I will be speaking on Big Data at the Technological Innovation in Government: Toward Open and Smart Government Symposium organized by the Section for Science & Technology in Government of the American Society for Public Administration. Other speakers at the event include Jane Fountain (UMass), Elizabeth Bruce (MIT), Chris Osgood (Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston), and Bill Oates (CIO, Commonwealth of Massachusetts), among others. For more information on the event, please click here.
I will be giving two talks this week on my Big Data report. The first presentation will take place at the Fakultät für Informatik, Technische Universität München on March 12 (See here for more details). I will then fly to Slovenia to give a talk at the Faculty of Information Studies in Slovenia on March 14.
Federal CIOs must do a better job of creating and using metrics if IT is to earn the respect it deserves as a value generator instead of a money drain. To read more, please click here.
Belarus authorities’ counter-revolutionary tactics related to information and communication technologies in 2001-2010: lessons learned
Information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled revolutionary tactics play an important role in uprisings against non-democratic regimes worldwide. Up to now, a critical understanding of how authorities in those countries employ ICT-based counter-revolutionary measures has been missing. In this paper we examine the evolution of ICT-based counterrevolutionary tactics employed by one of the most ingrained authoritarian regimes—that of Belarus—through the last decade (2001-2010). The political opposition’s responses to the authorities’ countermeasures are also investigated, followed by an analysis of the co-evolution of these opponents’ ICT-related tactics. We suggest that use of ICT (by both sides) was not among the main factors leading to Belarus’ failed colour revolution. Rather, factors such as miscalculations on the side of the opposition; effective preemption by authorities; collaboration with foreign regimes by the authorities; and harsh physically oppressive measures by the authorities played the main part. Based on these conclusions, implications for the general theoretical framework of political cyberprotest in the former USSR are discussed. Finally, practical suggestions for the improvement of dissenters’ use of ICT during major political cyberprotest are provided.
I recently authored an article for Planetizen.
Unless you have been hibernating, you have heard about urbanization trends and have spent time reflecting on what this might hold for the future of communities, cities, nations, and the planet as a whole. The world’s total urban area is expected to triple between 2000 and 2030—urban populations are set to double to around 4.9 billion in the same period. The number of megacities is expected to double over the next decade, and many of these growing cities are far from resilient. The solution: frugal engineering and local knowledge. Read more
Realizing the Promise of Big Data: Implementing Big Data Projects was published today by the IBM Center for the Business of Government.
Big data is a new frontier for the public sector. It has captured the attention of public managers across the globe. Agencies realize that their datasets represent critical resources that need to be managed and leveraged. Public sector use of big data and big data analytics is wide-ranging; some organizations have no experience with big data, while others have taken on small to moderate-sized projects. Drawing on interviews with chief information officers (CIOs) from every level of government (federal, state, and local), this report presents implementation steps grouped by the phases of a big data project:
In the next few years, nearly all public agencies will grapple with how to integrate their disparate data sources, build analytical capacities, and move toward a data-driven decision-making environment. Big data is increasing in importance for public agencies, and big data programs are expected to become more prominent in the near future. Through the use of big data, analytics now holds great promise for increasing the efficiency of operations, mitigating risks, and increasing citizen engagement and public value.
This is my second report published by the IBM Center for the Business of Government. To read my previous report on Challenge.Gov: Using Competitions and Awards to Spur Innovation, please click here.
Implementing Open Innovation in the Public Sector:
The Case of Challenge.Gov
As part of the Open Government Initiative (OGI), the Obama administration has called for new forms of collaboration with stakeholders to increase innovativeness of public service delivery. Federal managers can utilize Challenge.gov to crowdsource solutions from previously untapped problem solvers and leverage collective intelligence to tackle complex social and technical public management problems. We highlight the work conducted by the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies at the General Services Administration (GSA), the administrator of the Challenge.gov platform. Specifically, we feature the work of Tammi Marcoullier, Program Manager, Challenge.gov, and Karen Trebon Deputy Program Manager for Challenge.gov, and their role as change agents mediating collaborative practices between policy makers and public agencies in navigating the political and legal challenges within their local agencies. We provide insights into the implementation process of crowdsourcing solutions for public management problems as well as lessons learned designing open innovation processes in the public sector.
Hybrid Challenge Platforms to Promote Innovation
To be practical and sustainable tools for innovation, the coming generation of community-engagement and crowd-sourcing platforms need to improve the user experience of participants, while simultaneously providing a reliable mechanism for synthesizing participants' contributions into usable problem-solving outputs. In the present project, a multi-disciplinary research team will explore how community participation spreads, the effects of feedback on participation, and the changes in community and collaboration structure over time. Empirically, the project lays out three research questions: 1) characteristics of participatory government platforms, 2) behavioral and system challenges over time, and 3) the impact of managerial and design interventions on individual behaviors and network structure.
The specific platform for this research is "10,000 Solutions", a many-to-many system managed by Arizona State University that empowers both individuals and organizations to host and participate in solutions, challenges, and collective actions. The research team will study participation in "10,000 Solutions" across online, physical, and hybrid environments, particularly focusing on participant community building, trajectories of participation, and output usability. A diverse slate of experiments, with the application of the application of agent-based modeling and network analysis, will provide useful insights for theory development on community engagement and participation, as well as generating best-practice guidelines for participatory design, operation, assessment and implementation.
Future advances in economic growth and national security require new technologies for harnessing the wisdom of crowds and the power of public innovation. However, these technologies are still in their infancy, and there is a growing need for robust and flexible platforms that can move beyond exploratory efforts, toward real-world deployment. The project will develop evidence-based policies and practices to improve collaboration while increasing perceptions of accountability, legitimacy and individual satisfaction, the effectiveness of the work outputs and the adoption and use of the products developed by the community and through the platform. Knowing the conditions that increase and sustain collective action will help in devising policies and practices for building platforms to enhance participation in government and non-government organizations.
NSF Award [Link]
I will be delivering a plenary address at the 2013 Western Intergovernmental Audit Forum. The meeting will take place at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel in Arizona, Sept 12-13, 2013. My talk titled, Emerging Technologies and the Future of Governance, will explore how technological innovations are changing how we design, implement, and manage, our governance mechanisms and public institutions.