Drupalcamp Ottawa Keynote


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Presentation on Drupal in Open Government. Effective open government will result in better collaboration between the public and private sectors creating a new level of value for government services. Several examples of where Drupal is used in government today are included.

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  • This is an example of collaboration in a time of crisis. Hurricane Sandy was a tremendous storm - one that the MTA was well aware of in advance of the storm. Drupal was a core component of their online & offline communications plan - alert.mta.info - runs on Drupal. However, the storm ’ s impact went far beyond anyone ’ s wildest imaginations - flooding the streets of Manhattan and leaving significant sections of the MTA system under water. MTA is the transportation backbone for millions of New Yorkers - inside and outside the city. These people were in desperate need of information about the transit system, emergency schedules and the latest updates in real time.
  • MTA runs alert.mta.info in the Cloud - so this site became a critical communications hub during the hours and days following the massive storm - to ensure continuous delivery of critical transportation information to the public. Managing the alert site for MTA is a collaborative effort. During large storms, all of their agencies are monitoring their own systems directly, then sharing information centrally to be posted to the web & delivered to the millions of citizens that need access to critical information. Prior to Drupal - this was all done manually via email and one by one updates to their alert website. The process was cumbersome, slow, and was quickly overwhelmed in times of crisis. Not to mention that they had previously managed their own servers onsite in Manhattan. Not surprisingly - these are also the times when their web servers are under the heaviest load, and their content editors are updating the most content - in real time. This was a recipe for a site outage if I ’ ve ever seen one. Drupal enabled them to streamline this process - information came in from operations people in bunkers, status reports from people in tunnels, and content editors from each of the agencies, who submitted updates directly to the alerts site (rather than sending emails) - all content was routed through Corporate & Internal Communications for review & approval - then published immediately on the live site - providing near real time updates on crisis communication - Not only were they publishing text content -but also maps, PDF downloads, status reports and photos - directly to the site Both the WSJ and NY Daily News advised their readers to visit the alert.mta site directly for the latest information. The site saw a 3x increase in traffic web users and pushed large amounts of data - including more than 25 different recovery route maps.
  • A similar commitment to public service is demonstrated by the Province of Ontario ’ s website. Rather than barrage visitors with too much information, they shift the discussion - “ how can we help you? ” This change in attitude/approach is a reflection of the impact of the “ open ” in open government - where public institutions are making their commitment to public service an integral part of their digital experience. Visitors to Ontario.ca can learn about arts & culture, as well as regional business development opportunities, while they take care of the routine - roads & transportation information, drivers licenses and registration, and the like - on an engaging web experience that extends beyond the browser to embrace Twitter and YouTube as well. Communicating with citizens in the digital channels where they consume information. All provided in both English and French (including a french Twitter account too - Suivez-nous en francais @ONgouv
  • From the earlier cited memo by President Obama, he went on to state “ Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.  Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. ”
  • An example of transparency by the government, is the IT Dashboard. It ’ s a website enabling federal agencies, industry, the general public and other stakeholders to view details of federal information technology investments.
  • The purpose of the Dashboard is to provide information on the effectiveness of government IT programs and to support decisions regarding the investment and management of resources. The Dashboard is now being used by the Administration and Congress to make budget and policy decisions.
  • In response to high demand from federal agencies and the software development community, the source code of the IT Dashboard available to the public. This first open source release represents a starting point, enabling communities of interest to adapt and mature their own versions of the Dashboard to their own unique needs.
  • Governments that once supplied standard transactional services through a fragmented public bureaucracy are increasingly providing citizens and other stakeholders with a single window to public services. As technologies evolve and governments move up the capability ladder, the next stage of service transformation will involve new opportunities for customer-driven innovation. Must move beyond e-government to forge governance webs capable of meeting rising expectations for openness, accountability, effectiveness and efficiency in the public sector. The transition to “ Government 2.0 ” and governance webs begins with opening up formerly closed processes, embracing transparency and renovating tired rules that inhibit innovation.
  • Data.gov.uk increases the ability of the public to easily find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the UK Government. The Government releases public data to help people understand - how government works and - how policies are made. While some of this data is already available, but data.gov.uk brings it together in one searchable website. Making this data easily available means it will be easier for people to make decisions and suggestions about government policies based on detailed information. Data.gov.uk is a key part of the Government's work on Transparency which is being lead by the Transparency Board. A primary goal of Data.gov.uk is to improve access to government data and expand creative use of those data by fostering an open approach to innovation directly by citizens.
