Photo: Michael Yat Kit Chung

Re-thinking 911

911 wasn’t an original idea – like our democracy, it drew inspiration from other countries that had already implemented a single emergency number in the 20th century (Britain’s 999 in 1937 and New Zealand’s 111 in 1958).

Photo: White House

Can government deliver happiness?

Within the context of digital government and civic engagement, we focus much of our efforts around concepts like open data, open source, analytics, technical frameworks and user experience, but rarely, if ever, do we discuss proactively delivering happiness to citizens.

Palo Alto Civic Technology Center

Inside Palo Alto’s new Civic Technology Center

Last week, I met with Palo Alto Chief Information Officer Jonathan Reichental to get a tour of the city’s new Civic Technology Center, an open space that centralizes the city’s information technology staff, call and data centers into one working area.

USAspending.gov

How to not be the next USAspending.gov

Regardless of the vendor drama and complexity around delivering data specific to USAspending, here is a simple formula for any government working on the release of a new public-facing website.

Photo: Luke Fretwell

Building big tent democracy

We started CivicMakers for one simple reason–to connect passionate citizens who are building a better democracy in our communities, workplaces and political institutions.

Top 5 .gov websites

The 4 most popular .gov websites aren’t mobile friendly

Despite a digital strategy issued by the White House two years ago calling for more mobile-friendly citizen services, the top four most-visited federal government websites over the past 30 days fail this test according to new analytics numbers released by the General Services Administration.

U.S. Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil (Photo: O'Reilly Conferences)

It’s time for a national chief data officers council

As momentum around appointing public sector chief data officers grows, it’s time for the federal government to get ahead of the curve and create a formal chief data officers council similar to, but more inclusive, proactive and public than the already-established U.S. Chief Information Officers Council.

Agile Government Leadership

Getting started with Agile government

It was an excellent discussion that went a little beyond the basics, and there were a number of questions we didn’t get to, but overall it’s a helpful introduction that includes some great panelist anecdotes.

Agile Government Handbook

AGL launches Agile Government Handbook

I’m fortunate to engage with many great people on a number of rewarding projects, but the work I’ve been doing on Agile Government Leadership has been particularly fulfilling, both personally and professionally.

Photo: Code for America

Chief data officer as business developer

I occasionally get asked about thoughts on how to increase open data consumption, and think about this more and more, especially as it increasingly becomes an issue for those seeking validation and return on investment.