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The Internationalists: the gov2.0 conversation goes global

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Alberto Cottica

Kublai, the Italian central government’s first (or at least one of the first) government 2.0 project, has quickly gained a certain international visibility. After two showcases with the European Commission (EUPS20 and Wikicrats) and a French exchange of ideas, last week it was the World Bank, following up on an interview I had given to the NYC-based blog Betterverse.

As it becomes clear that the Internet is great at producing public goods, the conversation on e-government 2.0 goes global. Ideas circulate smoothly among us Europeans (the EUPS20 group, or Headshift, recently acquired by an American company), Americans (Sunlight Foundation) and Asians (Futuregov), and it seems there is a good deal of mutual trust out there. As I write, a bunch of us is cooperating at producing a collaborative declaration to be presented at the European Union ministerial conference on ICT in Malmo, Sweden, in November. Maybe there is hope.

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Andrea Di Maio

Could you explain your claim above: “the Italian central government’s first (or at least one of the first) government 2.0 project”? reading the project description I am not sure how it relates to (1) improving constituent service delivery (2) increasing efficiency of government operations or (3) transforming oth (1) and (2). This looks like a laboratory or a toolkit to help develop innovative net-based ideas like new games, community or entreprises. Can you help me understand the gov 2.0 angle?

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Alberto Cottica

Andrea, mainly two things:

ONE – Crowdsourced coaching. The process through which creative ideas become projects happens in a many-to-many communication environment, which enables peer-to-peer collaborative design. Last time we checked, more than two thirds of the project-related interaction events came from unpaid members of the community.

TWO – Emergent assessment. The project is funded by UVAL, the policy evaluation and assessment unit within the Ministry. As the infrastructure base moves towards completion, development policy gets to be more and more about immaterial things; innovation programs, network building etc. This poses a huge evaluation problem. Through the metrics generated by trackable social networks, we are hoping to find a dependable way to crowdsource evaluation too: in Kublai, a pretty clear consensus emerges as to which projects are “good”.

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