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Scope of Work
Working group members are focused on building understanding of the social and technical capabilities necessary to tackle these important public policy problems both within countries and when those countries work together on these problems. The group seeks to better understand the role of technology plays in the ability of individual nations to respond to public problems and in the ability of nations to work together in response to transnational problems. The focus on Canada, Mexico, and the United States allows the researchers to look at topics that are germane to North America as a whole. The group is exploring current models of collaboration and cooperation being employed across the geographic, jurisdictional and political boundaries of North America; attending to the unique characteristics of both developed and developing countries and presidential and parliamentary systems.

As the governments of the world evolve toward a more global perspective on the social, political, and economic issues facing our nations it is critical that research efforts are sensitive to and respond to this evolution as well. New requirements for cross-boundary collaboration driven by a global view demand new understanding about how individual nations respond to public problems and about how nations work together in response to transnational problems. New forms of government enabled by technologies made possible through new models of cooperation and collaboration must be explored and tested. As researchers, we must also create new models and strategies for working together across geographic and political boundaries, focusing on the efforts of government as they seek to work in this new way. This working group will explore new models of collaboration required by the global nature of government problems as well as the role of technology in facilitating these inter-organizational initiatives. The activities of this working group include the development and pursuit of a research agenda that attends to comparative questions about intergovernmental and transnational digital government initiatives in North America.

Although the three countries of North America are very different in many aspects (providing good variation), they have important similarities in government and federal systems. Project leaders in the three countries appreciate the importance of intergovernmental relationships for the success of many digital government initiatives. In addition, the three countries are closely related and interdependent in several political, economic, and social issues. Therefore, the results may also have important policy implications for each of the three countries and North America as a whole. Finally, the inclusion of a developing country, a country with a highly developed presidential – system, and one with a highly developed parliamentarian – system allows the results to be relevant to many countries specifically as well as many regions around the world.

Group co-chairs are Dr. Theresa A. Pardo from the Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, SUNY and Dr. Luis F. Luna-Reyes from the Universidad de las Americas, Mexico. The working group includes members from three countries: Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Eleven institutions are represented by the group.

Together, the Working Group members are producing a series of deliverables for academics and practitioners, including reports, papers, cases or methodological notes among others. The products under development include resources for practitioners throughout North America and beyond as they work both within and across boundaries to enhance capability within multi-jurisdictional policy domains. Due to the diversity present in the three North American countries, this Working Group is able to develop lessons not only for the region, but also for developing and developed countries facing similar policy issues around the world. As such, the value of the research can be extended beyond the North America to other regions of the world facing similar sets of challenges.

In addition to the research value, the working group members are gaining useful insights into the process of creating an international research community; exploring the role of technology to support collaboration among geographically dispersed researchers, developing strategies for creating research proposals that are relevant to funding organizations in multiple countries, and responding to the multiple research traditions and practitioner priorities in identifying priorities.