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Archive for the ‘eGovernment’ Category

Social networks are not only time-killers, but useful working tools as well. For example, clones of western projects regarding electronic government actively developnowadays in Russia, and social network for government officials and experts is a freestanding niche. I’ve got in touch with managers of two the most outstanding projects — Steve Ressler, CEO of GovLoop andSergey Holkin,  CEO of GosBook.


Russians and Americans: differences and similarities.

Both platforms have been launched based on similar purposes. GovLoop.com and GosBook are both the sites, where officials and experts can exchange opinions and share the best practices. All that will let them learn from each other and be more effective in their performance.

GovLoop assists officials who work on similar projects to join their efforts, whereas GosBook initially aimed to exchange information among members of Expert advisory group of Information society development council under the President of Russian Federation. However, today GosBook  not only informs, but also creates intelligent data base with expert recommendations and successful cases; creates databases of experts in the fields, participates actively in expertise of developing projects.

As a result, initial Web-sites start bringing ‘offline profit’. For example, current issues are solved due to GovLoop prompter and more effective. They learn daily about innovations of other similar agencies, get responses for their highly specialized questions and build cooperative and interactive relationships. One of the GovLoop.com groups– Procurement 2.0 (Purchase 2.0; Initiation 2.0) – was so active that they started to organize personal events, launched a new thought provoking  Better Buy Project site, and, interestingly, started to use WIKI and new technologies.

The words of Lincoln Chafee, the Governor of Rhode Island, became a compliment to this new web platform: “Using GovLoop, social network for officials, will help Rhode Island to learn from the experience of others in resolving similar issues and share the best practices of problem solving both intra- and extra- departments”.

Russian GosBook has also succeeded: for example, they initiated a discussion on “Plan of high-priority measures for resolving of transport issues of Moscow city” proposed by Moscow government. All the opinions were filed and the final analysis was sent to Moscow government.

Under realization of “Concept of creating of informational system in public health service for the period until 2020”  GosBook together with ECG and ADMIT (Association of Development of Medical Info Technologies) gathers recommendations for realization of regional programs  of  health service modernization in terms of IT implementation. The best practices of solutions implementation in medical institutions of different regions,which may be useful for representatives of the executive authorities of the Russian Federation are gathered here. Solutions and work in progress are being announced on the pages of “Public healthcare and medical service development”  network.

Thinking forward

Do such projects have future? Creators of GovLoop assert that they do. This platform managed to join more than 38 000 participants all over the world, and has strong chances to expand.  The global purpose of the project is conjoining the Government to improve its performance. GosBook is more moderate in its results, nevertheless, creators of the platform believe that it is necessary to develop this project with the experience of real cases and with tangible usefulness for solving of government management issues.  However, electronic government will become more effective only when officials realize the necessity of such dialogue with the public.

GovLoop and GosBook  are similar in their ideology and practice, but exposure audience of English-speaking project is wider. Thus, solutions concept became international, i.e. it considers positive experience and fails of the experts of many countries.

The question is: Is that enough for our project to have only Russian experience?

 My GovLoop profile

My GosBook profile


There are no doubts that I’m kind of person that likes to set up new goals and reach significant achievements. So by now I have great and serious news to share — I’ve enrolled for upcoming elections to the State Duma in Russia., presenting «Fair Russia» party interests. As for me it sounds exciting and at the same time very challenging, but I’m ready to take all risks. And I’m willing to do my best in order to improve our legislation that would lead to positive changes in our country. What steps have I taken already?

First and furemost, it is important to see myself  as the first candidate for the State Duma elections that is going to represent the opinions, interests, ideas of Russian web-users. Why am I actually  positioning myself in that way? The answer is concealed in the fact that firstly, while being an active blogger for a couple of years I’ve been learnt how to  build relations via social media marketing and I realize that the certain differences that exist between online audience and offline users.  Second reason for using Internet users as a key audience in my elections campaign is that about a half of population of the region (Novosibirsk) I’m going to present, are online users and what is more interesting this audience usually is apathetic towards politics and elections.That’s why I think it is very important to take this  feature into account and election campaign strategy and consequently motivate online users to raise the voice, express their proactive positions regarding different political/social issues. And I’m sure this communication process will definitely empower voters as a separate unit and give me as a candidate a chance to represent their interests, rights, attitudes in the State Duma.

