Robin asked me to share some of my experiences having worked for 5 years in DG Information Society on the eINclusion and the eGovernment agenda and then going back to a regional government An alternative title could also have been the art of the bleeding obvious but my experience in the two years back in Wales is the obvious is not so obvious!
Some contextual background to start. For thiose that don’t know where Wales is, it is a peripheral region with a population of around 3million. Strong cultural heritage – its own language . Economic and social challenges that many regions in Europe would recognise, heavy industry declining, attempting the transition to newer knowledge based industry. areas of High rural and urban deprivation.
Very mixed rural and urban 290 km 4 hours to drive White bit has population density less 26 persons per sq km Broadband is an issue, Deprivation is an issue Exclusion is an issue Digital exclision is an issue – a third excluded
We are a nation with devolved government. National Assembly for Wales elected body and the Government of Wales delivering. Economy, transport, education, culture, heritage, health social care, planning, agriculture & rural afairs
As such, we have tons of policy stuff. Where I see a difference though is that the government nd country as a whole is small enoughto break the silos That’s what we attempted to do in December 2010 with
Digital Wales a pan government approach to bring together all aspects of digital styuff to improve our overall impact on society and economy Builds 5 themes into a coherent story with one overall goal….. Political support across cabinet Advisory board – includes the National Librarian Andrew Green
Idea is to bring together all of the various elements in each departmental or policy silo and align to common goakls and action plans We are progressing and will be updating our progress later this year
But, I think it is fair to say that while we have made great leaps in some respects, we also recognise that the wheels of government still turn slowly – too slowly for some, including our Ministers – inertia is a big issue, particularly when we are addressing fundamentall and toiugh challenges at times of significant financial pressure
inertia is a big issue, particularly when we are addressing fundamentall and toiugh challenges at times of significant financial pressure Work is in hand to improve focus on delivery, to be more nimble and agile – terms not normally associated with government But this should not result in headlong change for changes sake, We truly are at a point of digitally enabled transformation. Changing health services and care serices does require a measured and managed pace of change – but not to use this as an excuse not to change,.
We have a digital inclusion - heavily supported by European regional development funding – thank you Working hard to get more of our people online – 1/3 rd still not enjoying the benefits
We have a series of activities moving digitla public services forward, eGov, ehealth eEducation etc High cost of service development Need to be much more nimble and agile Increasing expectations of citizens The day of the App. A gamechanger Challenges (and opportunities) lie at the heart of our period of austerity – sacred cows are not so sacred any more Drive costs down, drive services standards up, create employment CEO of Local authority visits data centre with CIO Wales. I’m looking for a new data centre to be built in our area. I’ve got health, university emergency services and other authorities on board. We want a regional service But there are not many people working here. No. So not much economic potential for us. NO, so I don’t really need a centre locally, I could just use this one – Yes So how we bring the Digital Inclusion and the Digital Public services agendas closer together is now a pressing challenge N particular, blending across boundaries eg health
You will hear from many more able to describe the challenges and opportunities for libraries in the next two days, and the programme definitely presents and exciting and intriguing mix of speakers and topics. I tend to keep things simple –some might argue I oversimplify. But it seems to me that libraries shold continue to have a key role in the digital inclusion arena and have the following key attributes to address. All Welsh public libraries provide free Internet access (also HE, FE, School and National Libraries) providing access to information including Government information All 22 local authorities provide access to mostly free ICT training opportunities to help promote digital inclusion Welsh libraries participating with partners such as the BBC First Click and Race Online campaigns, benefitting from their brand awareness, to get people online National procurement and co-ordination of online services such as newspapers led by the National Library of Wales - value for money and consistency in delivery Importance of creating bilingual content - National Library of Wales digitisation programme / People's Collection Wales etc. Developing the skills of library staff so that they are comfortable with and are advocates of ICT - In Wales CyMAL provides support for Library staff to undertake an ICTL qualification (course developed in Scotland) Need for libraries embrace social media
Creating and preserving content and culture Often a key way to engage, particularly with older population – fastest growth sector in using social networks
One o f the key reasons that I rehearsed the Welsh position to you – apart from the not so subtle plug that I think we are getting our act together and happy to share, warts and all Is at the heart of the question Robin asked me to cover – building networks of influence Building networks is hard enough. Building networks with influence is even more challenging So understand why you /your organisation wants to engage policy formulation/influencing good practice sharing accelerating local activities Personal visibility Accessing funding Fundamentally, understand what difference you are trying to make. Accessing funding dsoes not always follow easily Use the exisiting networks – become a key player there 6-7 networks/organisations in the programme, more in the audience Telecentre Europe is one example that has over the last few years turned itself from a loosely formed group of centre managers and country leaders into a recognised network with influence and standing within the EC. Organised and coordinated the get online week - that one o fteh speakers tomorrow will be discussing Collaboration is more about multi stakeholder partnerships than single special interest groups This was always a complex space it is now intensly complex So networking and being ready to form loose relationships and partnerships is crucial Alignment with your core business helps – if you are going to do it anyway - much better and easier for EC to work with you
