May 10, 2012
On a slightly tangential track, and those who know me know I love tangents, I found a great post on Richard Layman’s blog on urban design. His recent post ‘All the talk of e-government, digital government, and open source government is really about employing the design method’ actually says it all in the title, and if that isn’t clear to you he writes that all these things are essentially about process redesign – how true!
As well as promoting the work of John Friedmann, of which I wasn’t aware but now am going to read, he links this to design method and design thinking, which wouldn’t appear to be a million miles away from systems thinking. Richard then goes on to criticize the thinking that believes social media, apps, web and cloud will change government. He recognizes that it’s all really about processes – it doesn’t matter how good an app is, if the process behind it is rubbish, it’ll be rubbish. Similarly he states that ‘”open government” is really about process redesign’.
If all town/transport planners were as broad thinking I suspect the world would be a different place…
January 1, 2010
Andrea di Maio of Gartner has hit one particular nail on the head in his blog from December 23 2009 entitled “Vendors and Consultants Should Not Be Driving Government 2.0“. In my view, they shouldn’t have been driving Government 1.o or e-government, but largely were, either having got themselves into political seats of power or acting as the power behind the thrones.
What should happening? Well better procurement for a start, instead of getting picked off one-by-one by suppliers and consultancy companies, government bodies and local authorities should be getting together and telling the suppliers and consultants what the citizen wants and what their role might be in providing that, if they want the business.
Money is short now at the taxpayer level and if we are going to match that situation at a government level we’ll have to sharpen up process and outcome across the board and stop reinventing wobbly wheels! We can’t keep shelling out for every new technical fad and fashion or be expected to pay for the bloatware some suppliers sell us as software applications.
United we stand, divided we keep paying through the nose!
Andrea also picks up am interesting “Top ten for Gov 2.0 in 2009“. Government IT staff will appreciate number one!
December 14, 2009
A long-time lurker on the W3C e-government group, J.H.Snider, posted links to his 2001 commentary in Government Technology, E-Government vs. E-Democracy where he argued “that it is harmful to equate e-government with e-democracy reform because the motivations leading to the two types of reform are so different. If you are a government official opposed to e-democracy but supportive of e-government, I think conflating the two terms is good political strategy. But if you’re a democratic reformer, you want to reserve separate terms for e-government and e-democracy.”
He also provides a link to a more recent article of his on the politics of e-democracy entitled “Would You Ask Turkeys to Mandate Thanksgiving? The Dismal Politics of Legislative Transparency“, published in the Spring 2009 issue of the Journal of Information Technology & Politics.
I have little trouble agreeing with him having found e-democracy often sidelined, one way or the other, in the e-government debate by officials, politicials and academics. Some using e-democracy as a sales pitch for e-government, some the other way, whilst some just mix the two up. I continue to ask, as Snider does,
whether politicians are going to delegate power that easily!
If you are of a less cynical outlook you may be more appreciative of the new 388 page book from Stanford University “Online Deliberation: Design, Research, and Practice” from editors Todd Davies and Seeta Pena Gangadharan (Creative Commons licensed) and its free for the PDF!
November 22, 2009
On Thursday 19 November 2009 The Guardian’s Michael Cross published a piece entitled “It’s now time for e-government policy to take the spotlight.”
In his usual charming manner Michael highlights the ignorance of one minister just three years ago, but concludes that 13 years on from the Conservative Green Paper, something might finally happen. I suspect that 13 years is still too soon and Micahel is being optimistic, but what is the cause of his optimism? It’s the EU Ministerial Conference in Malmo, Sweden. For the UK, Bill McCluggage, John Suffolk’s deputy was talking about “A Future that is Efficient, Sustainable and Responsible.”
Andrea di Maio picks up the latest declatation on his blog and does his usual thorough analysis and ends up slightly confused as to where it stands with Gov 2.0, although I suspect for the UK this probably takes on the observation by Michael Cross as to which way we go next year after the election – there are, of course, at least two choices, open up the data or give it to the private sector to open up!
William Heath was also in attendance anf he praises Ton Zilstra’s summary of the event.
June 25, 2009
Having mentioned the interim report, I suppose I’d better cover the final one! Digital Britain is here at last! Unlike the interim one in January 2009 there is a chapter on e-government (well, its called Digital Government) and so is directly appropriate to this blog.
For me the key paragraphs are 15 and 17. The first has a list of criteria for earliest switchover where it is also stated that digital switchover means the ‘primary means of access, rather than one among many’, meaning that digital exclusion is alive and well in Digital Britain – in this instance for high volume, low complexity and efficiency (for the government).
The second states that there is a need to consider whether an online only or multi-channel approach is needed.
I wonder who will decide?
April 20, 2009
In April 2008 I started my detailed research by posting a questionnaire to record any usage of satisfaction, along with trying to obtain an initial view of the status of avoidable contact in the context of National Indicator 14. The results were as I suspected, but, to some extent, there was a lot more support for measuring citizen satisfaction than I’d imagined. There was also a general lack of awareness by practitioners of all the academic and private sector work that had been going on in the background around engaging with customers or citizens.
A year has gone by since the original survey and time for a refreshed one! I’ve learned my lesson about using Google, its a great application but blocked at many authorities. I’ve also tried to avoid some of the verbosity, but when operating in an academic environment semantics and ethics are all important, so there are some constraints.
Its still only a brief questionnaire, taking ten minutes at the most to complete, so please allow for all the ethical paraphenalia and respond. I’ll report back in an ongoing fashion through the blog and other forums, along with adding it to the academic output.
The survey is available above.