Ideas

The UK Government is about to hire a new Director of Digital Engagement (http://is.gd/jIpw). What should he/she do when they start work?

I'd like the Director of Digital Engagement to...

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  1. open a base in Stoke-on-Trent

    To really deliver in a complex, disconnected UK, you need a base where you can access a flexible workforce with high-speed rail links back to Westminster and to other cities and where the issues of inclusion and exclusion really can be felt and engaged with. More reasons here: http://whitellama.blogspot.com/2009/05/many-reasons-why-director-of-digital.html

    257 votes
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    • Promote the procurement of small, creative suppliers

      Small agencies and freelancers are more innovative, cost-effective and flexible than large IT outsourcers. And yet government procurement frameworks discriminate against them. The new Director should look at how creative small firms can be brought into government more easily.

      196 votes
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      • experiment wildly - small bets, learn lots, kill failure.

        Iterate like a fiend. See what works and what doesn't. Learn the lessons. Move on. Essentially - encourage a culture of experimentation.

        171 votes
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        • Enforce a policy of freeing up non-personal data

          Departments hold on behalf of citizens mountains of non-personal data. It's time to develop clear policies of how to release and encourage the use of this data in developing new services and applications - and to encourage the creation of new businesses during a time when innovation in technology can help create one of the many required growth paths out of recession.

          116 votes
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          • Ensure civil servants can access social media sites at work

            Too many public sector organisations still block or inhibit access to mainstream social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and even Blogspot.

            It's time to make this the management and business issue it is, and not just the domain of bloody-minded IT managers.

            113 votes
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            • Promote digital equality

              Without digital equality we exclude a large portion of society from effective engagement with government. We can't push government into the digital age and leave a signifncant minority of people behind.

              96 votes
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                1 comment  ·  Admin →
              • Set up an online deliberation platform for government

                Some government organisations are using blogs, wikis and Twitter to promote policymaking. But a sophisticated, scalable, user-friendly platform for online deliberation of policy ideas which Departments can use would help to accelerate the acceptance of digital engagement by policy teams.

                90 votes
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                • Recognise it's all about changing the way things get done

                  It's no good just coming and expounding the virtues of digital engagement. That's the easy bit. Change sticks in government only if the benefits are clear. The ministers and permanent secretaries who can't quite see what the fuss is about and who will instinctively assume that any initiative from Cabinet Office demands lip service until they get bored and go away need to understand why they should care.
                  So the most important attribute will be the ability to understand and empathise with those who need to be persuaded - and above all to demonstrate how all this will very directly…

                  60 votes
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                    1 comment  ·  Admin →
                  • Implement the POI paper

                    Would seem a sensible option

                    60 votes
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                    • Establish 'crown commons' licencing

                      At the moment anything that is published online is crown copyrighted.

                      In an age of creative commons licencing, giving the public clear permission to reuse content I'd like to see a similar approach to Government content whether that's photography, written texts, audio recordings or data.

                      37 votes
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                        1 comment  ·  Admin →
                      • ensure software built for government is open sourced.

                        By open sourcing software by default, departments will find projects cheaper, private companies will get benefit from the huge amount government spend, quality will be transparently obvious, less money will be wasted, government software capabilities will be increased. Oh, and as individuals we can get hold of some of the software we're paying for.

                        34 votes
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                        • start a blog

                          It's absolutely essential that the figurehead is seen to practise what he/she preaches, and engage with the community from day one.

                          27 votes
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                            1 comment  ·  Admin →
                          • 26 votes
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                            • Do less online, but do it better

                              Recognise that whilst there's a lot of good that Government can do online, it has limited resources to do it with. Figure out the most important information and services for the most important (in either size or influence/ability to deliver) audiences and stakeholders, meet *their* needs, BEFORE trying to cater for 000's of audiences on 000's of subjects.

                              25 votes
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                              • Support next generation public access networks

                                The 25M non internet users find it low bandwidth, unaffordable, difficult to use or irrelevant to their lives. The DofDE must support the solutions to these problems

                                19 votes
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                                • encourage civil servants to join self help internet fora

                                  There are many non-governmental web based internet sites. Civil servants should be encouraged to contribute to these to ensure information is up to date and accurate.

                                  17 votes
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                                  • Create a Citizen-Government Online Charter

                                    A set of rights and corresponding responsibilities for citizens and government designed for use in all engagement contexts. It will establish rules of engagement and manage expectations, but also promote civility, efficiency and transparency.

                                    17 votes
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                                    • light the fibre to rural areas to enable digital engagement.

                                      many rural areas have little or no connectivity, we need someone with passion to bring the fibre out to us and we will do the rest

                                      15 votes
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                                        1 comment  ·  Admin →
                                      • 14 votes
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                                          1 comment  ·  Admin →
                                        • support communities in creating online and offline spaces

                                          Existing communities can learn digital engagement by creating their own online and offline hub around what they do (music/sports/etc etc), thus the members learn to use technology to engage in a safe space. Then it becomes logical to also engage with policy makers in this way.

                                          12 votes
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