Getting to know, and be known by the key stakeholders is a constantly shifting challenge You have to get about but be warned, there are enough events to be able to attend something pretty much every week. There are a few that really must be on your agenda – the key EC organised events in relation to societal challenges are….. Subscribe to the EC webportal services and you will receive their newsletters that is a good way of seeing what is being organised by whom. Get to know the EC funded projects that are running, especially the more recent ones. Get to know the partners – they have experience of running international projects and working with the commission – wehich can sometimes feel like an artform in itself Look to co-host events or activities. Invite EC speakers locally – long lead time and have a strong story. Run activities in Brussels – This conference is as a result of Robin taking a chance and running something heree. Of course if you speak to him it was was acute business sense that led him to see the opportunity and sieze it Here I urge you to look for partners to help – universities, regional offices, companies big and small. Microsoft, google etce etc all have a strong presence and good netrwork here. Again, be understanding. While the EC seldom funds a bad project – after all they have been selected by a large body of independent experts, sometimes they don’t deliver as much as may have been expected.
Have something to say. Use the networks. Write papers, and bring that together with others. Better to have one strong collective voice, build on the strength of many Write a white paper setting out positions; use it to seek audience with officials or commissioner. Case studies of good practice are also powerful tools for getting noticed. Work at the narrative. Its got to tell a good story, and make sure you do the numbers and get the headlines correct Although anecdotal stories can also be useful – pigeons racers in Wales Be persistent – the staff are only human – well most of them – and an awful lot of stuff comes their way – even more important that you have clarity Be competent. Make sure you know your stuff. Nothing will disengage the EC more that coming across as a bunch of wide eyed tourists Use your contacts – active regions used their SNEs in DGs to arrange briefing visits into DG and to brief locally Building a relationship is not (just about getting money – in many cases it is quite difficult for EC to give out money. Look for shared win win situations synergy, mutual support
Nick Batey - Day 1, Session 2
ECEI11 Lessons in Advocacy: Building Networks of Influence Perspectives of a Welshman Nick Batey Welsh Government www.cymru.gov.uk
Digital Wales “ Digital Wales is our agenda for delivering a brighter digital future for everyone in Wales. Through Digital Wales we’re committed to a smarter, better connected society and economy. “ Carwyn Jones, First Minister
Policy Skills Funding Human Resources Strategy Action Plan Innovation & Collaboration through ICT
<ul><li>Wheels of Government still turn slowly </li></ul>
Libraries as advocates <ul><li>Access </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free Internet access? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Literacy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BBC First Click and Race Online campaigns </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content & resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National Library digitisation programme / People's Collection Wales etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Equip the advocates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing the skills of library staff </li></ul></ul>
Building Networks of Influence <ul><li>Be clear why! </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Policy formulation/influencing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Good practice sharing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Accelerating local activities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Accessing funding </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personal visibility </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Engage with existing networks </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-stakeholder partnerships </li></ul>
Engaging with key stakeholders <ul><li>Attend the EC events </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assisted Living: Lecce It, 26/28 September 2011 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>eInclusion: Gdansk Pl 5/7 October 2011 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>eGov: Poznań Pl 17/18 November 2011 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>eHealth, Copenhagen, 7/9 May 2012 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conferences, Workshops and Information Days </li></ul><ul><li>Plug into projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7 th Framework, Competitiveness & Innovation Programme; Ambient Assisted Living; Cohesion & Regional Development </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Run/co-host some events/activities </li></ul>
Engaging the Commission <ul><li>Have something to say </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One strong voice, not many </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exemplars </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be persistent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Invest time and effort </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be competent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know what you are talking about </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use contacts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SNEs, Regional Offices, Networks, Perm Reps; Politicians </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have realistic expectations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for win–win </li></ul></ul>
In Conclusion <ul><li>Understand why </li></ul><ul><li>Be persistent (and understanding) </li></ul><ul><li>Keep repeating the obvious </li></ul><ul><li>Never lose sight of the bigger picture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Making a difference to peoples lives! </li></ul></ul>