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.
Prof. Marc Holzer
National Center for Public Performance
Institute for Public Service – Suffolk University www.publicperformance.org
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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!
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.
I want government to be efficient, and that means using digital techniques when possible and rational.
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.)
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.
I’m a social informatics researcher, so anything in the interfaces between IT and society interests me.
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!
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!
Originally posted on Hazel Hall: Two weeks ago on 11th July 2018 my Centre for Social Informatics colleague Dr Bruce Ryan and I hosted Research Impact Value and LIS (#lis_rival). This was a lively, sell-out one-day event on the theme…