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Archive for the Ch 08: E-Government Category

New Statesman New Media Awards

Posted on Wed, Jul 11, 2007 at 10:39 PM by Andrew Chadwick

New Statesman logo

Looking at the list of finalists for this year's New Statesman New Media Awards, I'm impressed by a) the mainstream political entries (Cameron and the Downing Street E-Petitions) and b) what we might call 'non-official but with a mainstream purpose' sites (18 Doughty Street, The Government Says, PlanningAlerts).

Presenting the International Working Group on Online Consultation and Public Policymaking

Posted on Sat, Mar 31, 2007 at 7:52 PM by Andrew Chadwick

I'm currently at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard for the opening conference of the new, NSF-funded International Working Group on Online Consultation and Public Policymaking led by Peter Shane of Ohio State and Stephen Coleman of Leeds. The group consists of 17 members from around the world; a great mix of senior and junior colleagues with a diverse range of interests and concerns. The meeting has been extremely interesting and fruitful so far, with an excellent programme of future events and concrete outputs, including a special issue of the journal I/S and a jointly-authored book to follow. A list of the participants:

Professor Peter M. Shane, The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law
Stephen Coleman, Professor of Political Communication, University of Leeds
Steven J. Balla, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Patrizia Bertini, independent practitioner and Researcher, European Internet Accessibilità Observatory, Manerbio, Italy
Andrew Chadwick, Royal Holloway College, University of London
Sungsoo Hwang, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Pittsburgh
David Lazer, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Jeffrey Lubbers, Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, D.C.
Laurence Monnoyer-Smith, University of Technology at Compiègne, France
Beth Noveck, New York Law School
Kerrie Oakes, Ph.D. Candidate, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
Oren Perez, Faculty of Law, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
Vincent Price, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
Alicia Schatteman, Ph.D. candidate, The State University of New Jersey at Newark, NJ
Polona Picman Štefancic, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Peter L. Strauss, Betts Professor of Law, Columbia University
Scott Wright, De Montfort University, Leicester, England.

See also David Lazer's blog entry at the Kennedy School Program on Networked Governance.

(Crossposted at the New Political Communication Unit Blog).

Hansard Society's Digital Dialogues project

Posted on Fri, Mar 23, 2007 at 10:00 AM by Andrew Chadwick

Digital Dialogues

Just before last Christmas I was lucky enough to be at a conference at the OII which involved some discussion of the new interim report of the Hansard Society's and UK Department for Constitutional Affairs' excellent new e-democracy initiative, Digital Dialogues. The report is now publicly available and the project continues. One of the main themes that emerges is the lack of marketing in several of the initiatives, but there are some good examples of small-scale successes. The other thing I like about the approach is that it doesn't rely on just forums, but encompasses blogs and chats. Phase Two is now underway.

(Crossposted at the New Political Communication Unit Blog).

Ministerial whirl

Posted on Sun, Jan 07, 2007 at 7:10 PM by Andrew Chadwick

This is quite brilliant.

Sixth Brown global e-government survey

Posted on Tue, Aug 22, 2006 at 1:51 PM by Andrew Chadwick

... is in. The winner is South Korea, which shot up from 86th last year.

The top ten:

1 (86) Korea (Republic)
2 (1) Taiwan
3 (2) Singapore
4 (3) United States
5 (6) Canada
6 (11) Great Britain
7 (9) Ireland
8 (7) Germany
8 (53) Japan
10 (88) Spain

Last year's rankings in parentheses.

In Chapter Eight of the book I take a look at the development of interactive features on government websites over time, using the Brown data. The 2006 data confirm the patchy situation. See this table. While email availability is increasing steadily, commenting opportunities are not.

Full Brown Report here.

Web 2.0 in e-government

Posted on Sat, Mar 11, 2006 at 3:03 PM by Andrew Chadwick

Good little article by Ellen Perlman in Governing Magazine about the rise of blogs and wikis in US state and local governments.

Signs e-government might actually be working?

Posted on Thu, Dec 22, 2005 at 12:26 PM by Andrew Chadwick

I just renewed my car tax license disc - online. Though it has still to arrive in the mail, the renewal process took me about a minute and thirty seconds. This compares with the usual forty five minutes to an hour it takes me to fill in the forms, gather the validation documents, write out the check, go to my nearest post office, stand in line, and, finally, obtain the disc.

Putting the UK Driver and Vehicle License Agency online has not been easy; it has taken more than five years - but they got there in the end. There are many problems with e-government in the UK, but arguably one of the biggest is that they never really caught the public's imagination by rolling out the obvious services early on. Much effort was spent on producing 'life events' portals and so on, but there was less emphasis on sitting down, working out what, say, the top ten most wanted online services were, and implementing these quickly and smoothly.

But there are signs that this is now starting to happen.

Update: the disc arrived two days later!

Edited on: Fri, Jan 13, 2006 11:02 AM

New UK e-government strategy

Posted on Fri, Nov 04, 2005 at 12:47 PM by Andrew Chadwick

The British government has finally published its new e-government strategy, Transformational Government. This is the first big statement of where things are heading since the formation of the new Cabinet Office E-Government Unit and the appointment of Ian Watmore as CIO. This is from the section on 'Vision':

"The specific opportunities lie in improving transactional services (eg tax and benefits), in helping front line public servants to be more effective (eg doctors, nurses, police and teachers), in supporting effective policy outcomes (eg in joined-up, multi-agency approaches to offender management and domestic violence), in reforming the corporate services and infrastructure which government uses behind the scenes, and in taking swifter advantage of the latest technologies developed for the wider market."

and these are seen as the principal problems with the current state of e-government:

"Many systems are structured around the "product" or the underlying legislation rather than the customer (sometimes because, at the time, each system was big or difficult enough to do by itself). Often the customer experience is not joined up, especially when it crosses organisational boundaries.
Many systems were designed as islands, with their own data, infrastructure and security and identity procedures. This means that it is difficult to work with other parts of government or the voluntary and community sector to leverage each other's capabilities and delivery channels. It also leads to customer frustration, duplication of effort (for instance on customer change of address) and failure to make timely interventions, as the Bichard Inquiry showed. Choice requires services to be able to talk to each other."

Increasing co-ordination across government has been a core aim of e-government since the late 1990s, but once again we find fragmentation mentioned as one of the problems. And in this case it actually provides a context and rationale for the new strategy. The assumption for Watmore seems to be that the new public management fragmented government, e-government has so far reinforced it, but this now needs to be overcome. It's an interesting issue, because Patrick Dunleavy and Helen Margetts have argued [pdf] that the era of new public management is 'over', and has been replaced by a new era of co-ordination and coherence through e-government technologies. Reading the new strategy document, this seems like a contested interpretation.

New Brown University global e-government report

Posted on Thu, Oct 27, 2005 at 5:58 PM by Andrew Chadwick

The sixth Brown University global e-government report has been published.

Open source and governance

Posted on Tue, Oct 04, 2005 at 2:07 PM by Andrew Chadwick

There's a brief interview on opendemocracy with Geoff Mulgan (former adviser inside Number 10, now at the Young Foundation) about open source as a democratic principle to guide governance. This comes on the back of his and Tom Steinberg's Demos pamphlet earlier this year. See also the paper I published (pdf) as part of a symposium on Jane Fountain's book Building the Virtual State in 2003, especially the sections towards the end. But more importantly, see the excellent book by Steven Weber which goes beyond the 'open source is inherently democratic' view. Some bits of open source method are democratic, some aren't.

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