On October 29th, Charlie Schweik gave an invited plenary talk entitled “Reflections on Open Source Software and Open Science Peer Production” at the “Seventh International Workshop on Network Theory: Peer Production Networks” at Northwestern University. In his talk, Schweik presented findings from his large-scale empirical study of open source software as the ‘quintessential instance’ of peer production, and then reflected on his work in peer production in other domains, such as open educational resources and in open source hardware and science. The full workshop program and links to talks is available at: http://sonic.northwestern.edu/news/events/ann-sonic-nico-2015/
On Monday, June 8, NCDG is hosting a research symposium on institutional perspectives on digital government research. Here is the program and list of speakers:
Symposium on Institutional Perspectives in Digital Government Research
National Center for Digital Government – University of Massachusetts Amherst
Gordon Hall, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
10-11 a.m. Welcome and introductions
11-11:40 “Enacting Collaborative Electronic Government: Empirical Evidence and Lessons from a Survey,” J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, Associate Professor, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs, and Research Director, Center for Technology and Government, University at Albany, State University of New York
11:40-12:20 p.m. “The Relation among Institutions, Organizations, Actors’ Preferences and e-Governance in Estonia,” Nele Leosk, Doctoral Candidate, European University Institute, Florence, Italy; NCDG Fellow and NYU Governance Lab Fellow (Fulbright-Schuman grantee)
12:20-1 p.m. “Using Technology for Improved Governance in Pakistan, ” Dr. Obed Q. Pasha, Lecturer, Center for Public Policy & Administration, University of Massachusetts Amherst
1-2 p.m. Lunch
2-2:40 p.m. “Digital Government Transformation and Internet Portals: The Co-Evolution of Technology, Organizations, and Institutions,” Luis F. Luna-Reyes, Associate Professor, Dept of Informatics, College of Computing and Information, University at Albany, State University of New York
2:40-3:20 p.m. “Administrative Information Sharing in Korea: Institutional Approach,” Seok-Jin Eom, Associate Professor of Public Administration, Seoul National University
3:20-4 p.m. “Digitally Mediated Institutions: Opportunities and Challenges in Cross-Agency Collaboration,” Jane E. Fountain, Distinguished University Professor and Director, National Center for Digital Government, University of Massachusetts Amherst
On Wednesday, April 22, Nizar Ben Neji, a Fulbright Visiting Scholar and Assistant Professor from the University of Carthage in Tunisia, presented an overview of e-government initiatives in his home country during a seminar hosted by the National Center for Digital Government in Gordon Hall 203 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
During the last few years, public administration and structures in Tunisia have shown promising signs of moving from a classical way of delivering services to a more modern approach. The United Nations E-Government Survey 2014 shows that Tunisia leads the continent in e-government innovation and resources, climbing 28 places since 2012 due to the new government efforts to better serve citizens and businesses online. Neji will also highlight one of the most recent e-government projects in Tunisia, the Tunisian E-Procurement System (TUNEPS), a new digitized system that is covering the entire procurement process from purchase requests to payments.
In the video below, Neji discusses e-Government initiatives at the eID conference in Budapest:
The full presentation given at the National Center for Digital Government can be viewed here: Neji’s Presentation. For additional information, the former Tunisian Prime Minister gave a talk at the Harvard Institute of Politics entitled “Tunisia: A Start-Up Democracy,” the complete video is available by following this link.
During his Fulbright exchange, Neji is conducting research on cloud security and cryptography at the UMass Amherst electrical and computer engineering department. He has worked as information technology project manager at the Tunisian Government Certification Authority of the Ministry of ICT, where he was in charge of providing IT consulting services to support various PKI-related projects across e-government, e-banking and e-commerce. He was member of several national steering committees in charge of supervising national IT projects such as TUNEPS and the national committee in charge of revising the cybersecurity and cybercriminality law in Tunisia.
On Wednesday, February 25, National Center for Digital Government Visiting Fellow Ramazan Altinok, Phd, LLM, MsC, MPA, Chief e-Gov Advisor and Head of e-Goverment Advisory Group Prime Minister’s Office, presented “Best Practices in Turkish E-Government.” Dr. Altinok’s talk was part of the ongoing National Center for Digital Government’s Spring Seminar Series.
