Look back at 2007 Initiative Current status PatientOpinion Copied by NHS, stable growth, expanded in new areas such as mental health, linked with additional services Intellipedia 3 rd anniversary, average 5000 edits per day Mybikelane Expanded worldwide Peertopatent Expanded to Japan, Korea and Australia, more recently in UK
The cases WHAT
Crowdsourcing of ideas Open data mining/visualisation Showusabetterway.com Google Transit Openlylocal, ISTAT widget Service provision Type of collaboration Examples Digitalkoot Activmobs Crowdsourced public tasks Collaborative complaint systems SeeClickFix Self-help groups Public data applications Co-design Apps contests Ideascale.com Beta services WHAT
Definition Open Government WHAT Politics Policies Administration and service delivery Theyworkforyou.com No 10 E-petitions Fixmystreet.com
What is new? The deep roots of collaborative e-government Self-help and mutuality Philantropy Privatisation Social contract
What is new?
ICT as key enabler:
Reduction of costs to collaborate
Easier to upscale and reach thousands
Where? Collaborative services are not mentioned in e-gov policy documents In UK it fits within the “Big Society” agenda But OPEN DATA a growing priority for transparency and innovation All countries have collaborative e-gov projects WHAT
On what services? WHAT
A barcamp for all seasons
Social Innovation camp
WHO? Cultivated young men
Civic developers: 90% are Men, with Univ degree, 25-44 yrs old
Driven by: 90% identifying a need not yet covered, 80% the desire to make a difference. Money plays a minor role.
Opposed by: 60% non-availability of public data. 35% mentions lack of interest by the public as a problem. Costs and business models instead are mentioned by a minority (18% and 29%).
WHO are the users?
Very unequal distribution of work in the cases: 1% do 30% of work (DigiKoot)
Segments of people who already use services, but individual people new to the service (MySociety)
Civil servant employees! (LineaAmica)
More equal distribution between men and women in the final users
Niche specialisation of different services
WHY: a power law of usage There is no “average impact” of collaborative e-government There are individual success stories and many failures WHY
WHY: the impact WHY
WHY: better services?
There is plenty of evidence on the importance of peer-to-peer collaboration
Mutual support : demonstrated better capacity to deal with diseases; demonstrated impact of peer tutoring on kids learning
New services : basic services such as school and education were started as charities
Behavioural change :
WHY: does it save govt’ money?
NO: collaboration does not substitute for paid work. It’s additive not substitutive
Collaboration is not outsourcing: it requires in-house advanced communication and content-related skills, continous tinkering and re-design (DigiKoot)
Collaborative e-gov enables radical innovation that can lead to new, better services and lower costs (OpenlyLocal, DigitKoot). Unaddressed needs is the key driver for 90% of respondents
It reduces the cost of failure (quite important in e-gov; e.g. Italian Tourism portal 43M Euros)
85% of innovation fail for lack of understanding of users’ needs (Von Hippel) WHY
WHY: can business make money out of collaborative e-government?
Little money in the software, more in the service (e.g. PatientOpinion)
Great for visibility and reputation (DigiKoot)
Service companies are emerging dedicated to collaborative gov: OmniCompete, simpl.co, Ideascale, Palandir
New value added services being launched on top of open data (MetroParis, ISTAT)
When existing, revenue based on monthly service fees not one-off installation fees
WHY (not): the risk of exclusion
Most civic developers are young cultivated men: the risk of elite-driven services
Need for proactive outreach to empower different segments of the population with “co-creation skills”
WHY (not): the risk of conflict
One potential risk is the increased conflict in the public space, and unacceptable behaviour by the co-producers who manipulate and spam
However, there is no evidence of a significant problem in any of the cases analyzed
Risks are overestimated
HOW? Government as a platform
Open data (e.g. OpenlyLocal)
Listening to external suggestion/input (e.g. DigiKoot, Google Transit, SeeClickFix)
High capacity to design process (DigitKoot)
Direct internal engagement (Kent Council, DigitKoot: crowdsourcing is not outsourcing)
Based on the survey: 50% say govt. has been “indifferent”, none “hostile”
No longer need for ex-ante authorization: collaboration without permission!
HOW: drivers and barriers
Voluntary work has always been fundamental : think of AA and NGOs
Its limit is that it often remains micro and marginal, with limited capacity to upscale
The democratisation of ICT
Reduces the costs of collaboration, thereby allowing for easier self-organisation
Allows for large scale outreach (think Ushahidi, DigiKoot)
This large outreach provides a positive feedback loop on the motivation to collaborate
HOW: the role of civil servants
Civil servants 2.0, wikicrats, intrapreneurs?
Most cases show positive evolution
Links to long-term trend towards increased autonomy and outcome-related management
Unique opportunity for internal innovators (e.g. ISTAT) > Self-organisation of intrapreneurs? (Big Society in UK)
New skills needed: communication, passion, networking capacity
“ Some of the problems that they experienced were mainly about the ability to let people do things for themselves rather than manage people, control everything and make sure health and safety is working.”
HOW: unique assets of citizens
In depth knowledge of specific topic (e.g. OpenlyLocal, DigitKoot)
Unique experience from using services and dealing with issues (mumsnet, LineaAmica)
High trust from their networks (ActiveMobs)
They are many more than internal staff! (DigiKoot, SeeClickFix, LineaAmica)
"given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow" HOW
HOW: the costs
82% of civic developersdo it voluntarily , without financial rewards or funding. Only one receives government funding.
However this is possible because their costs are in 80% of the cases below 1K Euros per year and in 99% below 100K.
Technology set up costs are minor. What costs is maintenance and human curation over time
HOW: a cultural clash HOW
Back to the original questions
What is it?
Is it just a hype?
Is it just for a few geeks in UK and US?
Can I save money by crowdsourcing?
Can I trust co-produced services?
Does it create jobs or destroys them?
Is it a must have or a nice to have?
Should government act or just wait and see?
That’s for later! SO WHAT
Collaborative e-government: another case of MacroMyopia “ in the short term we overestimate, in the long term we underestimate. ” Paul Saffo SO WHAT
Maryland TEDCO Joint Technology Transfer Initiative
Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund
Spring Singapore Innovation Voucher Scheme
Inducement Prizes (Challenge.gov)
From civic hackers:
"there should be Freedom of Information right at EU level”
"UK stance should become minimum standard for all EU countries”
"Take just a bit of money from bureaucrats and give it to developers”
"simple things like encouraging all organisations who publish news to have an RSS feed would make such a difference”
“ Standards should be pushed to the member state governments in terms of how public data should be delivered and structured.”
“ Get INSPIRE guys involved in open data!”
How do we benchmark this?
Measurement frameworks, and especially “averages”, do not fit well with the unpredictable and power law nature of collaborative e-gov
4 stages (again)
Choose most successful service
Avoid technical hiccups: number of complaints; degree of innovation (from mature to world first implementation) Ensure takeup: number of users, number of contributions, number of contributors No spam: number of spam comments Ensure high quality content: % of contributions judged as useful; % of new contributors (previously not engaged) Source: egov20.wordpress.com SO WHAT