‘Let’s start delivering information to the right person at the right time – that’s the value of open gov’
An interesting post. I think part of the issue here is that funders are almost naturally agenda-driven, so many of their activities tend to address the entrenched interests of the foundation, rather than the frustrations of governments or citizens. Stumbling upon some random app that fulfills a niche is no different than finding some Web site the government created that fulfills that same niche. Transferring the same old problem to a new platform isn’t going to get the job done.
I don’t think we all agree that open source is the answer. I don’t think we all agree than an app economy is the answer, either. Or mobile. Or whatever. We don’t agree on much at all. What we agree on is this: government should find ways to be radically more effective in accomplishing its mission. It’s just not just about delivering citizen services, or putting an app in the hands of a citizen. An app doesn’t help me attend a meeting of the City’s parking & transportation board while I’m 750 miles away on vacation, and it doesn’t help the disabled veteran talk to the city about his/her particular transportation needs (and he/she certainly can’t get to the meeting if the City’s services aren’t addressing those needs).
We’re not supposed to be talking about the value of open government. We’re supposed to be talking about the value of “open” in the context of the mission. We’ve lost the business transformation thread of this whole process. And that’s why wrong-headed investments occur.
The most important thing that happened at the Open Innovator’s Toolkit unveiling on Aneesh’s last day was when Todd Park sat there and said, “Too often, we’re focused on the app.” The story he related was this notion that a 68 year old recently discharged from the hospital probably isn’t interested in finding an app and flipping through some icons on his/her iPad to figure out their after care options for transportation, etc. You know who needs that information? The nurse. So let’s start delivering information to the right person at the right time – that’s the value of open gov.
Every day I get to engage with entrepreneurs, public sector innovators and journalists on re-imagining and re-energizing how government works, what it means to be “civic,” and this year has been an incredible one for many friends and colleagues.
I’m always inspired talking and working with entrepreneurs trying to solve big civic problems, especially those who realize much of the challenge lies within modernizing and empowering internal government operations, so it was great to finally meet with Govtech Fund Founder and Managing Partner Ron Bouganim this week.
The 18F Delivery team released a “Partnership Playbook” that aims to help federal agencies understand what to expect when working with 18F, and the gem within is play number two, “We work with an empowered product owner.”
Citizens simply glaze over when they are confronted by a sea of large numbers with many zeros. These figures need to be relatable to the person reading the data. Otherwise, open data is just more data that dies on the vine.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released a beta version of Vets.gov, and it’s the future of federal government digital development.
The Welsh Government released a report of its findings on how local government in Wales can better leverage digital technologies and realize significant savings while still providing quality, scalable citizen services.
A California bipartisan oversight committee, the Little Hoover Commission, has issued recommendations on how the state can bring a more customer-centric government to residents and visitors.
Seneca Systems CEO Chris Maddox shares the inspiration behind the new constituent relationship management system, Romulus.
“No ugly, old IT” jumped out at me when I first reviewed DataSF’s strategic plan, “Data in San Francisco: Meeting supply, spurring demand,” and it still sticks, mostly because someone inside government was so bold as to make this a priority and openly communicate it and also because this should be a mantra for everyone building civic technology.
Enabling internal government tech shops to quickly stand up applications in a secure testing environment is fundamental to quick prototyping, and 18F’s new Cloud.gov is a major step in realizing ultimate IT flexibility.