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Research Discussion
Electronic Governance at United Nations University and Programmable Messaging for Electronic Government

Tomasz Janowski, founder and head of the UNU-IIST Center for Electronic Governance
Thursday, March 20, 2008, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Dr. Tomasz Janowski will speak about his work at the Center for Electronic Governance at United Nations University - International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST). He will describe the goals, program, and organization of the Center, along with the current project portfolio. He will also share lessons learned from the establishment of the Center, such as (1) how the interplay between research and practice in the work of the Center is realized through its hosting at the university (research) and collaboration with the local government (practice) and (2) how the special nature of the UN University enables the Center to realize its international and developmental mission. Following this overview, Tomasz will provide specific details about Software Infrastructure for Electronic Government, a technical research and development project carried out as part of the UNU-IIST Center for Electronic Governance. This infrastructure is comprised of Front-Office, Back-Office and Mid-Office (Workflow, Messaging, Administration) applications; Tomasz will focus his talk on the Mid-Office Messaging portion of the infrastructure.

Electronic Governance at United Nations University

The Center for Electronic Governance is part of United Nations University - International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST), located in Macao, China. The aim of the Center is to build capacity and provide know-how and advice in planning, implementing, and evaluating programs for Electronic Governance. To this end, the Center engages in applied and policy research, and conducts various forms of development: software development, good practice development, human capacity development, institutional development, and development of communities of practice. To realize its mission, the Center works in partnership with institutions from developing countries and other centers of excellence, as well as international and UN organizations.

Programmable Messaging for Electronic Government

The aim of the Software Infrastructure for Electronic Government project is to build a lightweight software infrastructure to enable rapid development and run-time execution of electronic public services, made available for use and further development to governments, particularly in developing countries.

The Messaging portion of the infrastructure, called Government-Enterprise Ecosystem Gateway (G-EEG), is a framework through which multi-organizational processes and applications can dynamically build, apply, and evolve complex communication structures to asynchronously exchange messages in specific application contexts, e.g. to deliver seamless public services. In addition to basic messaging (E-EEG-CORE), the gateway supports high-level messaging functions through dynamically-enabled and horizontal (process-independent) or vertical (process-dependent) extensions (G-EEG-EXTEND). A number of extensions such as logging, validation, transformation, encryption/decryption, and policy-driven message exchange are implemented. Further extensions can be rigorously specified, designed, and implemented through a development framework provided by the Gateway (G-EEG-DEVELOP), aiming at reliable, high-quality messaging solutions for governments.

The infrastructure is available as a prototype using open standards and open-source software. The prototype is currently re-implemented into production-quality systems and deployed among Macao government agencies as a basis for governmentwide services. While G-EEG has been proposed as a focused solution to addressing some technical and organizational challenges to seamless Electronic Government, it emerges as a generic solution to enterprise messaging, offering a unique combination of simplicity, extensibility, dynamism, and reliability, all built on precise mathematical foundations.

Tomasz Janowski
Tomasz Janowski is the founder and head of the UNU-IIST Center for Electronic Governance, an international center of excellence in Electronic Governance, part of United Nations University - International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST), located in Macao, China. He is also a senior research fellow of UNU-IIST.

An author of numerous publications in Computer Science, Software Engineering and Electronic Governance, Tomasz Janowski has led a number of research, development and capacity-building projects in the area of Information and Communication Technology and Electronic Governance; organized many schools, workshop and conferences with governments and universities around the developing world; and served as a Program Committee (PC) member and PC chair at numerous international conferences. In particular, Tomasz Janowski founded a series of International Conferences on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV), established an initiative to build a global Community of Practice for Electronic Governance (UNeGov.net), and led a unique government program to build a foundation for Electronic Government in Macao (e-Macao).

His research interests include foundations and frameworks for sustainable Electronic Governance, tools and applications of formal engineering techniques, and rigorous development of enterprise systems, particularly systems for the public sector. Tomasz Janowski holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Warwick, England, and an MSc in Mathematics from the University of Gdansk, Poland. He can be contacted by email at tj@iist.unu.edu.