dg.o 2018: 19th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research

Theme: Governance in the data age

Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands

30 May – 1 June, 2018

Email: dgo2018@easychair.org
Twitter handle: #dgo2018

The Digital Government Society (DGS) announces the 19th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research – dg.o 2018, with a theme: “Governance in the data age“. The dg.o 2018 conference will be hosted by Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands from 30 May till 1 June, 2018.

The dg.o conferences are an established forum for presentation, discussion, and demonstration of interdisciplinary research on digital government, political participation, civic engagement, technology innovation, applications, and practice. Each year the conference brings together scholars recognized for the interdisciplinary and innovative nature of their work, their contributions to theory (rigor) and practice (relevance), their focus on important and timely topics and the quality of their writing. The conference program combines:

  • Keynote and track presentations and discussions on new research on digital government at the intersections of information technology research, social and behavioral science research, and the challenges and missions of government.
  • Presentations of effective partnerships and collaborations among government professionals and agencies, university researchers, relevant businesses, and NGOs, as well as grassroots citizen groups, to advance the practice of digital government.
  • A showcase of digital government projects, implementations, and initiatives that bring together the research and practitioner communities, demonstrate the effectiveness and/or challenges of digital government and offer best practices.

The 19th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research will feature the main theme of “Governance in the data age“. Today we live in a data driven economy in which many new applications are driven by the availability of an immense amount of a variety of data. This data revolution is transforming government as we know it. Data has become widely available and many innovations are based on the utilization of data having a tremendous impact. The Internet of Things (IoT) enables the availability of large volumes of data, whereas people create data using social media. Data analytics enables the processing of data. Governments, business and academia work together to make sense of the data influencing the organization and governance. Data can be used to increase our security, whereas at the same time the amount of data threatens our privacy.  Big and Open Linked Data (BOLD) is multifaceted and transformative in nature and is changing policy-making, government operations and the relationship with the public. The government and society as we know it today is drastically changing. Authors are encouraged to address, but not limited to, this theme within the conference tracks.

TRACK 1. Social Media and Government

Track chairs: Andrea Kavanaugh (kavan@cs.vt.edu), Rodrigo Sandoval and Jolien Ubacht

The use of social media has been growing rapidly and globally. Governments at all levels have been using microblogs, such as Twitter, and social network sites, such as Facebook, among other platforms and tools for public administration and outreach to citizens. Citizens, businesses and voluntary associations have been using these tools and affordances to share information, ask questions, and compete or collaborate on problem solving within and among neighborhoods, industries, states, and nations. The growing use of social media has created new challenges and opportunities for many users such as changes in regulations and policies, marketing, highly diverse perspectives, and feedback. Analysis of communication behavior, messages, and systems and institutions, should contribute to our knowledge of the ways these media are affecting collective problem solving and public policy development. Future trends in social media and government point to new synergies, as well as disruptions, among public agencies and users. This track welcomes research and practice papers addressing a range of similar or related topics on social media analysis on content, metrics, case studies or theoretical models to advance this area of research.

TRACK 2. Organizational Factors, Adoption Issues and Digital Government Impacts

Track chairs: Jing Zhang (jizhang@clarku.edu), Yu-Che Chen, and Lei Zheng

Public organizations employ information and communication technologies (ICT) 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 ICT by public organizations is influenced by organizational factors such as the availability of resources (i.e. funding, technological knowledge, and personnel), leadership, trust, organization’s technological culture, as well as inter-organizational dynamics if the initiative cut across multiple organizations. Similarly, the adoption of ICT in government and society has generated important impacts on the organizational processes, effectiveness, and innovativeness of public organizations. This track solicits research that examines the organizational factors that influence the adoption and implementation of new ICT as well as the impact of new ICT. Research papers in this track examine the adoption, use, and organizational impacts of a variety of innovative technologies and practices that include but are not limited to social media, citizen-centric technologies, virtual collaborative work practices, open data, smart governance, and technologies that facilitate the collection and analysis of large data sets. Furthermore, the track also focuses on the adoption of innovative policies or practices that seek to facilitate the strategic use of ICT by public organizations.

TRACK 3. Open government: data infrastructures, strategies, and governance

Track chairs: Fatemeh Ahmadi Zeleti (fatemeh.ahmadizeleti@insight-centre.org), Iryna Susha, and Marijn Janssen

Openness in governments is needed now more than ever. 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’ quality of life.

