Archive for November, 2009

Line-ups are sooo 1990s. Like the phone appointment booking system.
Line-ups are sooo 1990′s. Just like a phone appointment booking system.

The Government of Canada has been getting a lot of criticism for it’s handling of H1N1. Myself, I actually think the Government managed the H1N1 crisis very well.

Look at the facts:

  • This was the largest immunization campaign in the history of Canada;
  • Canada has produced more vaccine relative to the population than any other country;
  • Canada was the first to map the genome of the virus, jumping on a sample received from Mexico;
  • Right now 1 in 5 Canadians are already vaccinated.

So why the bad press? I believe there has been a gap between the government’s service delivery and their managing expectations, application of technology, and connection with stakeholders. I believe Web 2.0 can help bridge that gap; to modernise Government’s contact with stakeholders (citizens, provincial) while it serves its role and achieves its goals (i.e.: public health & safety).

Let me emphasise that I really believe the government did do a lot of things very wellMy run-down:

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The Government paradigm in place among Westminster and Commonwealth nations is the New Public Management paradigm. Simply put, it’s “managing for results” through metrics and performance evaluations. With it, retains the structures of hierarchy and bureaucracy, but modernised towards the service delivery and policy development.

Where did New Public Management come from? A view that everything could be measured, tracked. New Public Management sought to bring to governance what the Industrial Revolution did to Industry: process, structure, measurements, and ever-increasing returns. Despite all its short-comings, it’s what Government has now, and what it has to work with.

Below you will see embedded the Adam Curtis documentary “Century of the Self” which shows, in a stitched-video series on YouTube, how this paradigm came about, and how Government ‘adapted’. You will need to draw the link to extrapolating its effects today. While it doesn’t name “New Public Management” per se, the important link here is that the Governemnt governance paradigm evolved in response to an “age of mass democracy”, individual psychological needs…and technology. The effect on Web 2.0, as we go further, causes friction to the control of the prevailing paradigm of New Public Management.

I suggest you play it while you work or wash the dishes. Take a sweeping look at the video when something interesting comes up. It’ll surely give you much to think about.

Consumercracy or Democracy?
“This series is about how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy.” – Adam Curtis


Toronto & Open Data

Check it out:

That’s it.

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