What has Bruce been up to in the second half of 2018?

Napier

# When What outcome and notes
1 July RIVAL: community event on the theme of LIS research impact:

success!
Also enabled further funding application (line 5)
2 July applying for GCRF funding for PB in Brazil success!
See line 7
3 July marking work-based learning 2017-18 final reports ——-
4 September Drafting an idea for some public engagement/democracy work to revisit in 2019
5 September RSE funding application to follow up RIVaL: RIVaL network success!
Work to start in Feb 2019
6 October marking work-based learning 2018-19 initial reports ——-
7 October to present PB in Brazil: whether and how PB benefits the very poor in Sao Paulo Bruce going to Sao Paulo 4 to 27 Jan, Wegene 4 to 13 Jan LitRev in progress
builds on CSI’s relationship with University of Sao Paulo
8 November marking BSAD coursework 1 ——-
9 November application for RIO funding to run WriteNow! writing sessions in 2019 success!
working with Frances
10 December marking work-based learning 2018-19 mid-year reports ——-
11 December marking BSAD coursework 2 ——-

Question

Could I offer a short course or other help to students’ improve their report-writing skills?

Elsewhere

12 July contribution to 2018 Digital Governance in Municipalities Worldwide: A Longitudinal Assessment of Municipal Websites Throughout the World fancy certificate of thanks
13 July to present minuting meetings between Community Councils Together on Trams and Edinburgh Council’s Trams Team better citizen-involvement?
14 September Taking part in a follow-up to research by the Scottish Community Development Centre on community councils. led to involvement in draft PB charter
15 September to present member of £eith Chooses steering group voting Saturday 23 February 2019
16 October, November further participation in Scottish Government (SG) Online Identity Assurance stakeholder group

TBC
17 November participation in debate/research on governance of and possible new powers for community councils TBC
18 December commenting on Scottish Government draft Open Government Action Plan appreciated by SG
19 December participation in Scottish Government/CoSLA event on mainstreaming participatory budgeting. Write-up of event is in a set of posts starting here TBC
20 all year minutes and websites for three Edinburgh community councils:

better recording and publicising of hyperlocal government activities
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‘Mainstreaming Participatory Budgeting’ event, #PBmainstream

The content of these posts has now been moved here: https://bruceryan.info/resources/mainstreaming-participatory-budgeting-event

Individual pages can be accessed via these links:

  1. Tweets of anticipation and excitement
  2. Welcome and overview of the day: Oliver Escobar
  3. The Scottish context – local governance review and public service reform: Professor James Mitchell
  4. Evidence to date: Dr Angela O’Hagan
  5. Q&A with James Mitchell and Angela O’Hagan
  6. Examples of PB mainstreaming
  7. Group discussions: Mainstreaming PB is a transformation, not a process. What do we need to do to ensure it is a success? Anthony Zacharzewski (Democratic Society)
    • What is needed for councils [and other public bodies] to transform internally?
    • What is needed for communities to be ready to participate?
    • What us needed to create strong and trusted processes and spaces?
  8. Plenary session: Way forward: what will we commit to get from here to our ambition?
    (Tweets from this item are in the previous section.)
  9. Closing remarks: Claire McPherson (Scottish Government)

Certificated!

I’ve just received the following email and certificate:

Dear Dr. Bruce:

Thank you for your participation as a surveyor in 2018 Digital Governance in Municipalities Worldwide: A Longitudinal Assessment of Municipal Websites Throughout the World. Please find a certificate in recognition of your involvement attached here.

Your work is an important contribution to the ongoing effort to evaluate digital governance in large municipalities throughout the world. The survey produces comparative analyses of e-governance and contributes to the e-governance literature. The final research will be published on our website in early 2019; you will find your name listed in the acknowledgements.

Thank you

Prof. Marc Holzer
E-Government Institute
National Center for Public Performance
Institute for Public Service – Suffolk University
www.publicperformance.org

Getting my back up!

To celebrate World Digital Preservation Day (29 November), the Scottish Government digital team published its guidance on web archiving.

I’m saddened that public authorities apparently need to be told to do this. Remember the zeroth law of computing: There are two kinds of data: that which has been backed up and that which has not been lost yet. A variant of this is Schofield’s second law.

And remember, there is a difference between a back-up and an archive.

Online Identity Assurance: from the ScotGov blog

Following on from my last post about Online Identity Assurance, this post is to draw attention to a couple of posts on the Scottish Government Digital blog:

I’m pleased to see in the first of these posts

The first stream will be about developing two end-to-end journeys, taken by people using services, that can be shown to work as a ‘proof of concept’. One will centre on the process of applying for a Child Disability Living Allowance – a benefit that will become the responsibility of the new Scottish social security system in 2020 – with the other relating to the process of applying for the single occupant Council Tax deduction offered by local authorities.

because that implies to me that SG is taking a sensible ‘suck it and see’ approach, rather than trying for a Big Bang that ends up full of issues.

