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What’s wrong with Gov 2.0 being focused on… government?

by Andrea Di Maio  |  November 8, 2010  |  2 Comments

An article on Computerworld Australia – quoting Guy Cranswick from IBRS – suggests that government 2.0 initiatives would be too inward-looking, scarcely focused on citizens and lacking a clear communication strategy.

I did not read Guy’s report, which most likely gives a much clearer explanation for this, but while the above looks bad at first sight, I actually think it is a good thing.

My objection to many government 2.0 initiatives is that there is too much focus on engaging citizens and too little on looking at it as a toolkit for employees at all levels to do their job more effectively and efficiently. There is too much excitement and sense of ownership by communication and PR folks that by business unit managers and their staff.

Especially in the current economic climate, I do not see much of a problem with government 2.0 being focused at efficiency, and even less with an insufficient focus on communication.

While Guy’s makes an excellent point in saying that “It’s not a case of pushing information out, it’s not about just supply; it is about demand”, I would add that understanding demand in the context of concrete problems that government agencies need to solve can provide a much better sense of direction.

The yin and yang between providing and gathering information, between engaging citizens and re-engaging employees, between the wisdom of the crowd and the experience of your staff will determine how successful government 2.0 will be at solving actual problems rather than just stating important but abstract principles.

Category: web-20-in-government  

Tags: australia  government-20  

Andrea Di Maio
Managing VP
15 years at Gartner
28 years IT industry

Andrea Di Maio is a managing vice president for public sector in Gartner Research, covering government and education. His personal research focus is on digital government strategies strategies, Web 2.0, open government, cloud computing, the business value of IT, smart cities, and the impact of technology on the future of government Read Full Bio

Thoughts on What’s wrong with Gov 2.0 being focused on… government?

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stephen Morgan, Andrea DiMaio, Ben Tudor, enrique saldivar, Claude Super and others. Claude Super said: RT @Stephen_Morgan: RT @AndreaDiMaio: What’s wrong with Gov2.0 being focused on government? – #opengov #GartnerSym […]

  2. Agreed, Andrea.

    Like you, I go to a large number of conferences focussed on various aspects of open government. One part that seems to go missing often is inter and intra agency cooperation, staff collaboration and improving knowledge and information management.

    All of these, done well, can be a valuable addition to the Government 2.0 picture, improving efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction for people in their work. That’s important; after all, shouldn’t we be able to do our jobs well, find and collaborate with the right people and *after that* deliver the outward-facing aspects of the hard jobs we do?

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