In 2010, the city of Barcelona wanted to make a public consultation to determine the willingness of citizens to make changes on one of the main arteries of the city: the Diagonal Avenue.
During the consultation process conducted electronically many problems arose, some of them because of the technology used.
The service provider was the company INDRA. The Barcelona City Council, dissatisfied with their service, opened proceedings against the company.
During the consultation there were many technical problems that prevented some citizens to vote (including the Mayor) and the service was collapsed several times? According to the reports that were made later, the computer program was valid but the infrastructure that had to support it was not. But much of the technological problems, in fact, reflected the tensions within a project that was not technological but political.
What can we learn?
In this case, there was a combination of several factors: technological complexity, a sociological experiment of new forms of citizen participation, and a political project that had both supporters and detractors. All these led to a fiasco that everyone would have wanted to avoid. The multiplication of complex factors can easily lead to a fiasco.