Photo: Michael Yat Kit Chung

Re-thinking 911

911 wasn’t an original idea – like our democracy, it drew inspiration from other countries that had already implemented a single emergency number in the 20th century (Britain’s 999 in 1937 and New Zealand’s 111 in 1958).

Photo: White House

Can government deliver happiness?

Within the context of digital government and civic engagement, we focus much of our efforts around concepts like open data, open source, analytics, technical frameworks and user experience, but rarely, if ever, do we discuss proactively delivering happiness to citizens.

Palo Alto Civic Technology Center

Inside Palo Alto’s new Civic Technology Center

Last week, I met with Palo Alto Chief Information Officer Jonathan Reichental to get a tour of the city’s new Civic Technology Center, an open space that centralizes the city’s information technology staff, call and data centers into one working area.

USAspending.gov

How to not be the next USAspending.gov

Regardless of the vendor drama and complexity around delivering data specific to USAspending, here is a simple formula for any government working on the release of a new public-facing website.