The second of these posts announces that videos of the presentations at the October Stakeholder Group meeting. Here’s the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N37xoD04YTM.

And here’s looking forward to more interesting developments in 2019!

Apply now for £EITH CHOOSES funding

My personal side has blogged about £EITH CHOOSES participatory budgeting.

Digital evidence that Bruce might have a life

(I’ve been interested in participatory budgeting since at least 2015, thanks to Ali Stoddart‘s talks at the digiCC events I organised, and subsequent conversations with the Democratic Society. Until recently, I’ve not had much direct involvement but am now on the £EITH CHOOSES steering group.)

After much hard work by the steering group and others, £EITH CHOOSES 2018-19 is open to applications. The closing date for applications is 21 January 2019.

View original post 334 more words

Publication of CC members names and addresses – my thoughts

There is currently debate about publishing community council members’ contact details. The following is based on my experience of working with 3 community councils for many years, and examining every CC website I could find in 2012 and 2014. From this, I’d advocate:

  • publishing member’s names and roles. Ideally these would be accompanied with photos, as in this example. This could make CC members seem more real and approachable.
  • each CC having at least one email address, perhaps something like hello@name_of_CC.gov.uk
  • ideally, each CC having addresses for its office-bearers, especially the secretary.
    • This would keep CC emails separate from personal emails, help ensure that the public can continue to contact the CC when office-bearers move on, and help ensure that people who have retired no longer receive CC emails.
  • have all CC members’ personal addresses in a Google Group, MailChimp list or similar, so that it is easy to send emails to all CC members. (Reply-all can be a pain, not least because such recipient lists easily get out of date.) Such a list would have office-bearer’s CC email addresses rather than their personal ones.
  • NOT have CC email addresses for each member (such as first name.lastname@name_of_CC.org.uk). One of my CCs asked me to set this up. It increased costs slightly, took a long time to set up, was a pain to show a number of members how to configure their computers and mobile devices to use these addresses, and the addresses are hardly used. (Most members do not need to email as CCllrs.)
  • NOT publishing personal contact details such as personal email and physical addresses.

So what have I got wrong? Shout at me via the comments!

Online Identity Assurance stakeholder meeting: 31 October 2018

Being involved, no matter how tangentially, with the Scottish Government’s work on online identity assurance (OIA) is important to me for at least five reasons.

  1. I want government to be efficient, and that means using digital techniques when possible and rational.
  2. While pursuing that aim, government must pay great heed to privacy and security. This is mostly because government has (in theory) great power to do good and do harm. (NB I do not believe that the current SG intends to do harm.)
  3. There will always be people who cannot use digital techniques. This may be because  they don’t know how just now. This may be because they will always lack the mental capacity to know how. This may be because they do not wish to learn how: either they see nothing in it for them, or the potential gains are not worth the time and money outlays for them. And of course it may be because they don’t have a roof over their heads, let alone expensive internet devices.
  4. I’m a social informatics researcher, so anything in the interfaces between IT and society interests me.
  5. My particular research niche is IT in hyperlocal democracy, and there are explicit links between identity and the right to vote. 

The first OIA stakeholder event I attended (March 2018) is written up here. The second (19 June) is written up here.

For the 3rd event (31 March), I used a different tactic – I live-tweeted as well as I could, then collected tweets and other snippets using Wakelet. (This is a successor to Storify, recommended by the fab Leah Lockhart on advice from Ross McCulloch.)

So, so long as Wakelet permits it, my OIA wakelet is here. Comments are very welcome!

So what has Bruce been up to recently?

Part of an occasional series of posts to try to show that I don’t lie around all day! This post covers the time since we got back from honeymoon in early September.  

At Napier

  • Working with my colleague Wegene Demeke on the initiation of a project to investigate some aspects of participatory budgeting (PB) in São Paulo [Wikipedia], Brazil. We’re particularly interested in whether and how PB benefits the very poor. This is going to be fun, not least because neither Wegene nor I speak Portuguese, but we have some excellent partners at the University of São Paulo.
  • Working with the Prof on a funding bid for some networking events. That’s ‘networking’ in the sense of connecting humans, not ‘plumbing‘! The bid has been submitted but we won’t know whether we’ve been successful for a while, so watch this space!
  • Taking part in a follow-up to research by the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) on community councils.
  • Marking courseworks for an undergraduate course.
  • Drafting an idea for some public engagement/democracy work. Again, watch this space!

Elsewhere

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