Maximizing and sustaining the impact of open data requires institutionalizing the processes and protocols used to open and use open data, i.e. data management and data governance. For this, extensive transformations are required within the government as in the way governments provide to and engage with the public and other stakeholders. The opening and sharing of data, the data infrastructure identification and implementation, the deployment of tools and instruments to engage the public and other stakeholders, collaboration amongst public organizations and between governments and the public are important drivers for realizing these goals. To successfully achieve this vision, fundamental changes in practice and new research on factors and mechanisms important for data management and data governance are needed.

Successful cases, measurement instruments, information sharing, adoption, stakeholder analysis and theoretical models and frameworks are necessary to advance this field. In particular, this track solicits papers addressing the issue of public sector transformation achieved through open government, collaboration amongst actors and information sharing within and between public and private organizations.

TRACK 4. Engagement in Government: For Better or For Worse?

Track chairs: Nripendra P. Rana (n.p.rana@swansea.ac.uk), Uthayasankar Sivarajah, Yogesh K. Dwivedi

With citizens having turned more tech- and Internet-savvy, they have had the opportunity to successfully experience efficient digital services. This has resulted in the citizens expecting targeted, more responsive, and equally efficient services from the public sector. Scholarly research on citizen engagement and participation is continuing to grow and existing literature has clearly highlighted that citizen participation has the potential for public institutions to create real transformative opportunities concerning key issues such as transparency, accountability, communication and collaboration, to promote civic engagement. It has opened various possibilities for governments, ranging from the joint production of public services in cooperation with citizens, social organizations and businesses, through wide distribution and re-use of government information to the introduction of new forms of democratic participation. Public sector organizations around the world, including Europe, are aware of these new possibilities and have actively started exploring them. However, it is far more than simply introducing or making use of new technologies for facilitating citizen engagement. Therefore, public sector institutions must assess the need for vital organizational and governance changes that help with better civic engagement.

TRACK 5. 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).

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 Moon’s (2002) five-stage model or based on two key indicators Carrara, Nieuwenhuis & Vollers (2016) have presented. 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. 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.

Both aspects (maturity and sustainability) belong together and promote each other. The importance of these factors grows as more and more open data sets are published and new portals are set up. The diversity of both factors facilitates a broad range of aspects that can be covered within this session.

TRACK 6. Artificial intelligence in the public sector

Track chairs: Sehl Mellouli (sehl.mellouli@fsa.ulaval.ca), Gabriel Puron-Cid, Yigal Arens

Artificial intelligence (AI) gives to computers the power to simulate a human behavior. It brings different techniques and tools that can be used for different purposes such as: machine learning, natural language processing, or robotics. Its application domains vary from transport, healthcare, security, or energy. With all these advantages, governments are paying more and more attention to AI. The purpose of this track is to investigate how AI can be used in governments at different levels and what AI can add to governments.

The topics of this track are, but not limited to AI adoption and acceptance in governments, AI for policy making, Legal issues related to AI, AI and data AI and security, AI and governments’ services, AI impacts of IT teams.

TRACK 7. Smart Cities: Models and Platforms

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

The cities around the globe is leveraging linked and intertwined networks, Big and Open data and intelligent machines to design innovative and intelligent solutions to life in a city. The smart cities seek not only government operational efficiency but also better decision making and predictions to improve life of citizens, and to create better world via social good. Descriptions of research and development in smart cities policy models and technology innovations are welcome in the areas of energy, transportation, health, education, public safety, structures, natural environment, and business, as well as related issues of cybersecurity and privacy, community-based infrastructure resilience, urban informatics and governance. Topics include but are not limited to: Applications and collaborations based on the “internet of things”; Smart sensors; Big data analytics; The Civic Technology Movement, and Intercity and intergovernmental collaborations; Machine learning, AI and Robotics for cities and governments.

TRACK 8. Beyond Bureaucracy, Co-Producing Governance & New Models of Governance

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

The Beyond Bureaucracy track aims to outline and discuss challenges along the boundaries of society, technology, and governance, which reach beyond established e-governance research paths and priorities. Where well-established e-government / e-governance research ambitions focus on providing and/or studying technology that supports the work and mission of government agencies and governmental agents (incremental innovation), Beyond Bureaucracy addresses the question how radical technological innovation transforms the power of citizens and the conceptual sovereign body to actively control (rather than passively observe and follow) government agencies and governmental agents. The Beyond Bureaucracy track invites contributions that discuss pending technological (design science) challenges, promotes the economic potentials of disruptive new technological ecosystems, and serves as a platform for pro/con deliberations on Beyond Bureaucracy thought and knowledge. Research keywords includes but not limited to: Liquid Democracy, Information Governance, e-Anarchy, Participatory Budgeting & Bottom-Up Excise, Non-Bureaucratic Government, etc. For inspiration and suggested literature, see: http://bb18.beyondbureaucracy.org