Dr. Altinok discussed the historical development of e-Government in Turkey, and provided an overview of contemporary developments in Turkish e-Government, including the comprehensive central government website, pictured below. According to Dr. Altinok, this central government website has become a model for governments around the globe.
Dr. Altinok graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Istanbul in 1988, obtained lawyership licence in 1990, he received his LLM from the University of Istanbul in 1993, his Executive MPA from National Public Management Institute in 2002, and his Msc (MIS) degree from the Middlesex University, London, in 2003. He received his 1st PhD in Economics (e-commerce), and his 2nd PhD in Public Management (e-Participation).
Dr. Altinok has been head of the e-Government Advisory Group at the Prime Minister’s Office since 2007. Responsible from coordination of 25 cross-cutting e-government projects prioritised by the PM. He has also lead the e-legislation group established in 2009 responsible from drafting a comprehensive e-legal infrastructure for the country.
Dr. Altinok was awarded the strategic visionary bureaucrat of the year award in 2010 by TASAM, EMEA e-Government Award 2011 and most innovative bureaucrat of the year award in 2011. He assumed presidency of the e-Government Working Group of OIC Countries in July 2011. He consulted Syrian, Saudi Arabian, Moritanian, Turkmenistan, Kosovan and Moldovan governments on e-Government and Public Management Modernization Projects. He is the founder of SIEG: Sharing Ideas on e-Government Professional Group on Linkend in addressing 800+ e-government leaders worldwide, and leading the group since 2009.http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=1908514&trk=my_groups-tile-grp Dr. Alitnok is fluent in English and Arabic, and interdemiate in Persian.
On Wednesday, February 11, Professor Luis Antonio Orozco of Externado University, Bogota, Colombia, and Visiting Fellow at the National Center for Digital Government, presented “Policy and Governance Networks of Innovation in Colombia: The Evolution of Inter-Agency Collaboration.” Professor Orozco discussed the structural changes in, as well as relational patterns between, organizations active in science, technology, and innovation in Colombia.
Professor Orozco is professor in organizational studies at the Faculty of Business Administration – Universidad Externado de Colombia. He has a Ph.D. in administration at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá and is adjoined researcher at STEPS Faculty of Management and Governance, University of Twente, The Netherlands. He worked as a researcher at the Colombian Observatory of Science and Technology and at the Vice-rectory of Research at the Universidad de los Andes. He also served as a consultant for the National Planning Department – DNP in Colombia, Organization of American States – OAS, and RedBIO from Food and Agricultural Organization – FAO.
Professor Orozco’s presentation is part of the National Center for Digital Government’s ongoing seminar series.
January 28, 2015
Distinguished Professor Jane Fountain, political science and public policy, and Director of the National Center for Digital Government, presented “E-Governance Tools and Challenges for Cross Agency Collaboration.”
Professor Fountain discussed her research, which brings together guidance and recommendations for public managers, and examines the early implementation of some of the provisions of the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act of 2010. Fountain highlights four case studies of successful, important cross-agency collaboration.
The presentation was part of an ongoing seminar series at the National Center for Digital Government. The NCDG brings together international digital governance scholars, was also recorded for researchers at Jilin University in China, and will be available for viewing online.
The National Center for Digital Government will host a Seminar Series from January – May, 2015. Scholars from UMass and National Center for Digital Government, Visiting Fellows, and guests, will present pressing topics in e-governance, science, and technology research. The seminars are free and open to the public.
Schedule of NCDG Seminars (January-May 2015), 201 Gordon Hall:
- Thursday, Jan. 29 between 11:30am–1 pm Distinguished Professor Jane Fountain Presents “E-Governance Tools and Challenges for Cross Agency Collaboration.”
- Thursday, Feb. 12 between 12–1:30 pm, Professor Luis Antonio Orozco Presents “Policy and Governance Networks of Innovation in Colombia: The Evolution of Inter-Agency Collaboration”
- Wednesday, Feb. 25 between 12–1:30 pm
- Wednesday, March 11 between 12–1:30 pm
- Wednesday, March 25 between 12–1:30 pm
6. Wednesday, April 8 between 12–1:30 pm
- Wednesday, April 22 between 12–1:30 pm
Dr. Erdem Erkul (sitting in the center in the photo), Senior Manager at Samsung and a former NCDG Fellow, was elected Vice President of CEPIS (Council of European Professional Informatics Societies) during the 53d CEPIS Council Meeting last week in Brussels.
