davebriggs + egov   24

Innovation at the State Dept.
I just read Revolution@State, a pretty amazing report by the Lowy Institute, an independent policy think tank, about the extent and depth of e-diplomacy initiatives at the State Department.

I came away with several impressions:

The Internet and social networking are central to how State does its business

The Net and social networking are transforming how State does its business

The Net is bringing about cultural changes at State

That third point is for me the most striking. The State Department has been hypersensitive about security. While that of course remains part of State’s DNA, the Department is also becoming realistic about the gains that can be made by not reflexively shutting down every proposal. For example, the Lowry report writes:

At a Twitter training course for State Department employees attended by the author, the 50 or so officers present — some of whom admitted to never having used social media — were exhorted to give it a go, you can’t go wrong. Policy guidane was barely mentioned.

Closer edamination reveals why this has not led to disaster. To begin with you are dealing with highly educated employees with a strong desire to keep their jobs…

Likewise, the report cites a new willingness to experiment and fail, which is essential for innovation but anathema to State’s traditional culture. Implicit in many of the initiatives, there is new emphasis on Need to Share rather than Need to Know; the latter policy optimizes for security at the cost of intelligence.

The report goes through the many offices directly involved in e-diplomacy, but singles out the 80-person E-Diplomacy group for special focus and praise, lauding its entrepreneurial spirit. That’s the group I’m proud to have been attached to that group for two years as a State Department Franklin Fellow, and, as they say at Reddit, I can confirm.

If you’ve had any interaction with the State Department — where in my limited experience I have met true patriots — you know that it is one of the least likely institutions to hop on the Internet train. I’d give credit to the transformation to three factors:

First, starting with Colin Powell, continued by Condaleeza Rice, and especially with Secretary Clinton (and her choice of Alec Ross (twitter) and until recently Ben Scott), the leadership has embraced these changes.

Second, groups like E-Diplomacy have served State by building tools that serve State’s needs, and have at the same time modeled the webby way of doing business. One great example is Corridor, State’s new professional networking environment, specially tuned to the needs and norms of State Dept. employees.

Third, the State Department’s 80,000 employees are on the ground around the world. This means that the organization is fundamentally reality-based, even when the leadership gets warped by politics. These Net-based initiatives are being embraced because they work. Likewise for the Net-based culture that is infusing State as more of the world and more State Dept. employees go online. Leaders of the e-initiatives such as E-Diplomacy’s Richard Boly combine a drive to achieve pragmatic results with an entrepreneurial appreciation of failure as a key tool for success.

