Whoever does not apply new remedies must be ready for new evils; because time is the greatest of innovators. (Francis Bacon)
In 2011, various governments and non-governmental organizations promoted the Manifesto for Open Government to encourage the development of forms of government and administration capable of guaranteeing transparent, participatory, inclusive and responsible governance. 78 countries and a growing number of local governments – representing more than 2 billion people – together with thousands of civil society organizations are members of the Open Government Partnership.
The opportunities offered by digital innovation are preparatory to the transition from “primarily digital” to “exclusively digital” and are a lever to ensure the paradigm shift that puts the citizen at the center while protecting some important rights: digital identity, information and use of content , personal data protection, digital participation and inclusion, daily use of the benefits of digital technologies, training in the necessary digital skills.
In order to achieve these objectives, some principles that I believe are mandatory must be considered: inclusion, transparency, open and universal digital transformation, participation and listening, equal opportunities.
“Talking about digital inclusion means building the conditions for equal opportunities in the use of the network and for the development of a culture of innovation and creativity, first of all countering the new illiteracy and social and cultural discrimination.
And to achieve this [occorre]:
- to affirm access to the broadband network as a universal right, a non-exclusive and inalienable common good
- affirm the rights of the new citizenship (right to digital identity, right to protection of personal data, right to access and digital inclusion, right to training, right to information and use of content; right to participation; right to a daily use of the benefits of digital technologies);
- enhance the mission of the School, for technological literacy, the daily use of technologies, the development of civic awareness of new citizens, with the aim of improving the “ability to live” in the knowledge society;
- implement all the necessary initiatives to fight the digital divide, from technologies for accessibility, to the availability of tools and methods for self-training for adults, places for assistance and tutoring, to the use of RAI as educational media, public access points and telematic squares. “
Participation is guaranteed by information, consultation, involvement and listening; therefore it is only possible if the Administration implements a transparency policy that allows citizens to have the necessary information and data, as well as to know and verify the results of the Administration’s initiatives (accountability).
We are talking about transparency as the foundation of digital citizenship, on at least three fronts: making the PA transparent, enabling citizens to observe it (through widespread forms of control over government action), enabling constructive interactions between administrations and citizens.
In this sense, it is essential to guarantee access to data (personal data, data relating to owned assets …), to the network, to proceedings (structured interactions between the Digital Citizen and the PA), to documents (deeds, documents, communications of the PA) and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) must be implemented and the Three-Year Plan for the Prevention of Corruption and Transparency must be defined, which unfortunately is called the “Three-Year Plan for the Prevention of Corruption and Transparency” and no one has noticed of the terrible slip (do we want to prevent transparency?).
Open and universal digital transformation
Digital transformation can be represented with interoperability and security of information systems, transversal themes also at the vertical levels of services, data, platforms and infrastructures.
Strategic evolution model of the PA information system (Three-year plan for IT in the Public Administration 2020-2022)
To this framework it is necessary to add coordinated actions of technological innovation, evolution of the organizational system and adaptation to digital culture.
“It is a path that can never be said to be finished, because it is destined to support a digital transformation process that is continually renewed with new challenges. It needs continuity and determination and to be protected and sheltered from events that could suddenly frustrate years of effort and investment. These alchemies are difficult to maintain over time and there is a thin line that separates the emotional drive that triggered and still supports the process of change, and internal and external factors that could suddenly inhibit and / or jam those virtuous mechanisms “(Source: “Govern the digital transformation: disseminating experiences to change paradigm” by Eugenio Nunziata).
Digital transformation in the PA is the basis for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative action thanks to the design of simple and inclusive services and ensuring transparency and knowledge sharing by opening one’s data (open data) to guarantee participation and informed decisions and adopting open source solutions as regulated and standardized.
Participation and listening
“Internet is configured as an increasingly important space for the self-organization of people and groups and as an essential tool to promote individual and collective participation in democratic processes and substantial equality” (Declaration of Internet rights).
Guaranteeing participation favors digital citizenship and this is why democracy must be a priority of the entire PA.
To systematize participation, each Administration should provide for:
- Shared governance: Control room for the Digital Agenda, Interfunctional tables for Cross-cutting projects, Cross-cutting objectives in the Single Programming Document (DUP)
- Participatory organization: networks of contact persons for innovation projects (open data, free software), proactivity and involvement, widespread culture (community of Innovators), profiles and balances of competence (e.g. self-assessment questionnaires for digital skills based on DigComp) , Systematic and organic approach to training (Training School)
- Participation as a method of city governance
- Creation and dissemination of skills
Skills for digital citizenship (Source: Save the Children)
Equal opportunities must be guaranteed in all sectors of social life regardless of any potential discrimination factor (gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, economic conditions, disability, age,…). The task of the Administration is to define policies and encourage interventions aimed at reducing inequalities and at the full realization of equal opportunities in society and within the Administration itself.
In this context, encouraging the spread of digital skills can be a qualifying element for the attenuation of at least some of the factors that hinder the achievement of equal opportunities.
Conclusions and thanks
“Sometimes it is only by leaving the scene that one can understand what role has been played” (Stanislaw Jerzy Lec)
I will surely have forgotten something and someone, I hope you forgive me.
I sincerely thank all the people who in various capacities have helped me to do more, better and to identify errors to be corrected, in particular the managers of the departments with whom I have interacted, all employees and officials with whom I have collaborated and all my staff. who had the tenacity and patience to work with schedules and times that were often impossible and who gave me competence and smiles.
I thank my colleagues at the Executive Council, Angelo Sturni and all the directors who have often provided me with valuable advice (nomen omen).
A heartfelt thanks also goes to those who have previewed all the chapters of my story in Simple Rome and have helped me with their precious observations; it goes without saying that the responsibility for what is written is exclusively personal.
I also thank the Mayor for the opportunity offered to me and I thank the people who suggested my name for the Department and in particular the deputy who, when I went to visit after the first six months, explained to me why she suggested my name: “I have to inject left drops everywhere.” And it is with this mandate and with the deep desire to do well that I worked in my 38 months in Simple Rome!