TRACK 1. Data Analytics for Public Policy and Services
Track Chairs: Akemi Takeoka Chatfield (akemi@uow.edu.au), Christopher G. Reddick, Gabriel Puron-Cid

 

Open and big data analytics in government aims at discovering patterns, insights and trends that could provide the government with actionable intelligence necessary to make multifaceted changes to the existing public administration and public services. Effective and innovative use of open and big data analytics can positively impact government’s operations, public service delivery, and relationships with citizens. The government data and analytics landscape is rapidly changing in part due to the growing adoption of open data, social media, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cloud computing in government.

 

To date, data analytics in government have been deployed to fight fraud and abuse in tax and welfare benefits services, develop safer and more efficient public transportation, fight crimes and reduce operational costs as well as to predict disaster impacts in the local government areas and epidemic spreading across national borders. Despite the growing anecdotal evidences and practices in this domain, there is still the paucity of digital government research that links the use of open and big data and analytics in government to generating actionable intelligence in public policy and services that may enhance public value creation.

 

TRACK 2: Open Government Innovations

Track chairs: Mila Gasco-Hernandez (mgasco@ctg.albany.edu), Fatemeh Ahmadi Zeleti, Marijn Janssen

 

Governments around the world have taken up the challenge of opening their data to achieve an open, transparent and accountable government while enabling data-driven innovation and improvement of citizens’ services and quality of life. Opening more datasets will help identify potential biases and fraud, lead to more competition between potential service providers, ensure more quality public services, and increase citizen trust in government. At the same time institutional changes are necessary to fully become an open government and processes and procedure should be in place.

 

Open data technologies are more and more complemented by data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. AI is reshaping our world and is currently enjoying a renaissance in industry and, becomes the hottest item on the agendas of many governments. AI innovation is already transforming the way governments operate, make decisions, and deliver public services. For this, we should take steps to ensure this is done in a more effective and transparent way that reassures citizens that these systems will produce fair outcomes, as well as higher quality services (e.g. by making the underlying data on how AI systems make decisions available). Therefore, extensive transformations are required within the government as in the way governments provide to and engage with the public and other stakeholders. To successfully achieve this vision, fundamental changes in practice and new research on approaches and mechanisms necessary for fostering AI innovation and implementation by governments for a greater transparency, accountability, service delivery, and citizen’s trust are needed.

 

TRACK 3: Smart Cities in the Age of AI

Track chairs: Soon Ae Chun (Soon.Chun@csi.cuny.edu), Leonidas Anthopoulos, Dongwook Kim

 

Industry 4.0 technologies, combined with open data, are pushing cities to become smarter and intelligent cities, promising to create an innovative physical, social and economic environment to improve quality of life for citizens and to bring disruptive transformations in governance. The rapid proliferation of intelligent machines, backed by advanced AI models, Big Data, ubiquitous sensors and IoT devices, can create self-responsive and self-evolving services but raise questions about the scope of city transformation and about the role of governments and citizens in their daily operations and interactions. For instance, faster Big Data processing and more secure decision making are required by governments in their role to enhance the local social good; but more sophisticated and collaborative intelligent machines need to be carefully governed to achieve fair and responsible innovations for citizens and businesses. This track invites research results and practices of smart cities in the era of intelligent algorithm-driven automation and emerging cognitive robots.

 

Topics include, but are not limited to, smart city platforms, smart city implementation strategies and success indicators; smart government; smart city service innovations and impacts; smart digital citizen identity; citizen’s behavior modeling; citizen engagement, industry 4.0 technologies; digital transformation, smart and connected communities; governance and policy issues of intelligent machines and man-machine interactions; security, ethics and privacy issues; novel sharing and interactions in intelligent cities; smart city infrastructure and standards; applications and collaborations based on the IoT and, smart sensors; Big Data analytics; civic technology movement, and intercity and intergovernmental collaborations; Machine learning, Deep Learning, AI, Blockchain, AR/VR and Robotics for cities and governments.

 

 

TRACK 4: Beyond Bureaucracy: Ethics of Bureaucracy and New Models of Governance

Track chairs: Alois Paulin (alois@apaulin.com), Adeyinka Adewale, Zach Bastick

 

The proposed “Beyond Bureaucracy” track aims to outline and discuss challenges along the boundaries of society, technology, and governance, which reach beyond established e-governance / e-democracy research paths and priorities. Where well-established research ambitions in fields such as e-government / e-governance / e-democracy focus on providing and/or studying technology that supports the work and mission of government agencies and governmental / political agents, “Beyond Bureaucracy” addresses the question how technology can empower citizens and the conceptual sovereign-body to actively control (rather than passively observe) public-domain agencies and -agents. The Beyond Bureaucracy track aims to outline the pending technological (design science) challenges, promotes the economic potentials of new technological ecosystems, discusses ethical implications of existing and potential future models of public governance, and serves as a platform for pro/con deliberations on Beyond Bureaucracy thought and knowledge.

