Lets do Design Projects in the space of Open Government

I had a look at Open Goverment today – nudged by a twitter post. Great Video. This is their site:  http://www.opengovpartnership.org/about/mission-and-strategy

OGP’s vision is that more governments become sustainably more transparent, more accountable, and more responsive to their own citizens, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of governance, as well as the quality of services that citizens receive. This will require a shift in norms and culture to ensure genuine dialogue and collaboration between governments and civil society.

OGP aspires to support both government and civil society reformers by elevating open government to the highest levels of political discourse, providing ‘cover’ for difficult reforms, and creating a supportive community of like-minded reformers from countries around the world.

And I of course naively dream of redesigning Government. Gov2.0 is potentially different things for different people. What if we codesigned Govt? This is not as odd as it sounds in the first instance. Designers and govt? Is this a form of design? Or sceptics from another side – why would you open govt up for a design exploration? But that is all not as odd as I was to discover. Here is how “open source” proposes the future of Open Govt:

As new technologies become available, citizens’ ability to participate in their governments’ proceedings will continue to improve.  Although we cannot know the future, we can expect the definition of “open government” to evolve as our capabilities and expectation for participation and collaboration increase. Thus, it is important to recognize that “open government” is not so much a fixed term as it is an ideal to inspire and strive for–one that has and will continue to change with the times.


The you have the world Top 10 Govt 2.0 Initiatives

The Gov 2.0 movement continues to gain momentum around the world with a number of inspiring people, projects & ideas rising to prominence over the last year or so. Sometimes the most important innovations emerge from the periphery where creative citizens take a “do it first, ask for permission later” approach that can generate a wealth of benefits for the entire global community. So here’s my pick of the world’s best Gov 2.0 initiatives. What are your favourites?


Then there is a “how to” or good practice service design principles from Gov.UK

Listed below are our design principles and examples of how we’ve used them so far. These build on, and add to, our original 7 digital principles.


We are not totally sure if the mood in local and federal government is towards seeing Government as ripe for service redesign projects. There is some hope that some of the state and quasi state agencies are open to seeing how ‘apps’ (very fashionable) can improve their customer relationship. Are they thinking of redesigning themselves? Do they see Govt as a ‘service’? Not sure about this.

Quick intro to case studies

Meet the Govt.UK Content Team.

A short film to explain what we mean by Government as a Platform. By designing government services in blocks which do one job each, it’s easier to fix them, upgrade them, share them, and scale them up.

GOV.UK Verify is the new way to prove your identity when accessing digital government services. Janet Hughes explains how it works.

Leisa Reichelt: How to transform public services – An experience working for the UK government

The UK’s Policy Lab was launched at the beginning of April 2014. Policy Lab is a creative space where civil servants can experiment with new techniques and approaches to policy problems from data science to design. Its existence is born of a recognition that government needs to get better at policy-making; open it up, make it quicker, more digital and more connected with the people who are affected by it.

In this session Andrea shared their projects and revealed how they are working with design ethnographers, data scientists and other experts to develop new ideas in Government.


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