eGov IG (Eurasian) Meeting 6 August 2012

06 Aug 2012

See also: IRC log



+, PhilA, +8532871aabb, lukasz, +1.703.281.aacc, HadleyBeeman, +44.122.330.aadd, neeta, kramw, +44.786.783.aaee, niggreenaway, brand, edsu, +6038995aaff, vivienne
Tomasz Janowski
Hadley Beeman


<kramw> Hi all, Mark Wainwright here from the Open Knowledge Fdn - just joined the group

<kramw> Morning!

<kramw> Never used SIP before - have downloaded linphone but get some strange pulse noises. Any suggestions?

<kramw> HadleyBeeman: Cambridge, UK.

<MikeThacker> Hello Mike Thacker from UK on IRC and voice


<neeta> www.nic.in national informatics centre

<scribe> Agenda: +1-617-761-6200


Tomasz: We'll be looking at the use of social media by administrative and political systems, and who benefits. How to measure the benefits, account for the risks, processes and methods. Experiences that exist throughout the world.

Webmonitoring in Groningen, Renske Stumpel, Municipality of Groningen, Netherlands

speaker absent

Social Media Use by Government of India, Neeta Verma, National Informatics Center, India

Neeta: Already have a reasonably good presence on social media sites, but use for government functions is quite low. Picking up in the last 6 months.

… How do you effectively manage the presence? 24/7 operations, fast responses, communicating at the level of the people there.

… In India we are exploring different models. Credibility and effectiveness are the key concerns in taking these decisions.

… Motivation: most common one is promotion (gov programme, policy, place, entity or specific people)

… Social, education, health, hygiene, personal safety. Make people aware of things.

… We have over 7000 gov websites; citizens won't visit them daily. We use social media to distribute these messages to people.

… public consultation: body called Planning Permission extensively used social media to call for submissions for proposals from planners, academics, etc for a 5 year plan (schemes, allocation of funds)

… Learning that put it there isn't enough. You have to do a lot of outside promotion to get meaningful feedback.

… Big question: How do we leverage this media to connect with these citizens?

… How do we leverage this media to deliver public services? Some experiments have been done in this. Counting population (census)

… The agencies used social media to explain when the teams would visit which villages to distribute the biometric cards for the census.

… The Post is a major media for people to communicate (letters, sending money, etc). They are active on Twitter to support users.

… Multilanguages: Facebook pages are in Hindi but also translated into multiple other languages.

… The Passport Service helps people on Twitter with documents, delayed deliveries, status of passport applicaiton, etc.

… We mostly use Facebook, Youtube, Flickr and Twitter.

… We have three tiers of gov: central government, state governments (35 independent) and district administrations, and village-level government

… These tiers are using social media. Our new president updated the facebook and youtube pages by the second day in office. Cabinet-level ministers also have a presence on these pages. Primarily to connect to citizens, get input.

<Laurence__> Who is allowed to post to the agency Facebook or Twitter account?

… Announcements about traffic jams, traffic violations.

… Central/Federal government: foreign relations have been using social media to make announcements, issue press releases (Indian south side visa information, info for visitors)

… Dept of Finance: gather comments at budget time. Initially just on their own website, now on Facebook too

… State governments: using social media for promotion, awareness, public notices for a particular locality. Information sharing.

… Tourism corporations: promotion of various places for tourists. State of Kerula is integrating their website with social media places.

<tomasz> Is there evidence that the government is listening in a systematic way to social media inputs to inform decisions?

… Some organisations begin with a lot of enthusiasm but can't sustain it. Possible reasons: no institutional arrangement for ongoing work, may have been campaign-driven.

… Department for IT has formulated guidelines for the use of social media. Neeta will post the URL here

Neeta: (response to Laurence__ ) It's primarily a government representative who is allowed to post.

… Ex: taking input on people affected by traffic violations

… Ex: Department of Post

… Ex: Passport Service. (examples as above)

<Laurence__> P11 Laurence

Neeta: (response to tomasz) Delhi police have a complete department, recording input with analytics. Also other groups may be watching the media, but nothing officially shared.

Using Social Media for Data Science and Journalism, Brand Niemann, Semantic Community

<PhilA> slides are linked from the Wiki

Brand's slides

<Laurence__> Big praise for Brand getting up at 4am!

Brand: Data science and data journalism. Best example: the Guardian, Simon Rogers. Using Drupal and Google Spreadsheets.

… The Guardian created a tremendous amount of interest with Wikileaks data. That's what we're trying to do with government data.

… Key in data journalism: modelling and visualisation. Uses MindTouch for the Data Journalism Handbook.

… I use a 5 step process: 1. Build knowledge base in MindTouch, 2. build indices in Excel, 3. precondition the structured data, 4. import into Spotfire, 5. write the story

<PhilA> Slide 9 shows the table

… Highlights a problem: the data in this Guardian example (about their data journalism) doesn't match the table representation of it, nor the article about it.

<PhilA> Now on slide 14

<PhilA> Oh, sorry, I'm jumping ahead, stick with 11 :-(

… Sometimes the data isn't published at all

… Example of the Digital Agenda for Europe and European debt web

… Example: encouraged Eric Busboom of Clarinova to grow his business by asking investors to help provide data science and data scientists.

<PhilA> HadleyBeeman: You talked about creating a Knowledge Base - what exactly do you mean by that?

<PhilA> Brand: Yes, 2 ways. A Netherlands tool, Be Informed, uses a lot of Sem Web tool. In my case I use MindTool to create structure from unstructured data

<PhilA> ... benefit is the matching of structured and unstructured data

Tomasz: Which standardisation from W3C do you see enabling data science and data journalism?

