Welcome to our webinar series on digital government

3 minute read

By: Ryan Androsoff, Director of Digital Leadership, IOG

The purpose of the Digital Governance Webinar Series is simple: to facilitate frank and insightful discussions about how to accelerate the digital government movement forward in the months and years to come. I’m excited about the opportunity to host these webinars to engage with not only leaders and experts in the digital government field, but with a wide range of people interested in these issues (like you!).

I’d like to thank our sponsor SAS whose support has helped us to bring this series to life. I also want to highlight our partnership with Ottawa-based digital engagement company Publivate which has allowed us to be able to offer an engagement platform as an additional way to engage with you before, during, and after each of the webinars in this series.

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So what exactly do we mean by “Digital Government”? It is a term that can mean many different things to different people. When talking about “digital” as a concept, I often refer back to the definition proposed by Tom Loosemore (one of the co-founders of the Government Digital Service in the UK) who framed it as follows:

Digital: Applying the culture, practices, processes & technologies of the Internet-era to respond to people’s raised expectations.

While real progress has been made in recent years by governments around the world to embrace the technologies and methods of the modern digital era, it has often been slower and more piecemeal than many would have hoped. The truth is that it is hard work to fully implement digital modernization in an organization like government which is layered with complexity and legacy of all types (technology, policy, culture, and legislation to name but four). Often the structures and incentives of public sector organizations have evolved - consciously or not - in a way that does not easy enable the “culture, practices, processes & technologies of the Internet-era” that Tom talked about in his definition. A truly digital government will mean not just adapting new technologies, but leveraging those technologies to change how the institution itself works – something that we at the IOG call “governance”. Over the course of the next few months we are going to dive into some of these digital governance challenges that governments in Canada and around the world are facing right now.

The opening session in our digital governance webinar series this Friday will bring together experienced digital leaders to provide their perspective on the current state of digital government initiatives across Canada and internationally. My hope is that our conversation on Friday will not only inform about the current state of digital government efforts, but also start a discussion on where there is work yet to be done in the years to come.

Then over the following weeks we will host three additional webinars, each of which will dive deeper into some of the digital governance issues that consistently surface as being amongst the most challenging for policy makers:

As we get ready for our first webinar this Friday, we want to hear from you. What do you think some of the biggest challenges are right now with respect to digital government? The biggest opportunities?

There are three ways you can engage with us on this through our engagement site:

  1. Complete our short digital government survey (it should only take you a couple minutes to complete). We will share the data we collect as part of the webinar on Friday.
  2. Post an idea in our ideation section on the engagement site to answer the following question: Think ahead a decade to the year 2030. What do you think the biggest opportunity and biggest challenge will be when it comes to the impact of digital technologies on government?
  3. Post a comment on this blog on our engagement site and let us know what is on your mind as we get ready to dive into the discussion on Friday’s webinar and the rest of the series this fall.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Ryan

About the author

Institute on Governance

Institute on Governance

Founded in 1990, the Institute on Governance (IOG) is an independent, Canada-based, not-for-profit public interest institution with its head office in Ottawa and an office in Toronto. Our mission is ‘advancing better governance in the public interest,’ which we accomplish by exploring, developing and promoting the principles, standards and practices which underlie good governance in the public sphere, both in Canada and abroad.

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