 

 

TRACK 5: Artificial Intelligence for Good

Track chairs: Sehl Mellouli (sehl.mellouli@sio.ulaval.ca), Adegboyega Ojo

 

Artificial intelligence (AI) represents a new research trend for Governments. It brings new techniques and tools such as machine learning, natural language processing, or robotics and that can be applied to different domains such as transport, healthcare, security, or energy. With the advantages that AI can bring, governments are paying more and more attention to this technology. In particular, AI has significant potentials to reduce the administrative burden associated with interactions between citizens and public administrations and in enabling the design and implementation of highly personalized intelligent services that positively impact citizen satisfaction. AI solutions based on analysis of the data collected from citizens can be exploited to deliver a range of services using technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for pre-populating forms, automating translations, request routings and handling of citizen enquiries. Other AI solutions based on conversational Chatbots could be used to provide assistance to citizens in navigating online service portals. Public administrations have also deployed solutions based on advanced data analytics and deep learning to uncover unusual patterns in social welfare services claims. Despite this advance, application of AI technologies in the government and society is still in its infancy. For example, while AI solutions such as RPA and Chatbots are increasingly being used in the back-offices of a number of public agencies, the deployment of these technologies in direct citizen interactions at the front office will take a few years. This track aims to attract contributions that will investigate how AI can be used in governments at different levels and what AI can add to governments. Besides research papers, practical papers reflecting success and failures of practical applications of AI are very welcome.

 

TRACK 6: Blockchain and Transformational Government
Track chairs: Svein Ølnes (svein.olnes@vestforsk.no), Jolien Ubacht, Ramzi El-Haddadeh, and Lemuria Carter

In the past few years, researchers and practitioners have highlighted the potential of Blockchain (BC) and distributed ledger technology to revolutionize government processes.  Blockchain technology enables distributed power and embedded security. As such, Blockchain is regarded as an innovative, general purpose technology, offering new ways of organization in many domains, including e-government for transactions and information exchange. However, due to its very characteristics of peer to peer information exchange, its distributed nature, the still developing technology, the involvement of new actors, roles, etc., the implementation of blockchain applications raise issues that need governance attention.

 

On the one hand, governments explore BC applications for their own processes. Agencies across the globe have launched blockchain initiatives and Task Forces to transform public sector services and procedures. These initiatives have implications for citizen trust, privacy, inclusion and participation.  Piscini et al. (2016) state “some organizations are exploring how blockchain, the backbone behind bitcoin, might provide a viable alternative to the current procedural, organizational, and technological infrastructure required to create institutionalized trust. Though these exploratory efforts are still nascent, the payoff could be profound. Like the Internet reinvented communication, blockchain may similarly disrupt various governments operations.”  On the other hand, governmental organizations also need to address the limitations and challenges of BC as an innovation that potentially has far reaching consequences in society. This requires a thorough understanding of the BC design principles, the possible applications in the domain of e-government and the exploration of governance mechanisms to deal with the limitations and challenges of the BC technology when used in a myriad of sectors, ranging from the financial and business sector to the social domains of healthcare and education.

 

 

TRACK 7. From Data Intelligence to Data Impacts: Tackling Public Problems with Data
Track chairs: Iryna Susha (Iryna.susha@oru.se), Efthimios Tambouris, and Yushim Kim

 

Governments are experimenting with using different data – open/closed, big/small, public/private etc. – for improving their services to citizens, solving policy problems, and informing their decisions. As much of relevant data and data expertise reside outside the government realm, governments are more than ever required to work together with different actors in other sectors – businesses, non-government organizations, academia, citizens etc. There are however diverse challenges to acquire and access the right data and transform data insights into positive results on the ground. This has to do with making sense of the insights, overcoming data bias, mitigating data risks, ensuring legitimacy, fostering trust, to name a few. This track solicits research papers, case studies, policy papers focusing on the role of data and its use to improve citizens’ lives by addressing issues in organizations, communities, and societies. We invite research from a wide spectrum of disciplines and approaches inquiring into the socio-technical, organizational, regulatory, societal, ethical and other aspects of data.