In order to dwell on efficient work with Russian online users I’ve created a two-way communication within several online channels:

  • the official blog/web-site  about insight/plans/suggestions of what changes I could bring while being elected in the State Duma;
  • Facebook Page that represents a virtual campaign hearquaters that on the one hand represents my personal insight and strivings and the same time allows different people could gather together and discuss their points of view that further could serve as a foundation for new amendments and etc.
  • Working with other Russian social networks;

I’m going to talk about every channel in greater detail in my next post, while here I’d like to underlie that I want to be the one who encourage people to believe that together we could make real changes. But these changes would be possible only provided strongest and serious interaction with each other, open dialogue. That is why I hope that such way of  online communication will lead to success and mutual public good. While I also think that the only thing that I could promise to myself is that I won’t alter my views regarding that all words should be fulfilled and proved by certain deeds and actions.

Let’s do it together! If you’re interested in getting more information about my campaign, please don’t hesitate to contact me or leave your comments!

A number of serious competitions among developers that are aimed to implement new eGov services or projects that could be further used by authorities or other specialized companies have been conducted recently in almost every Western country. Developers in turn could derive a variety of benefits starting from free educational or qualification programme to more profitable — money prize. Personally I was interested in these kind of contests and has always wanted to do something similar in Russia. Once it is proclaimed it should be done later on.

So, now I’m very pleased to announce the launch of our new eGov intiative — Code4Russia  that represents a separate but connected eGov iniative that works under Gov2People project that as far as you might know considers all existed eGov services in Russia and reviews international practices that could be used in Russian virtual reality.

By all means, Code4Russia has little in common with analogous Western projects, firstly due to different objectives that we set up as Russian reality has its own rules and regulations under which project could be conducted.  Code4Russia represents the largest Russian online unique project that includes «Coding for Russia»  All-Russian contest of developers in eGov context and special project called «Developers expertise.»
So now let’s speak about every project in detail and perspective, what distincive features they have and what further opportunities they provide.

Developers expertise is the first project of that kind in Russia that can be seen as an expert’s crowdsource model that is made to encourage best IT-specialists of e-govermeent project and services to leave comments and feedback. The main difference between developers and consumers of eGov services that IT-experts are more likely to share its constructive professional view on what has been done wrong by government and what can be done to improve this or that feature.

The main problem of today’s projects and eGov services is contained in its unclear presentation and negative perception by the target audience as these projects are not user-friendly at all. Once a new eGov project is launched a certain amount of  negative comments in media and social networks appear with saying that «it has terrible or worst interface I’ve ever seen» that at times seems to be very true. There is no integrated consumers’ feedback system exist at the market. That is why our project aims to improve interface and usability of eGov services, to get constuctive evaluations from IT-experts and their suggestions that would create a platform for effecient e-government marketing development. continue reading

Big city life has its pros and cons. And Moscow isn’t only the capital of Russia but also a megapolis that has a lot of things to offer, especially with regard to making money. As you can understand this trend incites that more and more people leave hometowns and thus,  regions looses its valuable workforce.

The video «Rodnopolisy» that can be translated as Hometowns  is a great example that appeals to young people and promotes those little cities and towns which people leave for better (or not???) life in Moscow. I liked the idea itself and the way it is done.  Nikita Belikh — one of the most popular Russian eOfficial and governor of Kirovskiy region —  also took part in this video and agreed to give us some comments.

Whose idea was  idea to shoot such a video?

Nikita Belyh: I am really pleased to say that neither me nor any other municipal worker had put forward the idea. It was the absolute initiative of young talented crew  of the regional TV channel. I personally got involved only by the time the process had been already undergone and the final version of the script had been ready. continue reading

Such announcement was made by Robert Shlegel’ – Member of Information Policy Chamber — who also proclaimed that a new means of providing the feedback would be firstly, tested on the web-site of the chamber and only after that on the State Duma website. Boris Grizlov, a current speaker of Russian’s State Duma considers that such initiate allows attracting a sufficient number of experts to the discussion process that would positively affect the quality of legislations. “We’re looking for public discussions and polls on federal, regional and local levels”, — the speaker stated.

Lately more and more government organizations and ministries have been established contacts with ordinary people via Web 2.0. Public audience has already criticized “Police” and “Education” bills, although experts admit that authorities hardly took into account people’s opinions and voice.

The idea of eGov Live project has emerged due to an enormous number of comments that were addressed to me: could you deliver the information about variety and locations of public services in a simple way?  How does society itself benefit from these projects? Why is everything concerning public services so complicated? Why isn’t that clear what kind of public services do exist in different regions? These and others types of questions stuck into my mind and encouraged me to create a project that would be able to find answers for almost questions.

