Open Government

‘7 Questions’ to Keynote Speaker Theresa A. Pardo @CeDEM15

This week, we would like to introduce our keynote speaker Theresa A. Pardo of the upcoming CeDEM15 to you. CeDEM15 is an international Conference for e-Democracy and Open Government and will take place at Danube University Krems (22.05.-25.5.2015). It brings together specialists – working in academia, politics, government and business – to critically analyse innovations, issues, ideas and challenges in the digital age.

We have asked Theresa A. Pardo 7 questions relating to her professional experiences and the topics she will present at the CeDEM15. See what she responded and get to know her a bit more before the CeDEM15!

theresaaparton.cedem15

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7 Questions to Keynote Speaker Theresa A. Pardo

1. Your Keynote at CeDEM15 will be “Enabling Open Government for All: A Roadmap for Public Libraries” – what can we expect and what especially do you want people to take away from your Keynote?

Many governments around the world are investing in making government data open and building new capability to engage citizens in the process of governing and in services design and delivery. These are important supply-side investments. This talk will address the need for new investment in “demand side open government.” In the case of public libraries, as community anchor institutions in the US, this means a reconsideration of the role played by libraries in their communities. I would like those listening to the keynote to understand the need for new kinds of investments in building community capability to create balance between supply and demand in the area of open government and what this might mean for both new and traditional community organizations.

2. Where do you see the role of technology in the context of public services?

Technology is a key enabler of public service delivery. Whether it is used to manage queues at a government help desk, deliver direct services to an elderly home-bound citizen through a mobile device, monitor the financial markets, or track traffic patterns, it is an enabler.

3. What are the major potentials and challenges in the field of public services?

A major challenge I see now in the field of public services is the creation of data governance capability. Many governments are working to realize the potential of data to help create new understanding of the world around us. Unfortunately, in many governments, the data required to create this new understanding and to inform new public policies and programs is not carefully captured and managed. If governments and the citizens they serve are to benefit from the potential of data and the emerging technologies now available to create insight from that data, then governments must create new capability to be effective stewards of that data.

4. What is your approach regarding to measuring the value of public services?

To measure the value of a public service, we must ensure a focus on what outcome a particular service has been designed to create. Measuring the outcome of a public service is a very difficult thing to do. Too many times we see governments trying to measure value by counting; how many people, how many visits, and how many questions. This is important data, but it doesn’t tell us what value has been created. To measure public value requires understanding up front of what difference we expect a service to make, and then carefully tracking the extent to which that service does in fact generate the difference we expect over time.

5. You are listed as one of Government Technology’s Top 25 honors innovators in the public sector. Can you share one of your best practices with us?

In 2013, the Center for Technology celebrated its 20th anniversary. In honor of that celebration I joined with Dr. Sharon Dawes, CTG’s founding director, to identify the timeless lessons we had learned over those 20 years. An article presenting the lessons can be found here but the lessons themselves, our best practices, are three:

      1. Pay attention to Phase 0 — Before the beginning
      2. Understand that capability is multi-dimensional
      3. Learn to work across boundaries

6. In which area do you see the need for more research on public services?

There are many areas in digital government and public management that need more research attention. One area of particular interest to me is information sharing within the context of cities. The world’s population is increasingly concentrated in cities. How information is captured, managed and used within cities and then shared among city agencies and with other stakeholders requires new study. New understanding of these processes is needed to advance the efforts of cities to create not only responsive and effective services but also the sustainable critical infrastructure necessary to respond to the changing context.

7. What is your vision for the future of eGovernment?

Digital technologies have and continue to make the world a better place. Along with these improvements come a host of new problems and challenges. My vision for the future is that governments continue to build the capability necessary to maximize the potential of these technologies by creating new understanding of the deep interdependencies among policy, management and technology. To realize this vision government leaders, in particular, must use their unique roles to set the stage for change; they must set expectations and lead by example ensuring that their governments create public value through sincere interactions with citizens, efficient and effective services, and by providing the critical infrastructure that society relies on government to provide.

Theresa A. Pardo
Theresa A. PardoTheresa A. Pardo serves as Director of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany, State University of New York, where she also holds research professor appointments in Public Administration and Policy and Informatics. Under her leadership, the Center works closely with multi-sector and multi-disciplinary teams from the U.S. and around the world to carry out applied research and problem solving projects focused on the intersections of policy, management, and technology in the governmental context.

