The elephant and the mice: will web 2.0 change public services? David Osimo, Clara Centeno Institute for Prospective Techn...
The approach scenario building <ul><li>Building on today’s weak signals </li></ul><ul><li>not to predict the future, but  ...
Positive scenario: opportunities for eGovernment <ul><li>(from IPTS tutorial at EU e-gov ministerial conference,  www.egov...
No impact scenario
It’s just another hype <ul><li>Web 2.0 business model is not solid, too reliant on advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Online ad...
Few users are proactive –  and we are reaching the peak <ul><li>Only 3% of citizens blogs, and growth of blogs and wikis i...
It’s doesn’t matter <ul><li>What matters is competence and high-quality services, rather than “conversations”  </li></ul><...
Negative impact
Creating inefficiencies <ul><li>Civil servants time diverted to non-core activities </li></ul><ul><li>Web2.0 applications ...
Undermining institutional credibility <ul><li>Opening confrontations, rather than dialogue and increasing distrust between...
Damaging societal value <ul><li>Risk of populistic outcome, focus on short-term issues (against recharge fee for mobiles, ...
Conclusions
Summing up the potential negatives <ul><li>No impact  long term reform goals  because it doesn’t matter </li></ul><ul><li>...
Summing up the potential negatives <ul><li>No impact  long term reform goals  because it doesn’t matter </li></ul><ul><li>...
Conclusions <ul><li>Web 2.0 offers risks as well as opportunities for eGovernment </li></ul><ul><li>The risks are not new,...
Open questions for further work <ul><li>Assessing the impact of real-life case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring emergi...
Background slides
Policy options <ul><li>Positive impact scenario: web 2 will improve public services </li></ul><ul><li>Engage, experiment t...
Identified areas of application (a rolling list) Networked Employees Networked Citizens Front office Back office <ul><ul><...
Why? /2 <ul><li>Citizens (and employees) already use web 2.0:  no action  ≠ no risks </li></ul><ul><li>Likely to stay as i...
Candide:  “emancipation of civil society”  <ul><li>Networked citizens perform public tasks and control government and fell...
eGovernment Web 2.0 Long development cycle Large scale IT projects and budget On hard matters Institutional, top-down Perm...
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What can go wrong with web2 in public services

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Presentation on dark scenarios of web2.0 in eGovernment, given at eChallenges 2007 (www.echallenges.org)

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What can go wrong with web2 in public services