  • Data.gov.uk offers many ways to engage, interact and use the data it makes available to the public. Citizens can get involved in multiple ways: Ideas: let us know any ideas you would like to see someone build as applications? Tell the community via the Ideas page and someone might just pick up the challenge! Applications: have you built something cool with our data?Share it with us through the Apps page. You never know who might get excited! Visualisations: one of the challenges is making data come to life. Have you found a great way of displaying our data? Does it combine with other data to give a new insight? Show us your talent?Architecture: would you like to help us make this site better? Get in touch!
  • The Whitehouse has stated “ Public engagement enhances the Government's effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions.  Once the government is able to collaborate with the private sector through the use of OSS, we will be more powerful and agile. ” Obviously I ’ m a firm believer in participation, since a defining aspect of open source software such as Drupal, is the collaboration and participation among multiple individuals and organizations on the same software.
  • We the People, a Drupal-based application, was launched in 2011, allowing anyone to create or sign petitions asking the Obama Administration to take action on a range of issues. In one year's time, the platform generated 3.4 million signatures by 2.8 million users.
  • The White House said that if a petition gathered enough online signatures (25K), policy officials would review it and issue an official response. In this first year 116 petitions crossed the threshold for review.  And, despite the fact that only a small percentage of the over 50,000 petitions have crossed the signature threshold, 1.1 million people or 39% of users have received a response. 
  • The Peer to Patent project opens the patent examination process to public participation for the first time. It provides the opportunity to: - Open up the closed patent review process to more information and enable better decision making. - Improve the existing system by avoiding the issuance of overly broad patents. - Demonstrate empirically the role that non-governmental experts can play in improving decision making
  • Drupal is used by government agencies in more than 130 countries around the globe, including the European Commission, NATO, the United Nations, the Flemish Government, Prime Ministers of Australia, Thailand, as well as the Canadian Tourism Commission.
  • Agility: As OSS developers are themselves end-users of their systems, therefore software requirements and design take less time to articulate and negotiate, compared to traditional software engineering projects that must elicit requirements and validate system design with end-users who are generally not software engineering professionals Value: There are no licensing fees. A report by the Standish Group states that adoption of open-source software models has resulted in savings of about $60 billion per year to consumers Open: OSS projects open by design - support for open standards and APIs accelerate integration and development work. Code is iteratively developed, incrementally released, reviewed and refined by software development peers in an ongoing agile manner. These methods accelerate the pace of innovation, while ensuring enterprise-class levels of quality, coherence, and security via continuous distributed testing and profiling. Drupal has been adopted by some of the highest profile government websites in the world - and is proven at the highest degree of security assessment and rigor to deliver the level of performance that government agencies demand.
  • An example of the benefit of openness is an initiative in the US entitled “ IT Shared Services Strategy ” Its the commitment of the US Federal Government to take advantage of the unique power of technology to streamline government services, cut waste and duplication, save taxpayer dollars, and drive efficiency across the Federal government. The Shared-First approach outlined in the IT Shared Services Strategy is based on three principles: Improve return on investment - through consolidation and resuse Close productivity gaps - by implementing innovative IT solutions at all levels of the federal gov ’ t Increase communications with stakeholders - to ensure transparency and collaboration around shared services An example of this in practice - the White House shared the code for the We The People petitions site on GitHub - a popular developer collaboration site - to enable other gov ’ t agencies to re-use the code the White House team had built - as well as to improve the code by identifying issues, submitting patches, and collaborating to make Petitions a better application. Since sharing the code, there are more than 90 members of the Petitions, group - who ’ ve create some 100 forks of the code to meet their unique requirements. This has created a wealth of share
  • Good for you because it is open, agile and delivers better value it Enables innovation and Encourage re-use so you don't have to reinvent the wheel But also enables encourages citizen participation - changing how we as citizens engage with the government Software world is embracing openness - of the code, in the cloud all of which if driving the shift to the rise of Government as an open, digital, services-based platform
  • Attitude to embrace the values that Obama put forward Transparency, collaboration, participation Within government organizations With citizens
  • What we see here is a big change in attitude, and Open Source just enables that better
  • Drupalcamp Ottawa Keynote

    1. 1. DRUPAL IN [OPEN]GOVERNMENT Tom Erickson CEO Acquia @ tom_eric tom@ acquia.com
    2. 2. CANADA’S IMPERATIVE “Probably the most IMPORTANT thing the Canadian government could do is toTRANSFORM itself around the internet and the principles of COLLABORATION. For example, we need OPEN GOVERNMENT ...a platform between government, external organizations and citizens...[establishing] a new division of labour in society about how we create government services and public value. Don Tapscott co-author, Wikinomics Source: The Globe and Mail, Thursday February 21, 2013
    5. 5. alert.mta.info
    6. 6. ontario.ca
    7. 7. itdashboard.gov
    8. 8. itdashboard.gov
    9. 9. itdashboard.gov
    10. 10. data.gov.uk
    11. 11. data.gov.ukIdeation Open Data Apps
    12. 12. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/
    13. 13. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/ SOURCE: http://wwwhttp://www.whitehouse.gov/infographics/petitions-update-0812.
    14. 14. peertopatent.org/
    21. 21. BUT WHAT CAME FIRST?
    22. 22. THE ATTITUDE?
    24. 24. Build something extraordinary, with Drupal!
    25. 25. Twitter: @tom_ericE-mail: tom@acquia.com