In Indonesia, the lab held workshops with the Banda Aceh city government and civil society groups to release and use data on education. The labs team first consulted civil society organisations on the kind of data they need. They were then joined by journalists in another session to learn where and how to get open data, and how to translate the data into useful information for citizens.
According to Don Pressley, Senior Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton, Singapore offers an excellent example of government, society and industry working together to advance the digital nation agendas. In that sense, Singapore offers the gold standard of Smart Government. Pressley should know. He has been with Booz Allen Hamilton for many years, the leading provider of management consulting, technology, and engineering services to governments around the world in defense, security, and civil markets. Until recently, he was based in Dubai, and three months ago he moved to Singapore.
In order to maximise efficiency and best serve the needs of the citizens, collaboration between government organisations is key. Governments which have adopted this philosophy would now be looking for the best possible way to facilitate that collaboration – and geospatial data sharing offers a massive opportunity for governments to maximise their potential. A report, ‘Improving collaboration using geospatial technology’, shows how by creating a common GIS environment, agencies can improve collaboration practices through spatial data and fully leverage GIS investments that they have made.
Japan has called for people to create smartphone apps using the government’s database of disaster-response maps. The apps should be able to display the user’s current location through GPS and directions to the nearest evacuation centre. Other features could be displaying the safest route for evacuation, highlighting dangerous areas, and accounting for loss of data connections and disabled users.
This week FutureGov looks at Hong Kong’s open dataset on accessible facilities. The dataset has the names of shopping malls, food courts, museums, theatres, churches and more which can be accessed by people with movement, visual or hearing impairments. Each listing has details on which parts of the building have accessible facilities. You can see whether the ticketing counter at a museum is accessible to wheelchair users, or whether a carpark has lots reserved for disabled drivers. It also gives the address and contact number of these venues.
The number of datasets on Malaysia’s open data portal has grown over 50 per cent just this month. The official leading the country’s big data initiative credits this to the work of the government’s “open data champions”. FutureGov spoke with Dr Karl Ng, Director, Innovation Capital, Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), to find out how Malaysia plans to open up its data to citizens.
The Malaysian government has introduced an online course on data science for its civil servants, while seven local universities are to offer data science courses to students. The online course is available to the public and private sectors through Coursera, a web site for massive online open courses (MOOCs), using material from Johns Hopkins University. In two days after announcing the course, “we received more than 400 applications for this course”, Dr Karl Ng, Director of Innovation Capital at Malaysia’s Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), and the lead official for the national Big Data plan, told FutureGov.
Agencies in the Philippines are connecting their systems to improve data sharing and meet a target of citizens incorporating their businesses in eight days, rather than the current 34 days. Companies will be able to get their social security employer numbers and tax identification numbers at the Securities and Exchange Commission, instead of having to visit the tax and social service agencies separately.
The Australian Government has published its examination of the key opportunities and challenges for the country in the next 40 years. The 2015 Intergenerational Report: Australia in 2055, sets out the key challenges faced by the nation, including an ageing demographic, climate change, water shortages and the need for better infrastructure. It also sets out ways for government services to adapt to meet these new challenges, including through digital services, better data sharing and greater integration between state and federal government.
Australia’s new e-government unit, the Digital Transformation Office, has set out criteria that digital services right across government must meet before they are launched. The criteria, which were adapted from the UK Government’s Digital by Default standards, will apply to all new services and existing ones with more than 50,000 transactions per year. The DTO’s first requirement is that agencies research and understand user needs when they are designing services.
Jakarta is now tracking and publishing its budget meetings with citizens for the first time. “Starting this year, suggestions from Musrenbang meetings will be uploaded on the internet so residents can see whether the suggestions conveyed in meetings are delivered”, Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said. Prior to this, suggestions from these meetings were not recorded electronically and were not publicly available.
Malaysia has announced two moves to boost its use of open data: the selection of 31 civil servants to advise ministries and agencies to implement open data projects, and a partnership with UK non-profit Open Data Institute. The “national open data champions” will identify high impact government projects and data required to develop solutions, and ensure the quality of data so it can be shared and used, the Malaysian Development Corporation and Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit announced.
Government should make all of its content and services digitally reusable by other organisations, Pia Waugh, the Director of 2.0 in the Australian Government, has said. Speaking at the Navigating the Internet of Things conference, Waugh – who was giving a personal opinion – said “imagine if all government information and services were usefully discoverable”.
The Premier of Victoria, Australia, yesterday announced the publication of a new dataset on Reddit rather than through the press. Daniel Andrews MP announced the release of the state government’s public transport timetables as an API. The release of the data allows developers to plot the timetable for all trains, buses and trams onto a map. The data is not real time, but will be updated on a weekly basis to reflect timetable changes.
MUMBAI | NEW DELHI: All employment exchanges in India are expected to get linked by the end of April in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of improving job prospects for young people, just over five months after the Department of Employment and Training put out a tender for the purpose. The tender was fast-tracked, the bid awarded in three weeks and the system is expected to go live much faster than could have been imagined in the past, when just issuing the request for proposal or RFP and then selecting a winning bid could take months.
The Crime Statistics Agency in Victoria, Australia has released its first datasets since it began operations in January. The data shows a 4.3 per cent rise in offences in the state last year from 2013, and 11.5 per cent increase in motor vehicle thefts. Women below the age of 25 were more likely to be victims than men, but men above 45 were more likely to be harmed than women.
The new Yale-NUS College in Singapore wants students to have a liberal arts experience that stands out in the region. The IT team running the college’s systems need to find novel ways to enable new digital solutions. Here’s why the colleges is working with open source provider Red Hat to find the solutions. Yale-NUS wants to minimise wastage and increase flexibility, and run as a “lean institution”, Darwin Gosal, Senior Manager for IT Infrastructure and Services, told FutureGov.
Hong Kong has revamped its open data portal, changing its name from Data.One to Data.Gov.HK. The data catalogue is now easier to search with new filters for government departments, data categories and formats. Users can also chart and map data on the web site itself for a preliminary analysis of the datasets before downloading them. The web site features a new look, with large, minimalist icons of data categories on the home page.
The Australian federal government is joining up with state governments to ensure that public datasets are available on the national portal. This month, it announced that South Australian open data will be available on the national portal, while the state portal will also provide access to national datasets. “Users of data.sa.gov.au and data.gov.au will be able to find data resources from either portal using a single search. Now, users of the portals will have over 5,700 datasets and their fingertips,” blogged Allan Barger of the data.gov.au team.
Malaysia has urged its civil servants to use social media to help people understand government policies, especially new ones. “It is important to use all available communication, especially Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to create better understanding of the government transformation agenda, especially the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax in April,” said Datuk Ibrahim Abdul Rahman, Director General, Department of Information.