Designing the Digital Government of the 21st Century: A Multidisciplinary Workshop


Publications & Results

Press Releases & News Stories


Funding Sources

Scope of Work

Related Web Sites

Contact Information

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Digital Government Program supports experimentation and research to improve government's information-based services and operations. In late 1998, 67 researchers and government practitioners convened in a workshop, organized by CTG and funded by NSF, to discuss ways government practitioners and academic researchers can collaborate to produce innovative and effective information-based government services.

The workshop focused particularly on the environment in which government information services are developed. It recognized that government programs and service delivery mechanisms are developed in a complex multi-layered federal-state-local system in which many organizations play significant and different roles. It also emphasized that development efforts must deal with interactions among the political, organizational, technological, cultural, and human factors that shape the implementation environment.

The workshop report, Some Assembly Required: Designing a Digital Government for the 21st Century, emphasized how targeted research efforts could not only uncover new knowledge, but could also be of pragmatic use in government. The workshop recommended eight focus areas for applied research (including security, service delivery, networked organizational forms, and decision making). It further recommended ways to introduce these pressing government needs to the research agendas of both the social and information sciences.

Publications & Results
Reports and Working Papers (1)
Some Assembly Required Report Cover
Some Assembly Required: Building a Digital Government for the 21st Century
Mon, 01 Mar 1999 >Download PDF
Information technology plays a crucial role in the public sector, and has the potential to transform the way government works. This report provides a set of recommendations for the National Science Foundation to design its Digital Government Research Program to help support that transformation.

Other Results

The workshop recommended eight practical government needs that should be focus areas for future Digital Government research. These include:

Press Releases & News Stories
Press Releases

Information Technologies Promise to Make Government More Efficient and Responsive -- Enormous and Wide-Ranging Research Challenges Remain
Wed, 28 Apr 1999

Lead Partners

Center for Technology in Government

Organizing Committee

Dr. Sharon Dawes, Chair
Director, Center for Technology in Government
University at Albany, SUNY

Dr. Tora Bikson, Senior Scientist
Rand Corporation
Behavioral Sciences Dept.

Dr. Peter Bloniarz, Research Director
Center for Technology in Government
University at Albany, SUNY

Mr. Larry Brandt
Program Manager for Digital Government
National Science Foundation

Ms. Angela Coppola
Central Intelligence Agency
Advanced Analytic Tools

Dr. Patricia D. Fletcher, Associate Professor
Dept. of Information Systems
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Mr. Robert E. Greeves, Principal
The Council for Excellence in Government

Dr. John L. King, Professor
Information & Computer Science
University of California at Irvine

Mr. Timothy Loewenstein, Chair, Board of Supervisors
Buffalo County, Nebraska

Dr. Jerry Mechling, Program Director
Strategic Computing & Telecommunications
JFK School of Government
Harvard University

Mr. Alvin Pesachowitz, Chief Information Officer
US Environmental Protection Agency

Ms. Carolyn Purcell, Executive Director
Texas Dept. of Information Resources

Mr. James Ruda
Local Government Consultant

Mr. Jerry Sheehan, Education & Outreach Coordinator
National Center for Supercomputing Applications
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Mr. Greg Woods, Deputy Director
National Partnership for Reinventing Government


Funding Sources
This project was supported in part by a $83,193 grant from the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 99-181.

Original Scope of Work
The National Science Foundation (NSF) program on Digital Government supports experimentation and research to improve the information-based services that government provides to citizens or uses internally to carry out its mission. These services are often developed in the multi-layered federal-state-local system of program administration and service delivery. They involve complex interactions among the political, organizational, technological, cultural, and human factors that shape the implementation environment.

The objective of this workshop was to identify and develop research themes and projects that focus on these important factors affecting the use of advanced information technology in government. Workshop participants adopted a "program-centric" view of the information content and processing needs of major government functions, with special attention to the needs of program managers. The workshop was funded by NSF and organized by the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany, SUNY.

The invitation-only workshop was held October 5 - 6, 1998. During the two-day event, distinguished representatives from federal, state and local government agencies interacted with leading social, information, and computer scientists and representatives from private industry and nonprofit foundations. Activities and discussions focused on finding common interests and concerns as the basis for multidisciplinary research projects that could be proposed for funding under the Digital Government initiative.

Following the workshop, a report was presented to the National Science Foundation that:

Related Web Sites

National Science Foundation, Digital Government Program

The digital government program at NSF funded this project and many others concerned with the effective use of information technology in the public sector.


This is the virtual home of the NSF Digital Government Research program, operated on behalf of NSF and digital government grantees by the Digital Government Research Center at the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute.

Contact Information
Center for Technology in Government
University at Albany, SUNY
187 Wolf Road, Suite 301
Albany, NY 12205
(518) 442-3892 (phone)
(518) 442-3886 (fax)