International Journal of Electronic Governance (5 papers in press)
A systems tool for structuring public policy problems and design of policy options
by Osama Ibrahim, Aron Larsson
Abstract: Systems analysis allows quantitative, empirical testing of models that exist in the study of public policy. Simulation and visualisation techniques can help policy makers to reduce uncertainties on the possible impacts of policies. This paper presents a new tool for systems modelling and simulation of public policy problems that supports the design of policy options and integrated impact assessment. The tool aims to facilitate the cognitive activity of representing complex mental models using system dynamics simulation modelling by defining standards and a procedure for policy modelling. We propose a policy-oriented problem structuring method, Labelled causal mapping, which provides a graphical representation of the involved actors, key variables, control flows and causal dependencies in a policy decision situation and supports quantitative scenario-based simulation. A web-based tool prototype has been implemented and is accessible from an online graphical user interface. Two real policy problems are presented for demonstration of the use of the prototype.
Keywords: Public Policy Analysis; Impact Assessment; Systems Thinking; Exploratory modelling; Scenario Planning; Causal Mapping; Simulation and visualization.
Quality of Service Improvement based on Procedure Analysis and Re-engineering: A case study in Cameroonian Public Service
by Roger Atsa Etoundi
Abstract: The quality of service rendered in public institutions represents the top priority of managers in the actual context of an ever changing society. It imposes a diagnostic of citizens perceptions and legal entities or people that have contact with services offered by the public administration, on quality of standards imposed to every institution and the perception of public employees over the quality of services rendered. Quality approaches reinforce the apparition of modern management concepts that are adopted in most governments. Based on end user, the different methodological approaches to quality management are helpful in making the shift or modernization in the public sector. However, if the quality tools are sometimes able to be transposed without many difficulties in the public sector of developed countries, this is more complicated in a developing country because of cumbersome of procedures. Procedures actually used in these countries have been developed just at the dawn of independences. Their effectiveness in terms of quality of service was not considered as these countries first wanted to deliver services. Hence, developing countries are seeking a solution to re-engineer their legacy administrative procedures in order to better satisfy the citizens. In this paper, we present an approach to optimize the quality of service in public administration based on the analysis and re-engineering of existing administrative procedures. The approach that underlies this work is based on the correlations between the different entities involved in the processing of an administrative procedure namely the documents required and the tasks of the procedure. This approach is applied to the improvement of the human resource retirement process in the public service in Cameroon.
Keywords: Quality of service; Administrative burden; Administrative Procedure Simplification; Procedure Analysis; Procedure re-engineering; Legacy Business Process.
Open Data Project for E-government: Case Study of Stockholm Open Data Project
by Serdar Temiz, Terrence Edison Brown
Abstract: The primary aim of this research is to explore the open data phenomenon using the city as the level of analysis. There is a lack of research on the potential of open data that could be implemented and how these would benefit citizens and empower them at local level (Kassen, 2013). Here the city becomes the platform for the promotion of open data by the use of civic engagement projects. In this study we use Kassen (2013)s local level framework as a base but adopt it to Europe, expand and elaborate Kassens discussion of local open data initiatives using the Stockholm open data platform. In this study, the city provides a framework for exploratory hypothesis testing and future research. Similar to Kassen, the Stockholm Open Data Project is evaluated from three perspectives: legal, political and economic environments. Stockholm open data activities are further evaluated in terms of the main features of open data defined by the Open Knowledge Foundation (2015) including: availability and access, reuse and redistribution, and universal participation. The impact of opening the data is evaluated against the three common reasons described by Open Knowledge (2015): transparency, releasing social and commercial value, and participation and engagement. The authors begin with giving open data project examples based on the analysis of the Stockholm Open Data Project. Then they discuss to what extent the results can be generalized as an open data framework to empower local citizens in other localities. It has been found out that at least for the current state of governments, promoting open data initiatives, is more similar to closed platforms that provides Open Apis than Open Source Projects.
Keywords: Open Data; Open Government; E-government; Stockholm; Freedom of Information; Public Data; Case Study.
Special Issue on: Personalisation in e-Government and Smart Cities
Personalized Community Maps
by Liliana Ardissono, Maurizio Lucenteforte, Angioletta Voghera
Abstract: With the convergence of GIS and Internet technology, the Public Administration is starting to use online maps as a web-based bidirectional communication channel with the population: maps are used (i) in public portals, for publishing and crowdsourcing information about the territory; (ii) in policy-making, for defining a community vision of the territory and for involving people in public choices. Both cases raise challenges related to the large amount of data handled in the maps, and to their lack of group collaboration support.
We attempted to address these issues by developing an information-sharing model, and a testbed software application, that support group management and the generation of persistent, custom community maps focused on the users interests. Our model builds on tag-based user profiles and on information filtering. This article describes our model and the results of an evaluation of the GroupMapping application, based on it.
Keywords: Community maps; participatory GIS; personalization; information filtering; crowdsourcing.
MuSe - a Semantic Solution for Personalized Recommendations of Municipality Services
by Marco Comerio, Alessio Carenini, Irene Celino, Flavio De Paoli, Andrea Maurino
Abstract: Citizens managing life events are often challenged in finding the needed municipality services and understanding the specific delivery conditions of such services. The lack of a comprehensive view of available services on municipality portals and online systems makes the challenge harder. In this paper, we describe the Municipality Service (MuSe) ontology, developed in the context of an Italian project, that supports the creation of formal and machine-readable descriptions of services available to citizens, and enables for personalized recommendations of services based on citizen profiles. Moreover, the paper describes how such recommendations are defined by means of an innovative semantic solution for supply-demand matchmaking and how such recommendations are shown to citizens.
Keywords: municipality services; personalized recommendations; ontology,
matchmaking; city service ecosystem; citizen profiles.