 

 

TRACK 8: Social Media and Government

Track chairs: Andrea Kavanaugh (kavan@vt.edu), Rodrigo Sandoval-Almazan

 

Future trends in social media and government point to new synergies, as well as disruptions, among public agencies and users. The use of social media tends to improve the delivery of online services as a result of personal communication with users, among other factors. But such use may also decrease interaction with segments of a population that previously benefited from face-to-face or phone contact, such as the elderly. There is emerging evidence that the use of social media for political participation is not as strongly correlated with higher socio-economic status as the use of traditional Internet (i.e., email and web browsing) for political participation. That is, social media seem to broaden and diversify participation in collective problem solving and governance beyond the well- educated, higher income citizens, to a more latent, but still informed and interested public. Since social media support discussion among users’ existing social networks, among others, they facilitate exchange among trusted family members, friends, and interest groups. Such exchanges may tend to resemble echo chambers, but there is also counter-evidence that users are exposed to a mix of perspectives via social media.

Citizens use social media for a diversity of purposes (i.e., uses and gratifications) in their daily lives, whether work-related, civic-minded, or personal, including staying informed and private or group interactions on Facebook. Many users of social media may not be aware of the (technical) mechanisms to protect their own privacy, consequently this leads to the blurring of the concept of private and public space and raises ethical issues about personalization and e-profiling. Other users, such as the digital natives, are more aware of the mechanisms to protect their privacy, but may discount the consequences of e-profiling and its use by government or business. The research questions raised include the role of government in mitigating negative externalities and other consequences of online participation and the appropriateness or adequacy of checks and balances on governance processes intended to protect citizens and non-governmental organizations.

 

TRACK 9: Maturity and Sustainability of Open Governmental Data

Track chairs: Tobias Siebenlist (tobias.siebenlist@uni-duesseldorf.de) and Agnes Mainka

 

All over the world, the shift to a digital government is on its way. Citizens get access to an increasing number of governmental data sets provided by public authorities on more or less centralized platforms. Most European countries have developed a national open data portal, world-wide more than 2,600 open data portals exist (Open Data Inception). More and more municipalities are also starting activities relating to open data.

Providing open data sets through open data portals is not enough. To achieve a lasting solution for the administration as well as for citizens maturity and sustainability of Open Governmental Data (OGD) are viable factors. Maturity can be measured for example based on a five-stage model with the following stages: information – dissemination/catalogue, two-way communication, service and financial transaction, vertical and horizontal integration, political participation (Moon, 2002) or based on the two key indicators Open Data Readiness and Portal Maturity (Carrara, Nieuwenhuis & Vollers, 2016). Using these models, the state of maturity can be measured and open data providers categorized regarding their open data activities. Sustainability on the other hand can be investigated following the recommendations by Sasse et al. (2017). An analysis of the interviews they carried out gives an overview about criteria for sustainable open data usage, which are mainly: governance frameworks, funding, open source software and portability, reports for a reliable data supply and metrics for measuring progress. Besides these specialized models and recommendations, the 5-star deployment scheme for open data from Berners-Lee (http://5stardata.info) can be seen as a general scheme for the improvement of the provision of open data. Another perspective is the usage of Open Governmental Data for sustainable development. The United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, which consist of 17 specific goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Open Governmental Data can be used to measure the progress of achieving the goals on different administrative levels.

 

Maturity and sustainability promote each other. Artificial intelligence requires reliable data to function (European Data Portal, 2018). If maturity and sustainability are given, applications can be built on this solid basis, for example in the smart city area, and existing open governmental data can be analyzed. In the area of analysis, artificial intelligence can be used to make predictions about future developments and usage patterns. The importance of these factors grows as more and more open data sets are published, new portals are set up and existing solutions are maturing. The diversity of both factors facilitates a broad range of aspects that can be covered within this session.

 

TRACK 10. Organizational Factors, Adoption Issues and Digital Government Impacts
Track Chairs: Jing Zhang (JIZhang@clarku.edu), Michael Ahn, and Lei Zheng

Public organizations employ information and communication technologies (ICTs) to facilitate communication and transactions with many stakeholders such as residents, private sector businesses, non-profit organizations, and other government agencies. The adoption and implementation of new ICTs by public organizations is influenced by organizational factors such as the availability of resources (i.e. funding, infrastructure, technological knowledge, and personnel), leadership, trust, stakeholder involvement, organization’s structure and culture, as well as inter-organizational dynamics if the initiative cut across multiple organizations. Similarly, the adoption of ICTs in government and society has generated important impacts on the organizational processes, effectiveness, and innovativeness of public organizations. In this context, this track solicits research that examines the organizational factors that influence the adoption and implementation, and impact of new and emerging innovative technologies such as smart governance, open data, social media, citizen-centric technologies, virtual collaborative work platforms, artificial intelligence, and other novel technologies that rely on open and large data sets. Furthermore, this track seek research on the adoption of innovative policies or practices that seek to facilitate the strategic use of various ICTs by public organizations.

