January 23, 2011
A request for help from Finland on the W3C e-government interest group list resulted in a pointer back to another site I hadn’t been to recently, the Civic Commons wiki. As with many colleagues out there, including the one posting that URI, I am keen that we don’t reinvent any wheels, so I’m posting it here, too.
As the site states in its ‘About’: “In the face of budget crises, government entities at every level must cut costs and find efficiencies. An enormous opportunity lies in their IT infrastructure — the technology they require to provide their citizens essential services. For the most part, each city, county, state, agency and office builds or buys their technology solutions independently, creating huge redundancies in civic software and wasting millions of tax-payer dollars. They should be able to work together. An independent non-profit organization, Civic Commons will help these institutions share code and best practices, reform procurement practices, and learn to function not only as a provider of services but as a platform to which an ecosystem of industry can add value for government and its citizens.”
So even better, we can spread these savings internationally, if possible. The UK equivalent for applications is http://data.gov.uk/apps – Give it time, it’s only been there a year and nobody has even written on the wiki yet…or am I being disingenuous?
March 9, 2010
…or should that be participative democracy? No, the two are definitely not the same! However, so as not to get confused with a post about participation, per se, I thought some expansion necessary! Thanks to Jose Manuel Alonso for mailing the W3C e-government interest group with the European E-participation Summary November 2009. The authors include Ann Macintosh and the document attempts to play out both the necessity and practice behind e-participation in the light of the Lisbon Treaty of December 2007, which is now ratified.
It’s only 30 pages and fairly graphical but the key sections for me is number 24 on page 28 where it states:
“In a context where at least 30% of Europeans will not be online for the foreseeable future, where ICT is still in its infancy as regards participation, and where ICT is unlikely ever to meet all the needs of participation (especially those related to its social and community experience, and the needs for considered long-term and highly nuanced debate), multi-channel solutions are highly desirable.
- eParticipation rarely stands alone. Both implementation and research should focus on why and how switching between channels occurs. “
- The role of intermediaries needs to be better understood and encouraged where appropriate.
- eParticipation can be and often needs to be combined with traditional channels like meetings, personal consultations, mass media, the use of the telephone and mass mailings, etc.
- Alternative e-channels like digital TV, kiosks, mobile phones could also be exploited especially for enhancing the participation of specific target groups.”
Which confirms for me that the EU is also getting it head around the fact that e-government is not a majority event and there will always be a significant minority to support. It also appreciates the little understood channel switching that occurs and needs to be seriously researched when designing systems.
An excellent report appreciating the challenges ahead!
July 22, 2009
Tim Berners-Lee has made one of his not-too frequent posts upon the topic of e-government. In fact it’s not really e-government its about putting data online. The article is on the W3C web site.
This is probably highly appropriate since the W3C eGovernment Interest Group has reached its latest phase and published a draft charter.
With everyone working on data handling and information management, what I’d like to see is that we can use linked data, as envisaged by Berners-Lee but in a coordinated manner, so that the tools we emply internally can produce the data for external use by ourselves (which we may not need when external hosts can do it) and others.
Anyway, Berners-Lee provides lots of suggestions plus some ‘do’s and don’ts’. Lets do some.
The same metter is picked up in a piece in the McKinsey Quarterly entitled E-government 2.0, which reinforces the method but accepts the cultural hurdles to be leaped or stumbled over. Very importantly for me, Baumgarten and Chul, also consider it in a multichannel context by stating the need to “provide consistent experience and share learning across channels.”
If you are interested and, preferably, in UK local government please complete the survey, it doesn’t take long at all. I’ll keep feeding back through these pages, which are also covered by localgov.co.uk and PSF.
February 18, 2009
If you thought nothing much went on at W3C in relation to e-government you’d be sadly wrong. Churning away in the background is the e-government Interest Group which has produced amongst other things a list of up-to-date international reports relating to e-government available at:
Another very recent report is the 240 page one done by Deloittes for the EU – STUDY ON USER SATISFACTION AND IMPACT IN EU27
The report is basically the preparation for a more detailed study but is testing the instruments (i.e.surveys) to be employed in the bigger exercise. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, the main outcome is that home users lag behind business users, along with the fact that measuring ‘satisfaction’ is not straightforward, perhaps one of the reasons I’ve started looking towards collecting dissatisfaction.
September 24, 2008
Owen, another member of the W3C eGov IG responded to a mail of mine there that:
” Having discovered CCSR as a result of your message, I converted its “aims” (goals) and objectives to StratML format for inclusion in our collection at http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm#Nonprofits or, more specifically, http://xml.gov/stratml/CCSR.xml
Googling for CCSR’s site also prompted me to discover CPSR. Their goals, objectives, and values are now documented in StratML format as well:
They are the 361st and 362nd plans indexed in Mark Logic’s StratML search service prototype — http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm#SearchServices — in
which they, respectively, rank:
1st & 8th of 97 on the term “social”
1st & 5th of 121 on “responsibility”
200th & 4th of 205 on “technology”
NA & 1st of 46 on “computers”
The prospective purposes of StratML are outlined at http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm#DefinitionPurposes Under the auspices of AIIM, we aim to establish it as an international voluntary consensus standard for potential use by all organizations worldwide, as well as individuals who choose to take *responsibility* for leading mission/goal
directed lives. AIIM’s StratML Committee page is available at http://www.aiim.org/standards/article.aspx?ID=34121
In light of their missions, it would be good if CCSR and CPSR could play roles in helping to specify and foster widespread usage of the StratML standard.
BTW, the eGov IG’s plan is also available in StratML format, at http://xml.gov/stratml/WEIG.xml, and the use case I drafted for the IG’s consideration is at http://www.w3.org/2007/eGov/IG/wiki/Use_Case_1_-_Strategic_Plans Also included is the plan of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA: http://xml.gov/stratml/NAPFAstratplan.xml
It would be good if organizations like CCSR, CPSR, and the eGov IG could partner with organizations like NAPFA to ensure that government agencies are making readily available (in XML format) the information citizens need to understand and be held accountable for not only their personal responsibilities but also those their governments are imposing upon them.”
Whilst Owen in the USA promotes the NAPFA perhaps the Power of Information lobby might like to consider this?
Tagging one’s potential resources as one identifies them seems a constructive exercise – any takers?
Owen has also pointed out to me the Web Content Managers Council and I thought another view of metrics is always welcome – http://www.usa.gov/webcontent/improving/evaluating.shtml – its big, its commercial and its not what I’m looking for! But thanks all the same Owen!