Recommendations to Build Cross-Agency Collaboration for the Next Administration

Fountain March 2016 cover

Today’s political and policy challenges – like veteran homelessness, sustainable communities, federal permitting and review, cybersecurity – demand greater cross-boundary capacity, that is, the ability of government to use cross-agency collaboration, partnerships and a range of enterprise approaches to solve problems. And new technologies make information sharing and streamlining possible. Yet governments remain too fragmented with agencies working “silos” without sufficient communication and knowledge sharing.

NCDG Director Professor Fountain’s new white paper, Building an Enterprise Government: Creating an Ecosystem for Cross-Agency Collaboration in the Next Administration, makes recommendations for building enterprise approaches in government. It was published on Monday, March 14, 2016 jointly by the Partnership for Public Service and IBM Center for the Business of Government.

Fountain’s report recommends that transition teams and the next administration should determine the presidential priorities and goals that are likely to require multiple agencies to work together. The White House should include executive talent in the form of a chief operating officer to focus on those cross-agency priorities when other matters threaten to divert attention. Over the past 25 years an emerging ecosystem of institutional actors has grown up to support cross-agency and enterprise teams. This institutional network is vital to enterprise and cross-agency approaches. It’s potential as a source of knowledge, strong practice and communication should be leveraged by government executives.

A group of current and former government officials gathered in Washington, D.C. in September, convened by the Partnership for Public Service and the IBM Center for the Business of Government to examine how to develop such approaches and to make recommendations for the next presidential administration. Professor Fountain captured the central themes of this roundtable discussion and built on her own research during more than two decades to recommend concrete steps the transition teams and next administration should take to develop the ability to work across agency boundaries.

The report is part of a series of five white papers to develop a Management Roadmap for the next administration and is included in the Partnership’s Center for Presidential Transition Ready to Government initiative.


Schweik gives invited plenary talk at the Seventh International Workshop on Network Theory focusing on “Peer Production Networks”

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:

NCDG Symposium on Institutional Perspectives on Digital Government Research


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

4-5 Discussion

Professor Nizar Ben Neji Highlights Tunisian E-Government Advances


Left to right: Jian Li, NCDG pre-doctoral fellow, Jilin University, China; Dr. Gretchen Gano, CPPA STS Research Associate; Nele Leosk, NCDG pre-doctoral fellow, [European University Institute, Florence, Italy); Jane Fountain, Distinguished University Professor and NCDG Director; Nizar Ben Neji, [Assistant Professor, University of Carthage and Fulbright Scholar; Prof. Raquel Galindo, Autonomous University of Madrid; Dr. Obed Pasha, Center for Public Policy and Administration.

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.


Dr. Ramazan Alitnok: Best Practices in Turkish eGovernment

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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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 3.55.57 PM, the official e-Government gateway of the Republic of Turkey

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).Northampton Jan-March 2015 041

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. Dr. Alitnok is fluent in English and Arabic, and interdemiate in Persian.



Professor Luis Antonio Orozco Presents “Policy and Governance Networks of Innovation in Colombia: The Evolution of Inter-Agency Collaboration”


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Professor Luis Orozco (third from left), NCDG Director Professor Jane Fountain (fourth from left) pose with NCDG Fellows

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.

NCDG Seminar Series: Fountain Presents “E-Governance Tools and Challenges for Cross Agency Collaboration”

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Distinguished Professor Fountain Presents “E-Governance Tools and Challenges for Cross-Agency Collaboration”

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.


NCDG Spring Seminar Series

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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:

  1. Thursday, Jan. 29 between 11:30am–1 pm Distinguished Professor Jane Fountain Presents “E-Governance Tools and Challenges for Cross Agency Collaboration.”
  1. 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”
  1. Wednesday, Feb. 25 between 12–1:30 pm
  1. Wednesday, March 11 between 12–1:30 pm
  1. Wednesday, March 25 between 12–1:30 pm

6. Wednesday, April 8 between 12–1:30 pm

  1. Wednesday, April 22 between 12–1:30 pm

Schweik, Students Visit International Maker Faire

Associate Professor Charles Schweik (environmental conservation and public policy) took a group of students last weekend to the international Maker Faire in New York City. The event, which has been touted as the “greatest show and tell on earth,” showcases diverse do-it-yourself technologies, including three-dimensional design and printing; unmanned robotic vehicles such as an open-source underwater robot; and devices made from do-it-yourself low-cost computing methods.

In addition to public policy and administration students from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the group included students from the UMass departments of natural resource conservation; engineering; and communication, as well as computer science students from Mt. Holyoke College and some eighth-graders from Amherst Regional Middle School. The students were part of a new undergraduate course offered by the UMass department of environmental conservation and the Center for Public Policy and Administration, which encourages students to undertake collaborative “maker” projects to solve environmental science and management problems.

Projects these interdisciplinary students are working on include: balloon-based remote sensing of land cover; monitoring water and air contamination; and low-cost scientific equipment for inventorying or monitoring wildlife. The student teams are documenting and sharing their research with Public Laboratory for Science, an organization committed to making do-it-yourself scientific equipment and methods available to underserved communities around the globe.

Last weekend’s field trip is part of a larger collaborative effort between the UMass colleges of Natural Sciences; Social and Behavioral Sciences; and Engineering, working in partnership with Amherst Media to conduct outreach in the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools related to open science and “making.” This town-gown partnership was highlighted in a recent White House report on university efforts to encourage the national maker movement.

The trip to New York City was made possible by support from a UMass Amherst Public Service Endowment Grant, the Department of Environmental Conservation and the College of Engineering.