Brand: I've explored it with OASIS and OMG, but not W3C. OMG have started a new smart data coalition who are focused on results with data, business cases with examples, before standards work. OASIS are just starting to think about it.
... the Intelligence community is just starting to explore the role of data journalism for intel analysts as well.

Lawrence__: Looked at O'Reilly's 7 most powerful data scientists, as mentioned by Brand. They're all American. Any comments on the US/UK role internationally?

Brand: Best merging of data scientist of data journalism seems to be at the Guardian. Transition for print press to electronic journalism to survive. We hope to emulate that at AOL Goverment.

<Brand> Work for US Intelligence Community: http://semanticommunity.info/AOL_Government/Semantics_and_Ontologies_for_the_Intelligence_Community_Working_Toward_Standards/STIDS_2012

eParticipation and Transport Management: Galway TF, Lukasz Porwol, DERI, Ireland


<PhilA> lukasz: is from http://www.deri.ie/

lukasz: Initiative begun with strategic, public issue about traffic load.
... Main objective: identify the short-term measures to address the traffic difficulties. Approach: crowdsource input. Ask citizens what the problems were and how to fix them.
... Step 1. Stakeholder engagement, across a variety of citizens.

… and media.

… and local gov, Galway Chamber of commerce, Galway Transport Unit, local business like Engineers Ireland West, academia, domain experts in civil engineering, citizens.

… Step 2. eParticipation: design of a web platform. Requirements designed with stakeholders. Digital participation and offline (classic) participation to include the digitally excluded who aren't online.

… Used Facebook and Twitter to attract as many citizens as possible

… Step 3. Service management: respond immediately to comments posted. Encourage people to contribute by demonstrating that their input is taken seriously. Traditional media (radio etc) were helpful to disseminate the message.

scribe: Step 4. Political process: People felt included and participated. We reached the complete stakeholder set (2500 people targetted out of 76000 residents)

… We are in the process of compiling the feedback. We want to create a second loop by providing feedback to the cities.

… Most of the social media traffic was generated by the newspapers and the radio, from their own social media presences.

<PhilA> Interesting that trad media use social media to disseminate their stories about what DERI put on social media

… Conclusion: this ran well locally, because we could bring all the stakeholders together. We were contacted by university students in Scotland, who wanted to apply a similar approach to Edinburgh.

… Next steps: Since our own Facebook and Twitter accounts didn't generate much traffic, we would want to integrate more closely with them to investigate it further. Semantic technologies to manage the data (comments) so the decision makers could provide fast feedback.

… Fewer channels may be more successful.

Elsa: What type of tools did you use to find meaning in the 78000 Facebook impressions?

Lukasz: I used the free standard Facebook tools, similar to Google statistics.

… Also, to add: we collected the feedback, but how to push decision makers to respond? There is no formal way for this to happen.

<PhilA> lukasz: Call an election? That gets them listenting...

Singapore eGovernment & eEngagement, Lark Yang TAN, IDA International, Singapore


<PhilA> Singapore main gov portal is http://www.gov.sg/ and gets used a lot

Lark: www.gov.sg - the Singapore official electronic communication platform. Information, ways to communicate with people on the key news, changes in the government, new policies.

… We conduct 2 annual surveys: the Survey on Business and the e-Government Customer Perception Survey.

… 97% of businesses choose to conduct their transactions with government electronically

… E-engagement is therefore not entirely new. But the feedback mechanism from the public to the government is.

… Motivations: social economic and benefits to the people.

… REACH: Reaching everybody for an active citizenry at home. Government unit to engage and connect with citizens — traditional means and the e-platform.

… Now, we can get almost real-time sentiment from the web. Used to take months or more to reach the upper echelons of government and the response with similarly take months to implement. This is transforming the speed. Also a challenge to government to meet that speed.

<edsu> nice point re: importance of real-time

+1 to edsu

Lark: Have taken into consideration evidence that adoption of these technologies is high.

… Facebook, Twitter, etc. — we have virtually no control. We have embraced that, supplemented with some of our own platforms to send those messages.

… Key: don't forgo traditional communication (telephone). Embrace them with the new media (incl forms, podcasts, videocasts, blogs, etc)

… We have added in e-consultation papers, reaching a younger, more network and more international group than

… before.

… We engage on daily issues, gather feedback through "likes" on Facebook, create microsites for follow-ons by the respective agencies.

… Youthvibes.sg is specifically aimed at gathering feedback from youth, to distribute it to the appropriate agency

… Lessons learnt: feedback comes fast and furious. Good tool to keep you relevant to the people, increase the public's satisfaction with their government's efforts for the benefit of society.

<Brand> Knowledge Base: http://semanticommunity.info/Be_Informed_4 and new slides at end of http://semanticommunity.info/@api/deki/files/18968/BrandNiemann08062012.pptx

… We are also opening up non-sensitive data on data.gov.sg

Tomasz: Is there evidence that social media contributions are taken into account in government decision making in Singapore?

Lark: Yes. All key gov agencies in Singapore have a quality feedback manager, who will go through this feedback and ensure they are being addressed and replied to. "No wrong door" policy

<Brand> Knowledge Base for recent 2012 OGDC: http://semanticommunity.info/AOL_Government/2012_International_Open_Government_Data_Conference

Thanks, Brand, for the follow-up points. Appreciated!

<PhilA> Thanks to Hadley - hard session to scribe

<edsu> :-)

<PhilA> Yes, Jeanne is now in Gale Crater and tweeting live

<vivienne> bye

<lukasz> Thanks a million!