Call for ideas: Harvard and FutureGov research into Frontiers of Service in a Networked World

Complete our survey, tag content HKS20 (#HKS20 on Twitter), leave comments to this blog or email me by Friday 26th February to share your thoughts on the current and future use of technology in public service delivery

This article has been reposted from FutureGov’s site. The initial deadline for ideas was this Friday 26th February, but we are happy to continue to receive ideas for a further week until 5th March as well as on and on-going basis via the #HKS20/HKS20 tag. Thanks!

FutureGov is working with colleagues Stephen Goldsmith and Zach Tumin at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government to research the “now wave” and the “next wave” of public service delivery around the world. And we’d like your help.

Today more than ever the prospect (and need) for network-enabled collaborations between governments, citizens, industry and non-governmental organizations is high. No one can go it alone; the costs of services are ever increasing, the influence of governments to control the entire agenda limited, and the need for quality and greater value critical.

Technology and networks open the door to new collaborations, and improved performance, whether for the production of health, safety, or employment, for example, or for transactional services, everything from certifications and licenses to tax.

In the coming weeks, leaders of these efforts from five nations – Australia, the UK, the United States, New Zealand and Canada – will be gathering at Harvard for a roundtable discussion to share current best practices and understand the prospects for the next wave of service reform. What has proven useful? Where is the best next investment? What are the critical enablers for success?

Where is the “now wave,” and where is the “next wave” ? We would like your nominations for best practice now and over the coming years. We will be gathering these and sharing at the roundtable.

Our focus is on service delivery (not e-democracy per se) and in particular:

  • Personalisation of public services
  • Co-production and re-design of public services
  • Reducing the cost of government, in particular through joining up public service delivery within and across organisations including the shared service agenda particularly around transactional services
  • New ways of governing in terms of formal governance arrangements but also re-balancing of power between the citizen and the state
  • New ways of performance managing / measuring impact and outcomes
  • New tools and technologies

And we would love to enlist your help in answering those questions! What better way to show the power of many minds to the future of government than through a crowdsourced report writing collaboration?

We have put together a short survey to capture your thoughts and ideas on the big trends of the moment, who and what projects are really setting the world alight in their respective field of front or back office functions from healthcare to environment and even government finance? And then where next…

We are interested in your examples of real world practice – service innovations; tools proven or in trials or use; examples of new approaches to performance measure and management of cross-organization/shared mission efforts.

Tell us:

  • What’s the initiative?
  • Where is it? Who’s doing it?
  • What tools are enabling change?
  • How do / will performance measures and metrics work in this context?
  • What’s the governance arrangement like?
  • What evidence is there of value – financial, or improved satisfaction, reduced waste or loss, improved outcomes…

If you take part and your suggestions are included, you will be given full attribution in the final report.

Elsewhere, we are keen to start to develop a way of you sharing with us on an on-going basis. So if there is something that you would like to share outside of the survey, we’d love to hear from you through the usual ‘social’ sites. All you need to do is tag/label all relevant content “#HKS20” on Twitter or “HKS20” on delicious / Flickr / YouTube and any other sites so we’ll be able to find it.

Thanks for your time – and brains!

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Hi Dominic-

I’ve submitted my info to you already, and have passed your survey onto various Gov lists (Federal Intranet Content Managers, Web Content Managers, NASA Web Managers) so you should be getting more feedback soon.

Here is a blog from Gartner where some of us weigh in:

and a link to other resources (including your survey!) and ways to get involved in Gov 2.0:


Outside USA–Problems/issues of lack of privacy and fear of jurisdictional retaliation when citizens desire needed service deliveries when they use local/city/country websites.
I evaluate websites for Rutgers/Newark SPAA and have seen these circumstances repeatedly, locale after locale, country after country.


Steve – thanks for the input. Interesting angle under a point I have been picking up under ‘user authentication and vrm’. Sound a fair place to put it?