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2010 Publications (8)

Issue Briefs (1)

Social Media Image
May 2010 >Download PDF
In President Barack Obama’s first day in office he issued a memorandum to federal agencies calling for the development of an Open Government Directive that focused on increasing transparency, collaboration, and participation. The directive requires agencies to take actions to expand access to government information, improve the quality of government information, create a culture of open government, and evolve policy in this direction. The directive points to “the use of new technologies,” many of which are based on social media platforms, “to promote greater openness in government.” Most recently, the administration issued a memorandum further encouraging the use of social media by clarifying that the Paper Reduction Act of 1995 “does not apply to many uses of such media and technologies.”

Guides (1)

Social Media Policy Guide Cover
May 2010 >Download PDF
Government agencies are increasingly looking to leverage social media to improve the quality of government services and elicit greater citizen engagement. Developing a social media policy can be an important first step for government agencies considering using social media and can ultimately serve as a key enabler for responsibly and effectively leveraging social media tools. Yet, many governments are struggling with what such a policy should encompass and convey. This report outlines the different reasons government employees engage in social media use and begins to answer the question, what are the core elements of a government social media policy? Our analysis identified eight essential elements for a social media policy: 1) employee access, 2) account management, 3) acceptable use, 4) employee conduct, 5) content, 6) security, 7) legal issues, and 8) citizen conduct. The report closes with brief guidance on strategies for getting started.

Reports (2)

Report cover
Oct 2010 >Download PDF
This paper argues for a dedicated, social science-based research program to address the question “How do the societal context and institutional character of government interact with emerging information and communication technologies to shape the capabilities and performance of the public sector?” The ability to answer this question can only result from non-domain specific research that studies the societal context of government and the information resources and technologies affecting government. Because of government’s inherent complexity and unique role as the leader in addressing the world’s grand societal challenges, there is an urgent need to understand the practice context of government and how it influences the policy, management, and organizational political, and public factors that shape information use and IT applications. Currently there is a lack of research on the public sector and while there are devoted resources to government areas there is little scientific attention to the government organizations and processes that are both the sources and customers of the programs. With focus on this cross-cutting research, government can improve its capacity to serve society and researchers can seek opportunities for new theory development that links government context to the fundamental questions of organizational and technical action.

Feb 2010 >Download PDF
Information, Technology, and Governance: A Grand Challenges Research Agenda was a project sponsored by the National Science Foundation to craft a multi-year research program to address the grand challenges of government and governance in an environment of rapidly evolving social and technical change. The key event in the project was a workshop that brought together leaders from social and information science research and government to explore these grand challenge questions and develop a next generation research agenda, with a particular focus on socio-organizational contexts. The Pre-Workshop Paper was used to introduce the ideas behind the workshop and spur discussion on the issues.

Journal Articles and Conference Papers (4)

Journal Article Cover
ICEGOV2010, Oct 2010
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In the era of globalization, sharing of knowledge, information, and practices across cultural and national boundaries has been recognized as a key for handling the most critical problems. Consequently, the number of Transnational Knowledge Networks (TKNs) that aim to address critical global issues and problems continue to increase. As exchanging knowledge and information represent core components of these networks, this paper provides the foundations to study knowledge and information sharing in these emerging organizations. The paper starts by describing the structures, goals, and objectives of TKNs and presents a simplified conceptual model to demonstrate the main characteristics of these networks. Then, we review the pertinent egovernment literature and argue the need to include findings from two additional research areas, cross-boundary information sharing and knowledge transfer. The paper discusses the ways in which contributions from these areas can enhance our understanding of the complexity surrounding the exchange process in these networks. The paper concludes with a summary of the elements of complexity and an overview of future research to empirically test these concepts.

Government Information Quarterly, Volume 27, Issue 4, Pages 377-383., Oct 2010
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This paper is a conceptual and empirical exploration of the tensions inherent in the drive to increase openness and transparency in government by means of information access and dissemination. The idea that democratic governments should be open, accessible, and transparent to the governed is receiving renewed emphasis through the combination of government reform efforts and the emergence of advanced technology tools for information access. Although these initiatives are young, they already exhibit daunting complexity, with significant management, technology, and policy challenges. A variety of traditional and emerging information policy frameworks offer guidance, while diverse research perspectives highlight both challenges to and opportunities for promoting information-based transparency. Early experience with Data.gov, a central component of the U.S. Open Government Initiative, suggests that two fundamental information policy principles, stewardship and usefulness, can help guide and evaluate efforts to achieve information-based transparency.

Electronic Government: Lecture Notes in Computer Science , M.A. Wimmer et al. (Eds.): , EGOV 2010, LNCS 6228, pp. 50–60, Aug 2010
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Information-based strategies to promote open government offer many opportunities to generate social and economic value through public use of government information. Public and political expectations for the success of these strategies are high but they confront the challenges of making government data “fit for use” by a variety of users outside the government. Research findings from a study of public use of land records demonstrates the inherent complexity of public use of government information, while research from information science, management information systems, and e-government offer perspectives on key factors associated with effective information use. The paper concludes with practical recommendations for information-based open government strategies as well as areas for future research.

(Forthcoming) Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research: (dg.o 2010), May 2010, pp.1-10
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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009) promised strict accounting of all funds spent and the publication of that information to the public in relative real-time. The federal requirements for reporting Recovery Act funds relied heavily on the ability of recipients, primarily state governments, to capture, manage, and deliver the data required. This paper presents the experience of one state agency, in particular how they leveraged the reporting mandate to improve real-time informational capability for transparency and openness. The case, together with insights from a Recovery Act Knowledge Network, provides five recommendations to guide decision makers who seek to increase the capability of government to use information to further transparency agendas.






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