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Web 2.0 Roles, Services & Vision Statement for Government

This was the initial visualization graphic I developed quite awhile ago when I was first aligning types of Web 2.0 according to roles in Government.

This aligns examples of Web 2.0 tools, along government roles, with 4 other axes thrown into the mix: Gov’t/Public, Internal/External.It also offers another way to look at the types of Web 2.0: according to Information flow. Once we have visualized these potential actor, application, interaction and information flows, what’s required is a Vision Statement to better understand the reasons Web 2.0 should and can most effectively be applied.

If the rockies are web 2.0, then a vision statement elaborates the reason for your trek.

A “Vision statement” is valuable for any strategic planning (right up there with elaborating the Mission statement & Values). For a few months now I have been sharing one that I developed a while ago. It takes a step back and reiterates the reason public servants and government want or need Web 2.0: to improve the work of public servants and government. I offer you a vision statement for Government to support Web 2.0:

Develop an engaged, networked & resilient public service responsive to a connected, knowledgeable & skilled public.

Notice that “Web 2.0″ isn’t actually in there. That’s because Web 2.0 is the means for the work of public servants to do what they do, like technology, communications hardware and desks. But this Vision Statement still supports Web 2.0. You don’t want to be doing Web 2.0 for the sake of doing Web 2.0 – but because it’s the best means to improve the modern public service.

Notice I wrote “modern”. A modern public service, one that is ready to embrace Web 2.0, is one that values social learning (learning collectively) and networked governance (horizontality, collaboration). A modern public service is networked and resilient, but also focused on ultimately delivering better services, responding to the needs and demands of the public. Key here is that Web 2.0 isn’t the only way to modernize the public service and improve responsiveness to the public (think: blocked Internet) . By not being fixated on Web 2.0 (and its buzzwordiness), this vision reinforces web 2.0 and the other technology and processes needed with it.

There are also a few nuances in the vision statement, maybe you noticed them. This isn’t a vision statement for the whole public service, nor is it an imagining of a public service that supports the whole public. Face it, citizens who aren’t using Facebook or Twitter aren’t making demands for Government to be on social networks or to be more communicative, so this Vision statements goes beyond the basic requirements of the public (to have services and be informed), using Web 2.0 to achieve those means. Let me go into further detail of the terms here:

  • Engaged: Web 2.0 depends on engaged public servants, who will work tirelessly to get at solutions. To keep them engaged, tools need to adapt with the users, not through passive roll-outs but with active community support
  • Networked: Web 2.0-enabled public servants need to be connected to knowledge and people. This includes unblocked access to the Internet to the information they need to do their work, and to the people as well, fellow public servants and the public
  • Resilient: A resilient public service is one that continually learns, through support of Social Learning (also called “Organizational Learning”). Public servants have access to skilled public servants, their experience and insights. Information sharing is valued, encouraged
  • Responsive: Web 2.0 tools as well as other technology help public servants be more efficient in their work
  • Connected: The public is becoming increasingly connected and active on the Internet. New channels of communication, collaboration and engagement with the public are supportive of a new group of the public, one that is connected.
  • Knowledgeable: This term recognizes an increasingly informed and well-educated public. The new areas for government involvement with the public will need to be at this level, made possible using Web 2.0
  • Skilled: There are some areas that the public has better skills in. Being responsive to the public’s skills means providing them with information, with data. Open Data initiatives makes this engagement broadly possible

There you go. Hope this helps.

Doug Bastien


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