CEPIS (Council of European Professional Informatics Societies) is the representative body of national informatics associations throughout greater Europe. CEPIS’ main aim is to promote the development of the information society in Europe. It has grown to represent over 300,000 ICT and informatics professionals as members in 32 countries. CEPIS also supports the European Commission and European Union in technology related policy issues through its activities.
Representatives of member countries and societies meet annually. Erkul has been attending these meetings on behalf of the Informatics Association of Turkey and representing Turkey for four years in the area of informatics and technology.
Last weekend, the 53rd meeting was held in Brussels. He was nominated for the Vice President role by presidents and vice presidents of member societies in the previous Council Meeting in April 2014. Among 6 candidates running for two Vice President roles, he was elected as the new Vice President of CEPIS. He will conduct this role for two years and actively contribute to the development process of ICT in Europe.
Learn more about R.Erdem Erkul, PhD at
The World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government was honored with a Visions Award at 2014 Summit on the Global Agenda held in Dubai on November 9-11, 2014. The awards were announced during the opening plenary, Shaping the Transformations of the World.
Jane Fountain received the Visions Award on behalf of the Council on the Future of Government and spoke on the work of the Council at the press conference on the Global Agenda Council Award. She was chair of the Future of Government Council in 2010-11, vice chair in 2011-12, and has been a council member since its inception in 2008. She wrote the Smart Toolbox chapter on Political Representation, highlighting the importance of decision makers to use ICT to increase representation, decrease citizen apathy, and to interpret civic engagement in light of the subgroups and individuals actually represented online.
The Future of Government Smart Toolbox offers a practical, state of the art guide for government leaders and those interested in government innovation. The Smart Toolbox was developed under the leadership of Joe Nye, former Dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, who chaired the Council, and Diana Farrell, President and CEO of the JPMC Institute, who served as vice chair, during 2013 and 2014. The toolbox focuses on eight key areas for government improvement: anti-corruption, political representation, service delivery, modernization of bureaucracy, increasing trust, leadership, innovation and security. Thirty two case studies drawn from every region of the globe illustrate and make concrete best practices.
November 7, 2014
Christoph Demers, Fellow at the National Center for Digital Government, contributed to the National Priorities Project’s “State Smart” initiative, from June – August, 2014. Released October 2014, State Smart examines how federal dollars flow to states. State Smart aims to recreate the Census Bureau’s Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR), which had been a vital tool to economists and researchers for decades, before it was cancelled in 2011 due to budget cuts. Other attempts by the federal government to make government spending data more accessible, such as the USASpending.gov website, have thus far failed to provide researchers with a reliable and consistent data source. Most recently, a Government Accountability Office report found that for 2012, USASpending.gov was missing $619 billion in federal government spending.
With State Smart, as with the CFFR before it, researchers can download a wide range of (clean!) data sets detailing state and federal level funding flows, including data on federal grants to states, federal contracts, DOD contracts, business and individual, and federal compensation. As the Washington Post noted, the CFFR was “crucial to the work of a small set of researchers, academics and journalists, offering a broad view of how federal money is transferred to states.” But State Smart isn’t meant to be a resource just for researchers and journalists.
State Smart goes beyond the Census’ Consolidated Federal Funds Reports, as it is housed in a user-friendly website with comparative and within-state analyses. The accessible nature of the site allows any interested member of the public to quickly gain an overview of how federal dollars play a role in their own as well as other states. For example, here we see State Smart’s graphic representation of per-person federal aid to individuals by state, with Massachusetts highlighted in green:
Or this 10 year view of the California’s revenue by source:
Importantly, State Smart will be updated as new data from various government sources flows in, ensuring that CFFR-type data will continue to be available to researchers, journalists, and active citizens.
Demers, a research intern at the National Priorities Project, assisted National Priorities Project staff in combining and then analyzing the assorted data sets that make up State Smart, including those from the Census, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the IRS, and USASpending.gov, among others. “Christoph played a critical role in the launch of State Smart. He quickly learned the nuances of troubleshooting and cleaning disparate data sources, and the final product is a testament to his detailed-oriented approach,” said Becky Sweger, Director of Data and Technology at the National Priorities Project.
The National Priorities Project is a national non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to making complex federal budget information transparent and accessible.