Teaching Public Service in the Digital Age: A Briefing For Potential Research Collaborators

Over the past year I've helped lead a new Research Workstream within the international teaching collaboration, Teaching Public Service in the Digital Age.

To initiate the Research Workstream, Tom Steinberg and I co-authored a Research Briefing, which outlines the key research questions that we think need to be answered to test and refine what have become widely accepted - but rarely empirically scrutinized - best practices in digital era government.

How can governments better collaborate with civic technologists?

Today I participated in a fascinating conversation hosted by MySociety on the topic of public-private partnerships in civic tech. Civic tech practitioners discussed the challenges they face when trying to work with government, including the mismatch between agile design processes and government budgeting and policy cycles, the inflexibility of government approval processes and departmental silos, and dated and overly onerous public procurement processes.

One year into the pandemic, federal digital government is largely business as usual

It's been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the federal government to make the sudden shift to working from home and to expand its online service offerings. What difference, if any, did this make for ongoing efforts to renew the federal government for the digital age?

Review of Opening the Government of Canada in the Canadian Journal of Political Science

The book reports on the first comprehensive study to investigate policy feedback effects in Canada and has a number of particularly notable findings. First, policy feedback effects operate quite differently in Canada than they do in the US.

What are Public Servants Doing on Wikipedia?

Journalists have made much of a bot that reports on edits made to Wikipedia by public servants, framing these edits as absurd and wasteful, or as acts of state-led propaganda. But maybe these edits actually generate public value? With this question in mind, Elizabeth Dubois and I analyzed the edits that Canadian federal public servants make to Wikipedia, and found that many of these edits represent valuable contributions to public knowledge.