What’s new and interesting we’ve got in eGov Live? First and furthermost, we’ve made a map, where everyone is welcomed to evaluate the  public services’ level (that differs in colors) in various Russian regions. This option was made to achieve two objectives: firstly, to capture the objective image of public services and secondly, to have an understanding what kind of services are already used by the society, which of them are the socially demanded.

Our second feature is providence of people’s rating system that represents a subjective evaluation of service quality made by each individually. We’ve decided to create a map in two modes to provide us with both data official version and people’s  insight .

We also propose a useful service called  «Officials in social network», where we’re collecting all social accounts and profiles of officials on Twitter, Facebook and others to facilitate information search of a particular officer in a region or according to its specialization. A wide list of civilian projects that was being collected in framework of Gov2People.ru is also introduced in our new project as well as we include all media stories that have connection to government presence in the Web. Within the framework of the project we’re going to conduct round tables and video conferences that would be open and free for everyone.

The most important project’s objective is to establish stable work and relations with regions and its ministries. We see eGov Live to become an integrated resource that will be the first to let people know about how e-government develops in this or that regions. Thus, the purpose of the project – to produce an efficient two-way communication tool that would be useful for both sides: those who develops eGov and those people who consume these services (the society).

At this stage we very appreciate your comments and feedback. We want to improve the level of eGov development in our country, so we rely on your support and  knowledge. Share your opinion about this project. Thanks!!!


For the first time in history on Moscow government meeting all of the materials will be filed in electronic form on the desktop computers through a specialized information system. Government members’ve already received their passwords. Access to system is possible through any device via Internet. System is still in test mode, but it previously passed inspection work with no problems found.

Such a measure due to the fact that reprinting thousands of paper pages copies is cost and time-consuming procedure. New system will reduce the time for this work and cut-costs for the town hall. However, all materials for the government meeting are loaded into the system with the same mayors’ protocol department responsible for the documents. Previously used programs and the mayor’s office equipment didn’t not allow to make such radical changes, the new generation of software makes it possible.

via RG

HelpCamp at BarCamp


On 6th of July I’ve been speaking at SocialCamp 2011 in Tver with my master-class on government projects SocialCamp

SocialCamp is an annual informal conference on Internet usage in project of civil society. This year our Gov2Project became the official event-partner.

SocialCamp is using the barcamp “informal conferences” format which is popular across the world. The feature of that presentation is in its democracy with maximum of communication and creativity. 

The event was attended by people with best practices in Internet usage for social and civil engineering projects as well as those who wanted to adopt these practices and use the in their own activities.

The first SocialCamp has been held in Kirov on 30th of March 2010. It was attended by more than 150 people with over 30 regions across Russia and 10 foreign countries.

For the HelpCamp (electronic money and electronic services to non-profits) program we’ve formed an excelent team for the audience

We want to establish close contact with e-payments systems for our future projects, fundraising and crowdsourcing.

List of best Russian Gov2.0 projects


There is a persistence prejudice in the world that e-government development here in Russia has stalled. That Russia has no e-Government at all.

Last year I’m actively involved in eGov development in Russia and let me break that constant myth. We have now launched a united platform/incubator for e-government startups in Russia – gov2people.ru Russia has great possibilities – a large number of developers. Our IT could greatly improve situation in the eGov sector. As of today there is no perfect eGov model applied anywhere in the world.

We decided to collect all the social important projects that could be commercially successful and place them at one platform. We collect and add to the list all of the existing projects to date in the history of Russia: at first they need a unite single entry point. Some of them require lobbying at the government level and it is necessary to create the system and strategic communications for such projects. Placing the project on the site includes not only involvement in the All-Russian Gov 2.0 movement, but also lobbying its interests at the state level and the inclusion in the folder the Russian practices, which can be presented at the international level.

Read more in Russian eGov development

NationBuilder is hiring


I’ve been telling you recently about the NationBuilder platform.

Now as a tool for political campaigns, nationbuilder.com is already off to a very strong start, helping among other things, to knock off the Labor Party’s long domination of Scotland.

And now they are looking for programmers.

Read A brief job description below.

Our stack is Ruby, Rails, jQuery, and PostgreSQL with a little Mongo, Redis and Memcached.

We’re looking for people with experience building web apps to join our team of 3 developers and 1 designer. Experience with our tech stack is helpful, but if they are really good, the actual technologies they’ve used in the past is less important as it’s easy to learn.

We offer competitive salary, stock options, healthcare, and you can work from anywhere.

If you are qualified you can contact

Adriel or Jim