Session 3, Top24A: Open Government als Thema und Format von Uni-Lehrveranstaltungen

Stefan Huber, Universität Salzburg

Open Government als Thema und Format einer universitären Lehrveranstaltung: Speziell zum Format einer LV im Sinne von „Open Government“ ergeben sich einige Fragen. In der Session wurden eine Lehrveranstaltung von Stefan Huber über Open Government vorgestellt und weitere Ideen gesammelt, wie man Lehrveranstaltungen noch offener gestalten kann.

„Open“ kann vieles bedeuten: Am Fachbereich Kommunikationswissenschaft der Universität Salzburg gibt es dazu eine Lehrveranstaltung über “Approaches and Practices of Open Government”. Ähnlich dem Bild einer bestehenden Wand, in das ein Loch gebrochen wird, damit etwas Neues, Kreatives, Platz findet, zeit diese Lehrveranstaltung neue Wege auf, wie durch Technologie ermöglichte Kollaboration auf die politischen Prozesse in einer Stadt, einem Bundesland oder einem Staat wirkt.

Inhalt des in englisch gehaltenen Proseminars sind die sich ändernden kommunikativen Beziehungen zwischen BürgerInnen, Verwaltungsapparaten und politischen Autoritäten. Es geht außerdem um neue Kooperationsmöglichkeiten über ICTs. Open Government Data als Unterpunkt wird ebenfalls aufgegriffen. Außerdem werden ExpertInnen, die für den Open Government-Gedanken stehen, eingeladen. Open Government-Ansätze werden dabei analysiert; die kritische Auseinandersetzung mit dem Selbstbild der beteiligten Städte ist ebenfalls Programm der LV. Für die Studierenden ist die Note an die Erreichung der Ziele in der Lehrveranstaltung gekoppelt.

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CFP: Open Government Data (JeDEM Open Access Journal)

We invite you to submit a paper to the upcoming Special Issue of JeDEM 01/2014.
JeDEM provides full open access to its authors and readers: Publishing with and reading JeDEM is free of charge.

Guest EditorsBild

* Ina Schieferdecker, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Germany
* Marijn Janssen, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
* Tim Davies, University of Southampton, UK
* Johann Höchtl, Danube University Krems, Austria

In efforts to increase openness, transparency and participation, governments around the world have drafted Open Government policies and established Open Data as an integral part of modern administration. Open data and public sector information has been held out as a powerful resource to support good governance, improve public services, engage citizens, and stimulate economic growth. The promises have been high, but the results have been modest so far and more and there are more and more critical sounds.  Policies have not resulted in gaining the desired benefits and implementations have been criticized for its technology orientation and neglecting the user perspective. These policies and implementations are now under scrutiny, with important questions to be asked about: whether the results justify the efforts; about how different outcomes from open data can be secured; and who is benefiting from open data in different countries and contexts? (more…)

Making digital government better: An interview with Mike Bracken

Simplify public access to government services and information

March 2014, McKinsey & Co.

Bracken

When it comes to the digital world, governments have traditionally placed political, policy, and system needs ahead of the people who require services. Mike Bracken, the executive director of the United Kingdom’s Government Digital Service, is attempting to reverse that paradigm by empowering citizens—and, in the process, improve the delivery of services and save money. In this video interview, Bracken discusses the philosophy behind the digital transformation of public services in the United Kingdom, some early successes, and next steps. An edited transcript of his remarks follows.

Read the Interview transcript at McKinsey.com

Mike Bracken is the executive director of the United Kingdom’s Government Digital Service, which has sought to simplify access to services and information through a central website, gov.uk.

Open Everything – Kunst und Diskurs in Graz #elevatefestival

openeverythingMitte bis Ende Oktober ist Graz immer gut besucht – vom Elevate Festival über den Steirischen Herbst bis zu diversen Kunst- und Jugendfestivals gibt es so einige lohnenswerte Veranstaltungen. Die meisten Formate verknüpfen Vortrag und Spaß bzw. Diskussion und Kunst – so ist die Kombination von Musik, Kunst und politischem Diskurs z.B. das Markenzeichen des Elevate-Festivals, dass dieses Jahr unter dem Motto “Open Everything” stand und damit auch Internetfreiheit und digitale Entwicklungen als Schwerpunkt hatte.

Open Everything?

Mit dem diesjährigen Motto griff man Konzepte wie Open Democracy, Open Source und Open Data, aber auch die Probleme einer durch digitale Entwicklungen offeneren oder transparenteren Gesellschaft auf.

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