California

California issues open source, code reuse policy

The California Department of Technology has set a new standard for state government technology offices, releasing an open source and code reuse policy “to better support cost efficiency, effectiveness, and the public’s experience with government programs.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gives then U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry a tour of Facebook's new headquarters in Menlo Park, California, on June 23, 2016. (Photo: U.S. Department of State)

Should government #DeleteFacebook?

It’s now time for public leaders to familiarize themselves with Facebook’s government terms and conditions and learn more about — and appreciate — data governance issues, starting with General Data Protection Regulation.

Photo: Angie Quirarte

Serving California: Angie Quirarte

Angie Quirarte is a behind-the-scenes hero for the state of California, leading on issues such as public sector workforce recruitment and retention, public data, creating a user-friendly government, improving internal government processes and more.

Photo: USAID Afghanistan

How government can enable peace through entrepreneurship

In “Peace Through Entrepreneurship: Investing in a Startup Culture for Security and Development,” former State Department staffer Steven Koltai makes the case that world peace can best be achieved through nonmilitary means, especially entrepreneurship that leads to global job creation.

Source: analytics.usa.gov

Benchmarking U.S. government websites

Earlier this year, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation published an assessment of federal government websites that includes rankings around page load speeds, mobile friendliness, Domain Name System Security Extensions, Secure Sockets Layer and accessibility.

Charity Wayua

A few ways to fix a government

IBM Research Manager Charity Wayua’s “A few ways to fix a government” talk is an inspirational example of how government (and its partners) can — when tasked with goals and measurable results — leverage user and data analytics research to successfully create better results for those it serves.

10% Happier

‘10% Happier’ government

I’ve listened to several “10% Happier with Dan Harris” podcasts recently, and there are several great ones that feature leaders in politics, law enforcement, corrections, the judiciary and military.

Photo courtesy of Aaron Foley

Telling Detroit’s stories

Aaron Foley is Detroit’s first chief storyteller, appointed by Mayor Mike Duggan in April 2017, to help the city go beyond formalized bureaucratic communications and public relations and share the stories that don’t always get heard.

Civics 101

Podcast: Civics 101

The episodes focus on a single topic or institution — such as gerrymandering, lobbying, nuclear codes, National Secretary Council, Department of State — and interviews an expert with each lasting about 15 minutes.

Government Issue: Comics for the People, 1940s-2000s

Government comics

For public communications and engagement enthusiasts, Government Issue is a great coffee table book and perhaps point of inspiration for government leaders to re-think how to better communicate with constituents.

Source: data.ca.gov

Register for DKAN Open Data Summit

For those passionate about cultivating a more sustainable, open source oriented open data community, the first DKAN Open Data Summit is scheduled for August 1, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

Photo: Kevin Harber

Values for government technology

Earlier this year, CityGrows co-founder Catherine Geanuracos proposed values for government technology, and its a great foundation for those serving government or the public to adopt.

Photo: U.S. Marines

‘War Dogs’ and government procurement

Regardless of whether you’re interested in the business of war, there’s enough references to government purchasing to make it fully entertaining for those of you who are proud procurement enthusiasts.

Photo: ResistFromDay1

‘You’re More Powerful Than You Think’

Whether you’re an agitated activist frustrated with the current state of politics, a civic hacker, government technology entrepreneur or public servant trying change the foundations of democracy from inside or out, “You’re More Powerful Than You Think” is an accessible guide for helping us all rethink what it means to have power and how to obtain it.

Photo: Code for America

AgileGovCon 2017

Public service leaders wanting to learn more about agile project management and its specific applications to government can register (free) for AgileGovCon 2017.

Photo: Josh*m

Certifying city innovation

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Work Cities initiative announced a new certification program that rewards achievements and provides “a clear path to excellence.”

Photo: U.S. Marine Corps

‘Smarter Faster Better’ government

I finished reading Charles Duhigg’s latest book, “Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business,” and in it are two great government-related anecdotes around motivation and agile thinking.

Left to right: Eric Jaye, Bergen Kenny, Danielle Winterhalter (Photo: SpeakEasy Political)

The long tail of political mail

Danielle Winterhalter, SpeakEasy co-founder and director of strategic partnerships, shares how they’re addressing a fundamental aspect of lowering the barrier to entry, especially when it comes to political (snail) mail, which is still more relevant than you might think.

Photo: Kevin Harber

Federal government progress in IT reform

The U.S. Government Accountability Office released a status report on federal government technology reform progress, and it’s an insightful read more than anything on the the lack of synchronization between agencies and GAO.

Nudging residents to better engagement

“Behavioral Insights for Cities” offers anecdotes into how governments can improve constituent engagement by implementing smarter messaging and design into print collateral, email, texts and online interactions.

Source: Wired

Obama ‘Wired’

President Obama served as guest editor for the November issue of Wired, and the entire print issue is worth investing in. Here are articles that might be of interest to those of you focused more on the civic and government technology fronts.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks during a visit to Capitol Factory, Austin, Tex., September 14, 2016. (DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

Ash Carter wants to keep DOD weird

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the DOD will open its third technology innovation “outpost” in Austin, expanding the reach of the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental that serves as a “bridge between those in the U.S. military executing on some of our nation’s toughest security challenges and companies operating at the cutting edge of technology.”

Delivering on Digital

‘Delivering on Digital’

I finished Bill Eggers latest book, “Delivering on Digital: The Innovators and Technologies That Are Transforming Government,” and highly recommend to public sector technology practitioners, especially governments who don’t have the resources to contract with a high-end consulting firm to build out a holistic strategy on their own.

Photo: U.S. Navy

DISA kicks off overhaul of federal background checks

The Defense Information Systems Agency has released a series of videos and request for information for the National Background Investigation System, created in the wake of security incidents that lead to data breaches of millions of federal government employees and contractors.