Social skeptics

September 23, 2010

As a post here from March 2008 demonstrates I was considering ‘social capital’ amongst the metrics in my research. At that time I obviously hadn’t fallen over Professor Ben Fine from SOAS, who for a number of years has been critical of the concept. It was only when reading a review of his latest book “Theories of Social Capital Researchers Behaving Badly“, that I became glad that I hadn’t followed that route too far, finding as I did, the concept rather ineffable.

Searching further in the realm of “social capital” I also discovered a whole web site devoted to it from the University of Sienna. Probably not reading for the average ICT Manager but maybe of interest to those examining reasons for using the Internet and social media?

Measure for measure, I am still promoting (dis)satisfaction with individual transactions as the primary indicator of how successful delivery over a channel is, and with longitudinal recording of usage the way to monitor channel shift. There are a number of tools to help with that, and those I know about are on my list on the home page, but the primary outcome is culture change in acting upon the feedback. Do that and one will have transformed service delivery.



October 22, 2009

I haven’t before reported upon discussions at the Local CIO Council and since we try and operate within Chatham House rules, I won’t often, but in this instance I don’t believe I’m breaking them!

On the 20th October 2009 the packed agenda for the day included a presentation on the Socitm benchmarking scheme and its status in the current climate of the Operational Efficiency Programme etc…

Since part of the impetus for this blog is metrics, I have a vested interest in anything that considers channel shift and channel service comparison, which the benchmarks can, so I’m interested!

Unsurprisingly, one of my colleagues, Glyn Evans, commented upon Birmingham’s employment of ‘business value’, an approach that was generally found acceptable given that much of the value of I.T. initiatives is sometimes lost in the tradition of ‘bean counting’, hence I’ve labelled the soft alternative ‘beat counting’!

My own researches have included side investigations into ‘public value’ and ‘social capital’ as possible metrics, which whilst of no assistance on their own, may be able to be employed as parallel accounting contibutions, given sufficient focus upon what the citizen wants and needs.

Any thoughts out there?

Computer Weekly blog awards

July 5, 2008

Its been a busy week with a meeting of the Local Government CIO Council, a job interview (but didn’t get it) and reading a ton of recently discovered (by me) material on benchmarking, ethics, service quality, social capital and related matters including ‘A Strong Foundation – Report of the Task Force on Public Service Values and Ethics’ from Canada in 1996 and an excellent paper against New Public Management ‘The New Public Service: Serving Rather than Steering’ from Public Administration Review 2000, Volume 60, No. 6. Not exactly new but when collated with a range of recent thinking suggest we’ve been distracted by buzzwords from the US.

A quick thank you to my viewers, most of the feedback is verbal or email, but I received this today (5 July 2008) –

Your blog was recently nominated in the 2008 IT Blog Awards by a reader.  All nominated blogs have now been considered by our panel of judges and I am delighted to inform you that The Great E-mancipator has made the shortlist in the  public sector category.  

Your blog will now compete against selected other blogs in a public vote currently live on the site.

You can find out more about the IT Blog Awards 2008, assess your competition and find the voting page by visiting the Blog Awards page on  Voting will be throughout July with the winners in each category announced in August.

Public Value, Social Capital and other fun metrics

March 15, 2008

In the course of my study of the literature I have had to consider some other ways of measuring the value of electronic government. One of the terms that has been used in recent years is Public Value and a document on the Cabinet Office web site by Kelly, Mulgan & Muers provides some background to this:

Another term is Social Capital, but this is possibly even more difficult to measure, as a review of the literature by the Office of National Statistics demonstrates:

Hence my reason for wanting to examine ‘satisfaction’  versus ‘dissatisfaction’, with explanatory comments for success or failure in service delivery and hence as a means of improving channels!