I acknowledge that my personal experience of the State Department is warped by the amount of time I’ve gotten to spend with its webbiest elements. But I’ve also seen tangible evidence that a belief in openness, innovation, and connection is taking root there. The Lowy report confirms that. Worth reading.
egov  e-gov  state_department  from google
september 2012 by davebriggs
Publishing itemised local authority expenditure - advice for comment | data.gov.uk
"The Prime Minister has made a specific commitment that new items of local government spending over £500 be published on a council-by-council basis from January 2011" - and here's how to do it.
councils  data  localgovweb  opendata  egov  government  localgov  localgovernment  opengovernment  government2.0  gov2.0 
june 2010 by davebriggs
Why does government struggle with innovation?
"If innovation is becoming a core attribute required by government organisations, merely to keep up with the rate of change in society and the development of new ways to deliver services and fulfil public needs, perhaps we need to rewrite some of the rulebook, sacrificing part of our desire for stability in return for greater change."
web2.0  australia  blog  collaboration  blogs  e-democracy  e-gov  e-government  gov2.0  gov20  government  government2.0  egovernment  egov  innovation  culture 
april 2010 by davebriggs
E-government is not a financial cure-all
"Whoever is in charge after 6 May, I expect the drive towards "smarter government" (or whatever catch phrase replaces it) to continue. There are simply no other tools in the box. But whoever is in charge will avidly wish someone had made a bolder start while the going was good."
egov  egovernment  government  gov2.0  government2.0  ict  socitm  transformationalgovernment 
april 2010 by davebriggs
Gordon Brown and Tim Berners Lee: Back to the Future?
"The result may be for the UK to remain stuck into its ambition to be seen as a leader in e-government (and now government 2.0) without ever really making it."
egov  egovernment  government  government2.0  gov2.0  tbl  gordonbrown  opengov  opendata  mygov 
march 2010 by davebriggs
Why the EU Keeps Failing on E-Government
"Although I’m all for good practice exchange, what surprises me is the fact that “e-government” is associated to “wireless broadband”, as if practitioners in those two areas were the same or had to have a particularly strong link with each other."
egov  opengovernment  europe  eu  gov2.0  government  government2.0  gartner  digital  egovernment 
february 2010 by davebriggs
Blogging and Facebook for councillors
"An increasing number of councillors now have blogs or use Facebook, so there is plenty of experience around and many good examples to emulate. In this article, seasoned 'blogger' Councillor Mary Reid offers you the benefit of her experience." via @pigsonthewing
egov  facebook  localgovweb  twitter  web2.0  web  socialmedia  localgovernment  localgov 
february 2010 by davebriggs
The benefits of blogging
Great post by Julia Chandler on DfID's blogging experience
blogging  government  howto  blog  blogs  egov  reference  socialmedia  puffbox  dfid  gov2.0  government2.0 
january 2010 by davebriggs
Tories announce £1m competition for large-scale crowdsourcing platform
"Cripes. HM’s Loyal Opposition has announced – if elected – a £1m prize for an online platform for large-scale crowdsourcing."
egovernment  egov  idealgovernment  williamheath  tories  conservatives  crowdsourcing  competition  procurement 
december 2009 by davebriggs
Local Government Data
The Government will encourage local government to release local public data and make it free for reuse, and establish an open-platform local data exchange.
data  opengov  transparency  localgov  localgovweb  localgovcamp  opendata  digital  digitalbritain  government  digitalengagement  egov 
december 2009 by davebriggs
Does Directgov Deliver?
Consumer Focus Lab's commentariat site asking for views on DirectGov
egov  government  report  whitepaper  gov2.0  service  uk  commentariat  wordpress  lesteph  directgov 
december 2009 by davebriggs
BBC News - Government e-petitions give power to the people
"Government plans to roll out e-petitions across the UK could offer people a real say in the democratic process, a conference has heard."
petitions  petition  government  egov  bbc  edemocracy  mysociety  localgovernment  localdemocracy  digitalengagement 
november 2009 by davebriggs
eGov AU: Could the government replace some advertising and communications contracts with crowdsourcing?
"However what I will ask is this - should the Australian government look beyond advertising and communications agencies for good communications ideas? Should we go directly to the communities impacted by our programs, invite them to provide ideas for communications campaigns and reward them appropriately?"
egov  australia  socialmedia  socialnetworks  crowdsourcing  communication  government  digitalengagement  egovau 
november 2009 by davebriggs
Local Electronic Petitions Set To Become Mandatory
"A Bill requiring councils in England and Wales to provide local residents with a facility to lodge electronic petitions, and to respond to such petitions, is set to be passed into law after moving to what is likely to become its final Parliamentary stage last week."
democracy  digitalengagement  egov  localgov  uk  edemocracy  petitions  epetitions 
october 2009 by davebriggs
Using Technology to Move from e-Government to e-Governance
"In this report, the Accenture Institute for Health & Public Service Value explores the fundamental shift in how public service organizations are viewing and using technologies."
e-government  egov  technology  networking  egovernment  it  report  e-governance 
october 2009 by davebriggs
London Summit: digital engagement done right
Steph on the FCO's efforts to get folk involved in the London Summit online
egov  engagement  governemnt  londonsummit  blogging  video  delicious 
february 2009 by davebriggs
Should Web and ICT be the same « Carl’s Notepad
Carl Haggerty on the web vs. ICT debate. A differing view (slighty?) to Paul C and moi
carlhaggerty  ict  web  roles  web2.0  communication  technology  localgovuk  slashgov  egov 
july 2008 by davebriggs
paulcanning: Ads on local council websites?
Paul has concerns about Councils displaying ads on their sites. i'm with him on this one!
ads  councils  slashgov  lgedem  egov  websites 
june 2008 by davebriggs
paulcanning: How the Victorians do it (and how the dicks in charge here do it)
Paul Canning has a rant about DCLG cutting ICELE's funding. Me, I'm trying to be positive and see the opportunities.
icele  edem  egov  slashgov  dclg  paul+canning 
june 2008 by davebriggs
Do we need to better explain what we do?
Jeremy muses on where the responsibility lies for explaining about social web developments. The discussion in the comments is fascinating.
webbies  jeremygould  learning  egov  edemocracy 
may 2008 by davebriggs

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