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Project of the Week: UN Public Service Awards

What South Korea, Oman, and Slovenia can teach us about Gov 2.0

GovLoop inspires me. The idea of a network of people working to make governance more transparent, more effective, more efficient has an energizing effect. I’m glad to be a part of it, and know you are too.

We’re a part of something bigger than ourselves, and as people we survive and thrive in community with each other. GovLoop has a growing international membership, and you can be assured the Gov 2.0 movement is a profoundly global one.

This month, the deadline approaches for the 2010 United Nations Public Service Awards. According to the UN, it “rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide.”

But before dismissing this as simply a bureaucratic attaboy, the categories are notable for those of us steeped in the Gov 2.0 arena:

Category 1: Improving transparency, accountability, and responsiveness in the Public Service.
Category 2: Improving the delivery of services
Category 3: Fostering participation in policy-making decisions through innovative mechanisms.
Category 4: Advancing knowledge management in government
Special Category: UNPAN Member Excellence Award on Knowledge Sharing

And check out some of the Gov 2.0 projects that garnered the 2009 awards, presented in June:

An electronic water quality service that allows citizens of Seoul, Republic of Korea to access up-to-date information on the quality of water supplied to their homes received the award for Improving transparency, accountability, and responsiveness in the Public Service.

The Oman Civil Status project for maintaining the nation’s civil register using modern technologies to record birth, death, marriages and divorces in the Sultanate and also manage the electronic identity cards for all citizens and residents of Oman. Over 12 civil status centers are now electronically linked throughout the country through a secure and reliable connectivity to process data in real time with the required level of accuracy and privacy.

The e-VEM system in Slovenia gives companies a one-stop shop for registration into the court register, reducing the time from 60 days to a maximum of four. They managed to eliminate so much red tape, the registration process, which used to cost between 350-600 euros, is now offered online absolutely free of charge.

Intrigued? Know someone who might be? It is not too late to apply for consideration in the 2010 United Nation Public Service Awards. Deadline is the end of December. Check it out. Be inspired. Change the world.

Learn more (and submit your application!) here:


My interest on GovLoop is in international collaboration and sharing, so when I’m penning these Project of the Week features, I’ll be looking at examples of note originating outside of US borders, or collaborative US-International efforts. Private sector projects with a public service aim are welcome and encouraged too.

If you’re part of a project like this, or know one you think we can all benefit from hearing more about, connect and drop me a line here on GovLoop, via email ([email protected]) or on Twitter www.twitter.com/riverbyte.

Until then, in the spirit of GovLoop, be Awesome.

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Very awesome. That system in Slovenia sounds amazing.

Some other cool International groups to check out on GovLoop are:
Brazil Gov 2.0 group, GovLoop North (Canada), as well as a number of people in the UK

Tanya Hilleary

The Slovenia system is cool for several reasons, but a notable aspect of it is that it was originally conceived to help small businesses – entrepreneurs mainly, become officially registered. It came online in 2004 with that original intent. Then based on its success, e-VEM was expanded to include ALL companies doing business in Slovenia. It was only after it hit that next level did it pass the “tipping point”, as it were, of making it notable enough for the UN award.

I think GovLoop’s international presence may be larger than what the groups suggest. There are folks from all over the world on here, but they’re not necessarily organized by a national themed group. I find that aspect of GovLoop interesting. Our French members, for example, may be more interested in Twitterati than anything having to do with French governance.

That’s notable when it comes to sharing “best practices” with each other. These forums can easily be a melting pot– or at least a nicely tossed salad — of perspectives and ideas.

I’m glad to have a seat at the table. 😉