Open Government – A Renewed Focus on Citizens and Service

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My open data friend from Canada, Jury Konga, recently gave a very good presentation on Open Government. I asked him to provide a brief introduction to go along with his slideshare presentation (embedded below). This is Jury’s introduction.


There are a myriad of definitions, blogs, videos etc about Open Government but when we get back to basics – it’s about a renewed focus on providing public service excellence to citizens and businesses. In looking at Open Gov, I chose to relate it to 4 core or key elements: Citizen Engagement, Open Data, Collaboration and Innovation. If any one of these elements is missing from government operations, it becomes difficult to associate it with the “Open” branding.

Current state of Citizen Engagement relates to Gov 2.0 and incorporating social media into government operations as well as leveraging crowdsourcing and undertaking unconferences via ChangeCAmps, CityCamps, and phenomenal community projects such as the Manitoba Flood app using the Ushahidi open platform. Open Data has a current state that includes initiatives from local to global levels, a diverse stakeholder community, development of an “Open Data Framework” and an ever expanding array of application contests and resulting applications to use and re-use open government data. The “Collaborate Now” slogan speaks to the need to stop re-inventing the wheel, spend a little effort to partner together and to benefit mutually from a host of common need projects, community built sites and government resource and knowledge sharing. Innovation is long overdue for becoming default in every government organization – it can include and evolve from such ideas as “Government as a Platform”, “OpenData.CA” community site that accepts and disseminates data from all sources, and the “Service One” concept that uses a cloud based “service coordinator” to provide integrated public service delivery.

There is so much opportunity to be better than we are: embrace Open Government, Engage and Empower Citizens, Accelerate Open Data initiatives, Collaborate Now and often, and make Innovation the default in your organization and empower staff to engage in innovation. Open Government = Good Government!

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