TRACK 9. Public value creation and innovation in government

Track chairs: Bram Klievink (a.j.klievink@tudelft.nl), Panos Panagiotopoulos, and Antonio Cordella

The range of digital innovations in government has grown impressively from operational efficiency, e-services and participation, to big, open and new forms of data. Although often treated in isolation, true value creation comes from integrating these. Yet, significant and sustainable gains cannot be realised due to gaps in readiness and roles, a lack of capabilities and resources, or other organisational and institutional misalignments.

Public organisations thus cannot always deliver the values that are expected of them, because they do not have or cannot acquire the necessary tools and capabilities. For this track, we are interested in integrative perspectives on value creation through various socio-technical innovations in government. We specifically look for studies either on developing and acquiring capabilities internally in the organisation, or on how government organisations can develop new organisational configurations that allow them to (externally) acquire these capabilities, for example through co-creation and other collaborative arrangements. The track welcomes both short and full papers and the chairs are planning a Special Issue in Government Information Quarterly on governance and organisational capabilities for value creation in the public sector.

TRACK 10. Participatory Democracy

Track chairs: Cristiano Maciel (cmaciel@ufmt.br), José Viterbo Filho, and Catherine Dumas

Participatory democracy comprises the use of information and communication technologies to broaden and deepen political participation by enabling citizens to connect with one another and with their elected representatives, thus promoting citizen engagement in decision making. Different approaches and tools, such as e-­Voting, e-­Petition, e-­Consultation, e-­Complaint, for instance, have been adopted to promote participatory democracy in different countries, depending on their legislations and technological infrastructures. In addition, spaces, such as social networks, can facilitate the engagement and formation of digital communities. In the novel approaches, citizens become part of the conception, design, steering, and management of public policies and services, instrumenting participatory democracy. Major topics in this track will discuss methods, techniques and tools that can support or contribute with different processes of e-­participation and citizen engagement in decision making.

TRACK 11. Proactive Transparency and Knowledge Discovery from Open Government Data

Track chairs: Claudia Cappelli (claudia.cappelli@uniriotec.br), and Flavia Bernardini

Active transparency aims to turn information into public by the initiative of the public body, without a request being filed. This is known as proactive disclosure, and the result is proactive transparency. Open data portals constitute an important source of information to bring transparency in public organizations. However, manipulating, processing and interpreting the available data is a task usually possible by experts in information technologies. In this context, techniques, methods and tools for allowing data discovery and interpretation are requested. Major topics in this track will discuss methods, techniques and tools that can support or contribute to achieve active transparency. Other issues related to transparency are also welcome.

TRACK. 12 Data Sharing and Analytics to Address Societal Challenges

Track chairs: Efthimios Tambouris (tambouris@uom.gr), Iryna Susha, and Yushim Kim

Governments begin to realize the potential and necessity of leveraging the explosion of data for informing their decisions, improving their services to citizens, and solving policy problems. New tools and techniques are rapidly developing to synthesize and analyse data that are intentionally or unintentionally collected by various societal actors. There are however challenges to harvest the potential of the developments in data and analytics, most notably making sense of insights and risks from newly developing data analytics and ensuring legitimacy and reliability of new sources of data. One key to address the challenges is accessing the right data sources through appropriate data sharing mechanisms. Solving complex societal challenges may require “more data”, i.e. new sources of data from other government organizations or data from outside the public sector shared by companies, academia, civil society (e.g. data collaboratives). Other types of public problems may be dealt with by using “less data” but instead improving data sharing and analytical capacity within government (e.g. the once-only principle). This track solicits papers focusing on data sharing and data analytics to improve citizens’ lives and address pressing societal challenges through data science and enhanced collaboration between and within public and private sectors. We invite research from a wide spectrum of disciplines and approaches addressing the technicalities of data sharing and analytics such as reference architectures and cases exploring emerging methods and technologies (e.g. machine learning, AI, semantics etc.) as well as research inquiring into the organizational, regulatory, societal, ethical and other aspects and implications of using new data sharing approaches and data analytics for addressing societal challenges.

