) is currently working as project manager at smartvote. smartvote is a Swiss voting advice application (VAA) developed and run by the politically neutral, non-profit organization Politools. Politools is an interdisciplinary scientific network located in Bern, Switzerland, which has operated internet-based projects to promote civic education and political transparency, and to provide political analysis since 2003. Politools works in partnership with the KPM Center for Public Management (KPM) at the University of Bern, Switzerland and the Research Group on Digital Democracy at the Bern University of Applied Science BFH, Switzerland. At smartvote she is responsible for international projects and has run versions of smartvote for national elections in Australia (2019, 2020) and Luxembourg (2018, 2019, 2023). In 2009, she received her M.A. in political science from the University of Bern, Switzerland. In 2006, she received her B.A. in contemporary history from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Her main interests include democratization, civil education, citizen engagement, web design and user experience (UX).  


Luis Terán (1979) is currently working as a lecturer (Dozent) at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and a senior researcher and Privat Dozent at the Human-IST Institute, University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Former visiting scholar at the University of Bern, and academic guest at the University of Zurich. He was also appointed Full Professor at Universidad de Las Fuerzas Armadas (ESPE), Ecuador, until October 2020. He obtained a Ph.D. and a habilitation in computer science from the University of Fribourg. In 2009, he finished an M.Sc in communication systems from the Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland. In 2004, he received a B.Sc in electronics and telecommunications from Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito, Ecuador. He was a global chair for the IEEE e-Government Special Technical Community, program chair and main organizer for the International Conference on eDemocracy and eGovernment (ICEDEG), guest editor at IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing, Editorial Board Member at the Cooperative Perspective Journal, guest editor at Axioms Open Access Journal, member of the IEEE Task Force on Explainable Fuzzy Systems (TF-EXFS) at the Computational Intelligence Society (CIS), a distinguished exhibitor at IEEE Ecuador Section, and Senior Member at IEEE.


José Mancera is a versatile professional, holding the Applied Data Science Researcher position at Beekeeper AG in Zurich and a lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences in Luzern (HSLU). His academic pursuit includes a Ph.D. in Soft-Computing at the Human-IST Institute, Fribourg, with a research focus on recommender systems, fuzzy mathematics, explainable AI (XAI), and generative AI. Mr. Mancera holds an M.A. in Information Management from the University of Fribourg and an M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Bern, both with magna cum laude honors. His scholarly contributions include numerous publications in machine learning and computer science. He has a rich professional history, including a stint as a Senior Machine Learning Scientist at the University of Fribourg (2016-2018) and a Data Scientist role at Schindler Aufzüge AG, where he patented a unique algorithm. In 2013, he contributed to CDMS satellite software development at the Swiss Space Center and EPFL and also completed a minor in space technologies. Mr. Mancera's career spans various industries, including aerospace, fintech, robotics, and telecom, with notable engagements at institutions like HSLU, CreditGate24, Swiss Space Systems, Huawei, and Televisa SA de CV. His international experience covers positions in Mexico, the USA, Canada, and Switzerland. He began his academic journey with a B.Sc. in Electronics and Communications from ITESM, Mexico City, in 2006.



Carine Hunziker (1991) graduated from the University of Lucerne in 2017 with a B.A. in political science and then completed her M.A. in legal studies at the University of Fribourg. She has worked as a project manager at smartvote since 2018 and supports the related research projects as a scientific collaborator. smartvote is a Swiss voting advice application (VAA) developed and run by the politically neutral, non-profit organization Politools. Politools works in partnership with the Center for Public Management (KPM) at the University of Bern, Switzerland and the Research Group on Digital Democracy at the Bern University of Applied Science BFH, Switzerland. At smartvote Carine Hunziker supports the organization and execution of voting advice applications for federal, cantonal and municipal elections. She is responsible for the planning and IT-management of various other projects such as smartmonitor - a platform that aims to provide information on parliamentary events within the framework of systematic monitoring - the re-design of the smartvote back-end and she also assists with the smartvote International project. Furthermore, she is responsible for the implementation and the monitoring of smartvote-BePart - a participatory platform to inform and involve citizens online.



Next Event

24 - 26 June 2024
Lucerne, Switzerland

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