 

 

TRACK 11: The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Digital Government

Track chairs: Robert J. Domanski (rdomanski@sbs.nyc.gov), Teresa M. Harrison, Evgeny Styrin

Artificial intelligence, data science, and associated computational strategies are becoming deeply integrated into nearly every aspect of public policy and government management.  These strategies, encompassing integrated data sets, machine learning, predictive analytics, and others, have the potential to yield great benefits, but also pose substantial challenges to privacy, autonomy, governance, equity, and fairness.  In this track, we invite scholarly papers that explore the ethics of computational strategies in digital government.  The track’s objectives will be to 1) identify real-world examples/cases of real or potential ethical problems, 2) seek to place such cases in the context of existing ethical frameworks for analysis, 3) create actionable recommendations for professional developers and digital government practitioners, and finally, 4) institutionalize recommendations in digital government research and practice.

 

TRACK 12: Contextualized Digital Government for Policy Objectives

Track chairs: Tomasz Janowski (tomasz.janowski@pg.edu.pl), Elsa Estevez, and Peter Parycek

 

The aim of this track is to advance the understanding of how Digital Government pursues policy-level outcomes in different institutional, sectoral or socio-economic contexts.

Of interest are, among others, the design, performance and evolution of context-specific Digital Government; determinants, mechanisms and experiences with Digital Government contextualization; contextual features that enable or disable successful context-specific Digital Government; interaction and collaboration between Digital Government in the “neighboring” contexts; Digital Government context adaptation, Digital Government context-to-context transfer; synergy between Digital Government across contexts; coordination between context-specific Digital Government to fulfil common policy objectives; Digital Government design for context versus Digital Government design for reuse, etc.

 

 

TRACK 13: Knowledge Discovery to Promote Transparency and Support E-Participation

Track Chairs: Claudia Cappelli (claudia.cappelli@uniriotec.br), Cristiano Maciel & Flavia Bernardini

Open data constitute an important source of information to bring transparency in public organizations and is a prerequisite to e-participation and e-engagement. However, manipulating, processing and interpreting the available data seems to be a task usually possible to experts in information technologies, although essential to the exercise of citizenship. In this context, Machine Learning algorithms and other Artificial Intelligence techniques may help citizens to better understand data, improving transparency. On the other hand, Artificial Intelligence techniques and methods can support other ways of e-engagement, being part of recommender and collaborative systems, and information systems for decision making processes. In this context, techniques, methods and tools for allowing e-engagement by citizens are requested. Major topics in this track involves discussing methods, techniques and tools based on artificial intelligence techniques and methods that can support or contribute to achieve e-engagement. Other issues related to this are welcome too.

Panels
Panel proposals may address themes or topics related to any of the tracks for the conference. Additionally, we welcome panel proposals that put a spotlight on practice and application. Proposals from practitioners at all levels of government featuring experiences with, perspectives on, and evaluations of digital government practice are encouraged. Individuals interested in submitting panel proposals are invited to consult the panel co-chairs about their ideas prior to developing their submissions. Please send expressions of interest for panel development to Teresa Harrison (tharrison_at_albany.edu).

Posters and Demonstrations
The poster session, held in conjunction with the system demonstrations, allows presenters to discuss research in progress, application projects, or government policies and program initiatives in one-to-one conversations with other participants at the conference.

PUBLICATIONS

All accepted management or policy papers, research papers, student papers, panels, posters, and system demonstrations will be published in the printed proceedings and included in the ACM digital library and the DBLP bibliography system. Selected papers will be invited for a journal special issue. There will be several special issues related to the conference, including:

* Government Information Quarterly (GIQ)

* Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research (JTAER)
* Transforming Government: People, Process, Policy (TGPPP)

* International Journal of E-Government Research (IJEGR)
* Information Polity
* International Journal of E-Planning Research
* International Journal of Public Administration in the Digital Age (IJPADA)

 

 

BEST PAPER AWARDS

 

Outstanding achievement awards will be presented in the categories Research papers, Management, Case Study and Policy papers, Posters, and System demonstrations. Papers that reflect the main theme of the conference, Innovations and Transformations in Government, will be preferred. Other selection criteria include the interdisciplinary and innovative nature of the work, its contribution to and balance between theory (rigor) and practice (relevance), the importance and reach of the topic, and the quality of the writing for communicating to a broad audience.