TRACK 13. Open and Big Data Analytics in Government: Pathways from Insights to Public Value

Track Chairs: Akemi Takeoka Chatfield (akemi@uow.edu.au), Adegboyega Ojo, Gabriel Puron-Cid, and Christopher G. Reddick

Open and big data analytics in government aims at discovering patterns, insights and trends that could impact government’s operations, public service delivery and relationships with citizens. The government data and analytics landscape is rapidly changing in part due to growing adoption of open data, social media, Internet of things (IoT), 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 public value creation.

This track invites research papers, case studies, and policy papers that examine pathways from insights to public value creation through the application of open and big data analytics to public policy and government decision-making. We also invite papers that discuss technical, managerial, governance, social and policy challenges and barriers in realizing public value from government data analytics programs.

TRACK 14. Public Governance and Policy in the Sharing Era

Track chairs: Sukumar Ganapati (ganapati@fiu.edu), and Christopher G. Reddick

The sharing economy has grown exponentially over the last decade, surpassing well-established firms. Airbnb, Lyft, and Uber are among the most familiar ones that have grown very fast. With the phenomenal growth of Uber, many also refer to the new digital economy as the Uber economy. Uber (started in 2009) is valued at US $68 billion, which is more than each of the three big American automobile firms of Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors. Airbnb (launched in 2008) is valued at $30 billion, which is more than the Hilton hotel chain and nearly as much as the Marriott hotels. PricewaterhouseCoopers has pegged the sharing economy to grow from $15 billion dollars in 2014 to $335 billion dollars in 2025. Indeed, the sharing economy has increasingly become prevalent across several sectors such as transportation (Uber, Lyft), accommodation (Airbnb, VRBO, Couchsurfing), delivery and home services (Instacart, Postmates, Taskrabbit), and other activities.

The rapid rise of the sharing economy is pertinent for public governance and policy. There are important questions on public benefits and challenges of the emerging digital platforms. The sharing economy directly affects local economy, and local governments are scrambling to deal with the economy’s impact. As regulators, government agencies have had a paradoxical role, with mixed reactions to sharing transportation services, accommodations, and gig labor. Reactions to the sharing economy have ranged from welcoming acceptance to that of stringent bans. Yet, despite sharing economy’s rapid rise, e-government researchers and policymakers have hardly dealt with consequences of the sharing economy. It is in this context that we have proposed this track to take stock of the major strands of the sharing economy debates and initiate a broad research agenda on the nexus between sharing economy and the public sector. The sharing economy shifts focus from how information and communications technologies can enhance organizational performance and citizen engagement. Sharing economy fundamentally affects the broader economic and governance processes. As such, we invite papers broadly dealing with public governance and policy in the context of sharing economy. The papers could deal with theoretical/ conceptual issues (including data and methodology), impact on governance (e.g. planning and zoning, tax, public service delivery), nature of work (gigs, human resources) and other governance and policy issues.

Track 15. Data for good – disaster response and resilience

Track Chairs: Tina Comes (t.comes@tudelft.nl), Bartel Van de Walle, and Jyoti Mishra

Information has been recognized as aid for more than a decade now.  Progress in engineering continues to promise connectivity, broader bandwidth and unknown computational power to all. The use of social media that first gained prominence in the 2010 Haiti Earthquake has become “main stream” in the 2013 response to Haiyan. Digital volunteers across the globe now contribute to response Hurricane Harvey, using slack channels and zello for communication, twitter data and Facebook’s safety check. Technology driven data sources such as Global Positioning Systems (GPSs), Radio Frequency based Identification (RFID) tracking, remote sensing, the use of satellite imagery or drones enable real-time monitoring. Biometric identification technologies are increasingly used as tools for refugee management. Relief provision shifts towards virtual distributions through digital payment systems, or “mobile money”.

These developments that “democratize” crisis response and resilience and make available more information than ever before present new challenge for governments and regulatory bodies, as well as humanitarian and crisis management professionals and volunteer organizations. To support decision-making in critical situations, transparent and well-structured information systems need to be developed that enable communication, improve collective sense-making and enable collaborative decisions taking into account different channels and give feedback to affected individuals and groups in order to react swiftly to the current situation.

TRACK 16. BlockChain and Transformational Government

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

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.

BC initiatives have implications for citizen trust, privacy, inclusion and participation.  Governmental organizations need 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.

This track seeks research that explores the impact of block chain technology on all levels of government and effects or applications in society that raise governance issues.  We welcome a diversity in research designs, approaches and methodologies.

Panel chairs: Teresa Harrison and Jolien Ubacht

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@albany.edu).


Posters and Demos Chair: Ali Pirannejad, Kellyton dos Santos Brito and Bram Klievink

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.


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 relate to the conferences, 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)


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.