  1. 1. The elephant and the mice: will web 2.0 change public services? David Osimo, Clara Centeno Institute for Prospective Technological Studies European Commission Joint Research Centre The views expressed in the presentation are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of the EC
  2. 2. The approach scenario building <ul><li>Building on today’s weak signals </li></ul><ul><li>not to predict the future, but </li></ul><ul><li>to structure the thinking and </li></ul><ul><li>to develop robust policy options </li></ul>
  3. 3. Positive scenario: opportunities for eGovernment <ul><li>(from IPTS tutorial at EU e-gov ministerial conference, www.egov2007.gov.pt ) </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 can help reaching long-awaited objectives of government reform </li></ul><ul><ul><li>wiki for cross agency collaboration (Intellipedia) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>user generated content and collaborative rating/filtering for better and faster decision-making (peer to patent) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>recommendation systems and collaborative filtering for sharing informal/tacit knowledge (allen and overy) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>citizen ratings/feedback for user-oriented services (Patientopinion) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>open petitions systems for participation (ePetitions) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Necessary to engage, experiment, learn-by-doing </li></ul><ul><li>BUT: what can go wrong? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-> Developing no impact or negative impact scenarios </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. No impact scenario
  5. 5. It’s just another hype <ul><li>Web 2.0 business model is not solid, too reliant on advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Online advertising is highly sensitive to GDP growth: bubble 2.0 in waiting </li></ul><ul><li>Startups failing to deliver profits: Skype, Vonage </li></ul>Source: IPTS elaboration of U.S Census, IAB
  6. 6. Few users are proactive – and we are reaching the peak <ul><li>Only 3% of citizens blogs, and growth of blogs and wikis is slowing down </li></ul><ul><li>In public services, citizens are even less interested in participating/ discussing </li></ul>Source: Robert A. Rohde, wikipedia administrator
  7. 7. It’s doesn’t matter <ul><li>What matters is competence and high-quality services, rather than “conversations” </li></ul><ul><li>In busines s, commercial success does not need openness (e.g. Zune developers blog while I-Pod developers are secretive) </li></ul><ul><li>In politics, success in the blogosphere does not translate in success in elections (e.g. Howard Dean, Barak Obama), </li></ul><ul><li>In public services provision, spontaneous cooperation (as “barcamp”) only rarely delivers after the initial enthusiasm (e.g. Italian Tourism Portal). </li></ul><ul><li>Bloggers approach is not always constructive: “ the philosophers have only interpreted the world. The point is to complain about it” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Negative impact
  9. 9. Creating inefficiencies <ul><li>Civil servants time diverted to non-core activities </li></ul><ul><li>Web2.0 applications are cheap, but are human-resource-intensive: against the government trend to “do less, buy more” </li></ul><ul><li>Excessive social control leading to increased risk aversion and immobilisation in the public sector </li></ul>
  10. 10. Undermining institutional credibility <ul><li>Opening confrontations, rather than dialogue and increasing distrust between government and citizens </li></ul><ul><li>Government held accountable for bad/offensive user-generated content on the website </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging is not for government (e.g. minister discussing the pension reform) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Damaging societal value <ul><li>Risk of populistic outcome, focus on short-term issues (against recharge fee for mobiles, road tax charge) </li></ul><ul><li>Citizens organize anti social behaviour, and government react through increased control </li></ul><ul><li>Excessive social control, no privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Fragmentation of society in communities of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Increased exclusion: services 2.0 only for the elite </li></ul>
  12. 12. Conclusions
  13. 13. Summing up the potential negatives <ul><li>No impact long term reform goals because it doesn’t matter </li></ul><ul><li>Negative impact on long term reform goals because it creates inefficiencies and undermines government credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Further negative impact on overall societal values such as cohesion, privacy, trust </li></ul>
  14. 14. Summing up the potential negatives <ul><li>No impact long term reform goals because it doesn’t matter </li></ul><ul><li>Negative impact on long term reform goals because it creates inefficiencies and undermines government credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Further negative impact on overall societal values such as cohesion, privacy, trust </li></ul>futility? perversity? jeopardy?
  15. 15. Conclusions <ul><li>Web 2.0 offers risks as well as opportunities for eGovernment </li></ul><ul><li>The risks are not new, but the same than for any important social innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Public trust is the key determinant of success or failure </li></ul><ul><li>Government has limited influence on whether the impact of web 2.0 is positive, negative or indifferent </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging, experimenting, learning by doing (starting from back-office) is the safest option across the scenarios </li></ul>
  16. 16. Open questions for further work <ul><li>Assessing the impact of real-life case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring emerging trends </li></ul><ul><li>Giving weight to the risks and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Learning from experiences how to grasp opportunities and avoid risks </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  17. 17. Background slides
  18. 18. Policy options <ul><li>Positive impact scenario: web 2 will improve public services </li></ul><ul><li>Engage, experiment to enhance positive impact </li></ul><ul><li>No impact scenario: web 2 will be irrelevant for public services </li></ul><ul><li>Do nothing or </li></ul><ul><li>Engage, experiment to obtain positive impact (difficult to sell, not linked to your presentation, looks a bit artificial) May be you can draw only one negative scenario with the same content. The conclusion to engage appears more evident. Also, the negative scenario appears more credible with the examples you provide </li></ul><ul><li>Negative impact scenario: web 2 will damage public services </li></ul><ul><li>Engage, experiment to avoid negative impact </li></ul>Engaging and experimenting is the safest/ wisest option!
  19. 19. Identified areas of application (a rolling list) Networked Employees Networked Citizens Front office Back office <ul><ul><li>Service delivery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>eParticipation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law enforcement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public sector information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transparency and accountability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inclusion </li></ul></ul>Regulation Cross-agency collaboration Knowledge management Interoperability Human resources mgmt Public procurement Innovation
  20. 20. Why? /2 <ul><li>Citizens (and employees) already use web 2.0: no action ≠ no risks </li></ul><ul><li>Likely to stay as it is linked to underlying societal trends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Today’s teenagers = future users and employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empowered customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative knowledge workers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From hierarchy to network-based organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non linear-innovation models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumerization of ICT </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Candide: “emancipation of civil society” <ul><li>Networked citizens perform public tasks and control government and fellow citizens </li></ul><ul><li>Citizens are actively engaged in political discussion, but always maintain a positive, constructive, NPOV attitude. Citizens are more informed through internet based intelligence services, e.g. wider usage of GIS </li></ul><ul><li>Networked users act as bridge to excluded segments to ensure inclusion of all </li></ul><ul><li>Public sector information/content is widely available and accessible, to enable private usage and value added services </li></ul><ul><li>Public services online are easy to access, standardised, clearly explained, usable, and leverage users experience (including users feedback) </li></ul><ul><li>Problems and failures in public service delivery are dealt with in a open and constructive way between users and public sector </li></ul><ul><li>When services are provided by private sector, networked users ensure transparency and no information asimmetry (reputation management systems) </li></ul><ul><li>Public workers ethics is reinforced by a more open attitude, strong internal cohesion and higher external respect. </li></ul><ul><li>Public sector is knowledge –intensive and innovative by enhancing cooperation and exchange with users and private sector </li></ul><ul><li>Public workers engage in consultations with stakeholders and access niche expertise while taking complex decision </li></ul>
  22. 22. eGovernment Web 2.0 Long development cycle Large scale IT projects and budget On hard matters Institutional, top-down Permanent beta, fast iterative development Largely based on open source / free software On soft matters? contacts, networks, knowledge management Spontaneous, bottom-up

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