What is smart government?

Last month, I traveled to Moldova to speak at a “smart society” summit hosted by the Moldovan national e-government center and the World Bank. I talked about what I’ve been seeing and reporting on around the world and some broad principles for “smart government.” It was one of the first keynote talks I’ve ever given and, from what I gather, it went well: the Moldovan government asked me to give a reprise to their cabinet and prime minister the next day.

I’ve embedded the entirety of the morning session above, including my talk (which is about half an hour long). I was preceded by professor Beth Noveck, the former deputy CTO for open government at The White House. If you watch the entire program, you’ll hear from:

  • Victor Bodiu, General Secretary, Government of the Republic of Moldova, National Coordinator, Governance e-Transformation Agenda
  • Dona Scola, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Information Technology and Communication
  • Andrew Stott, UK Transparency Board, former UK Government Director for Transparency and Digital Engagement
  • Victor Bodiu, General Secretary, Government of the Republic of Moldova
  • Arcadie Barbarosie, Executive Director, Institute of Public Policy, Moldova

Without planning on it, I managed to deliver a one-liner that morning that’s worth rephrasing and reiterating here: Smart government should not just serve citizens with smartphones.

I look forward to your thoughts and comments, for those of you who make it through the whole keynote.

About Alex Howard

Alexander B. Howard is a DC-based a technology writer and editor. Previously, he was the Washington Correspondent at O'Reilly Media, where he covered the voices, technologies and issues that matter in the intersection of government, technology and society. If you're feeling social, you can follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook or circle him on Google Plus In addition to corresponding for the O’Reilly Radar, he has contributed to the Huffington Post, Govfresh, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, National Journal, The Atlantic, CBS News and Forbes. He graduated from Colby College with a bachelor's degree in biology and sociology. Currently, he is a resident of the District of Columbia, where he lives with his greyhound, wife, power tools, plants and growing collection of cast iron pans, many of which are frequently used to pursue his passion for good cooking.

7 Responses

  1. Andrea Di Maio

    Of course your definition of “smart government” is very limited and is unlikely to be of great service to Moldovan, especially as they look at how to make their government IT solutions sustainable beyond the World Bank grants

    1. digiphile

      I didn’t give a definition for smart government in this post, Andrea. More over, what really matters are the ideas and case studies shared, not a definition. “Of course,” it may be that Gartner wants to keep the latter in house. 

  2. ahssan

    A very interesting topic, I was looking to share my thoughts about SMART government with someone. We recently have launched an initiative of smart government in Dubai. The leaders want the whole government services to be mobile enabled. But I stand by your statement, smart government is not about services on mobiles but before that making your services smart enough to be considered on mobile.

    Its the fancy name which excites every body , but very few are able to understand the real deal of such government.

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