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njnesbob's picture

Conundrum

Many countries have policies to "harness the power of technology to help create a 21st century digital government – one that is efficient, effective and focused on improving the delivery of services to the . . . . people". The job creation conundrum is that 'efficient' and 'effective' frequently require a decrease in resources, often with a reduction in public sector jobs.
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npottric's picture

The costs of efficiency

Part of the conundrum is that the digitisation of public services for efficiency requires investment and employment to achieve results. For example in the UK, the National Health Service Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCCIC) supports the delivery of IT infrastructure, information systems and standards to ensure information flows efficiently and securely across the health and social care system, to improve patient outcomes. Technology and policy have combined to make public data available and through this (www.data.gov.uk) we know that in October 2012 the HSCCIC spent £3m.
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npottric's picture

Data as a public resource

A key "public" resource that is being made available and may create jobs is information and data that is collected by the public sector. A newspaper reviews the top ten Apps from this source in the UK http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/7044147/Data.gov.uk-Top-Ten-Apps-so-far.html A little old, but a start.
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nlowecha's picture

Can I include sustaining jobs?

Not quite answering the question I know but perhaps of a little interest, in my area of expertise - telemonitoring (telehealth, telecare etc.) is playing an increasing role in helping people remain in employment, both directly as patients whose vital signs need monitoring regularly and can now be monitored whilst away from home at work, and indirectly by freeing up carers to continue working whereas otherwise they would need to stay home looking after the one they care for. Of course telemonitoring also creates jobs, in monitoring centres in particular and in new services they generate, although if implemented properly there should be an overall net reduction in people required to deliver care.
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nlaporju's picture

e-government and job creation

E-government is fostering changes in the way people connect with local/central government organisations. As an example, ICT technologies are enhancing the utilisation of web channels for the provision of government services. This implies that other channels, e.g Call Centre will be reduced or abandoned. The first impression might be that this will cause a reduction in some public sector jobs. However, there are some flaws in that suggestion. Government services are seeking improvements in efficiency in order to increase the level of services they are offering to its citizens (under a restricted budget). Therefore, the situation will not imply a reduction of jobs, but a shift in the job pattern, as the want to ‘offer more under the same costs’. Even though it is true that jobs related to Call Centre might be reduced, the increase in the amount of services delivered will cause a surge in the demand for jobs related to ICT and also those related with the direct provision of services. The possible shift in job patter should be consider as a ‘base scenario’, in the sense that e-government is an unstoppable trend. The question is whether the application of proper polices might change this base scenario and take the opportunities that e-government offers. It is possible to assume that e-government will foster the participation of people in services or activities offered by government organisations. Hence, once people become frequently users of the e-government platforms, other (private) related or complementary services will be able to be offered through the same platform. This will foster the provision of those new services, hence creating value, hence creating new jobs.
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njohnsot's picture

Data as a public resource

This is a key theme for how digital public services can boost economies. There's nothing new about public data adding economic value, the gains from having census data and national mapping go back to the C19 at least. But public data plus the internet makes for an absolute step change. A major UK example is the postcode scheme. Developed by the General Post Office (then a public body) in the 1960-70s era it has really come into its own with the internet. It's the backbone for all kinds of location-based applications - where am I, what's available here, what would it be like to live here - including many of those mentioned in the Telegraph link provided. These applications may eliminate many jobs, because they cut out a lot of manual information processing and form filling, but in the end they create far more because they raise the competitiveness of the economy and the demand for its products. Other UK examples where the combination of the internet with free access have had a huge effect include freely available census data, genealogical data, house prices, Ordnance Survey mapping, environmental data. I'm sure there are many more. It would be good to look at how countries compare in their access to public data and this in turn could help to provide measures of how much difference it makes economically and socially.
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nfoleypl's picture

Public data and job creation

Several useful reports were produced by DG Connect in 2011 about access to and development of public data.  The study did not explicitly consdier job creation, but it did examine the level of re-use and the development of apps.  See http://bit.ly/11PESRq

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nfoleypl's picture

Opening public data

@tinholt highlighted a report published last week about how opening public data boosts the economy as well as transparency.  http://bit.ly/19RRsgC

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nfoleypl's picture

Obama supports you

John - President Obama has followed your advice and introduced  a new open data policy through the Office of Management and Budget.  Agencies must now meet goals for improving how they gather, manage and share their data. Agencies will be required to maintain an updated inventory of their data sets, provide a public listing of all public data, and ensure data are created and stored in machine-readable and open formats, whether collected electronically, by phone or on paper.  http://bit.ly/11cJuj2

 

 

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nmarrfer's picture

Hi Performing Economy = effective and Intelligent Government

It is not a question of finding peripheral initiatives.

Government exists to serve the economy and society.

Intelligent government then has the natural consequence.

So digital public services should ensure that the core public services are well designed and not paper over the cracks.

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nfoleypl's picture

An interesting report. 

An interesting report.  Satisfaction with those online appears relatively high.  But I was surprised that 54% of those sruveyed still prefer face-to-face contact.

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nalonalf's picture

Less goverment and admin cost and massive ict employment

To extent a truly mandatory egoverment and smart cities program could generate millions of new ict jobs in the short term, increassing the innovation virtous circle, and increassing the efficiency in gov and admin reducing the public expenses in the mid term. Why not to take a more seriousinniciative on that?

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nfoleypl's picture

short-term gain vs. long-term pain?

An interesting observation.  But how sustainable might these jobs be in the long-run?

 

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