7 September 2020
Alfred Deeb

Estimated reading time: 3 mins, 30 secs

The movement

The GovTech, CivicTech and open data movements are incredibly important to governments around the world. In this six-part series we look at:

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Part 1

Governments’ responsibilities

Governments around the world have a critical responsibility to their citizens. Why? Because happy and thriving citizens ultimately mean a happier and thriving country, which translates to a happier and thriving civilisation.

Firstly, citizens need their basic needs met — something that we take for granted in first-world countries. These basic needs cover good security, good infrastructure, good education and good economic policies. On top of this, governments need to provide other services and processes that help us move forward as a society and as a civilisation. However, it’s not easy for governments to deliver.

The challenge

Historically, government jurisdictions have been trying to solve similar problems in isolation rather than coming together to solve the problems. This has led to fragmentation across tech platforms, processes and citizen user experiences. In addition, often the different approaches and solutions across government rely on proprietary technologies, resulting in vendor lock-in and prohibiting innovation.

While governments around the world do face other problems, these are the issues we’re particularly passionate about at Salsa.

CivicTech, GovTech and open data help government

Emerging trends to tackle these problems focus on helping governments become more open, more connected and more consolidated.

Imagine a world where governments are:

  • More consolidated — less fragmented and therefore more efficient across platforms, people and processes.

  • More connected — able to better connect and engage with citizens, and able to better connect and engage with each other - other governments and jurisdictions.

  • More open — opening up their datasets and adopting open source technologies to build greater trust and foster innovation by co-creating with citizens and industry.

Three emerging trends delivering on this future world are:

  1. GovTech
  2. CivicTech
  3. Open data 

These three trends are at different ‘stages’ of maturity, with open data being the most mature in the government space, followed by CivicTech, and then GovTech.

What is GovTech?

In Salsa’s view, GovTech is about using technology to optimise governments’ internal operations to make them more efficient and more consolidated. This is why we’re heavily involved in the GovTech movement, because it ties with Salsa’s vision of helping governments become more consolidated.

What is CivicTech?

CivicTech is about using technology to help governments ultimately better engage and connect with their citizens. CivicTech ties to Salsa’s vision of helping governments become more connected.

What is open data?

Open data is data that’s freely available for anyone to use, reuse and redistribute as they wish. In the government space, open data is about opening up datasets so they can be used by others, i.e. citizens, industry, etc, for analysis or to create new products or services. Open data is an area, a movement, we’ve been part of for some time, both staying on top of developments and leading the charge through projects and advocacy. Open data ties to Salsa’s vision of helping governments become more open.

The series

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