Learnings on the Importance of Youth Engagement

Blog by  Anna Ibru and Dane Gambrell at The GovLab: “…In recent years, public institutions around the world are piloting new youth engagement initiatives like Creamos that tap the expertise and experiences of young people to develop projects, programs, and policies and address complex social challenges within communities. 

To learn from and scale best practices from international models of youth engagement, The GovLab has develop case studies about three path breaking initiatives: Nuortenbudjetti, Helsinki’s participatory budgeting initiative for youth; Forum Jove BCN, Barcelona’s youth led citizens’ assembly; and Creamos, an open innovation and coaching program for young social innovators in Chile. For government decision makers and institutions who are looking to engage and empower young people to get involved in their communities, develop real-world solutions, and strengthen democracy, these examples describe these initiatives and their outcomes along with guidance on how to design and replicate such projects in your community. Young people are still a widely untapped resource who are too-often left out in policy and program design. The United Nations affirms that it is impossible to meet the UN SDGs by 2030 without active participation of the 1.8 billion youth in the world. Government decision makers and institutions must capitalize on the opportunity to engage and empower young people. The successes of NuortenbudjettiForum Jove BCN, and Creamos provide a roadmap for policymakers looking to engage in this space….(More)” See also:  Nuortenbudjetti: Helsinki’s Youth BudgetCreamos: Co-creating youth-led social innovation projects in Chile and Forum Jove BCN: Barcelona’s Youth Forum.

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Existing and Potential Use Cases for Blockchain in Public Procurement

Paper by Pedro Telles: “The purpose of this paper is to assess the possibility of using blockchain technology in the realm of public procurement within the EU, particularly in connection with the award of public contracts. In this context, blockchain is used as an umbrella term covering IT technologies and cryptographic solutions used to generate consensus on a distributed ledger.

The paper starts by elaborating how blockchains and distributed ledgers work in general, includ-ing the drawbacks of different blockchain models and implementations, before looking into recent developments for distributed consensus that may herald some potential.

As for public procurement, blockchain has been used in three real use cases in Aragon (Spain), Colombia and Peru, with the first two not passing from the pilot stage and the latter being deployed in production. These use cases are analysed with an emphasis in what can be learned from the difficulties faced by each project.

Finally, this paper will posit two specific areas of EU public procurement practice that might benefit from the use of blockchain technology. The first is on data management and accessibility where current solutions have been unsuccessful, such as cross-border certification data as required by the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) and e-Certis or the difficulties with contract data collection and publication. The second, on situations of clear lack of confidence on public powers, where the downsides of blockchain technologies and the costs they entail are an advantage. Even considering these potential scenarios, the overall perspective is that the benefits of blockchain solutions do not really provide much value in the context of public procurement for now…(More)”.

Collection of Case Studies of Institutional Adoption of Citizen Science

About TIME4CS : “The first objective was to increase our knowledge about the actions leading to institutional changes in RPOs (which are necessary to promote CS in science and technology) through a complete and up-to-date picture based upon the identification, mapping, monitoring and analysis of ongoing CS practices. To accomplish this objective, we, the TIME4CS project team, have collected and analysed 37 case studies on the institutional adoption of Citizen Science and Open Science around the world, which this article addresses.

For an organisation to open up and accept data and information that was produced outside it, with a different framework for data collection and quality assurance, there are multiple challenges. These include existing practices and procedures, legal obligations, as well as resistance from within due to framing of such action as a threat. Research that was carried out with multiple international case studies (Haklay et al. 2014; GFDRR 2018), demonstrated the importance of different institutional and funding structures needed to enable such activities and the use of the resulting information…(More)”.

The Food Aid Delivery App

Essay by Trish Bendix: “Between 30 and 40 percent of the US food supply goes to waste each year. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that nearly 80 billion pounds of food end up in landfills annually. This figure takes on a greater significance in the context of another food crisis: food insecurity. More than 10 percent of US households are food insecure, and the nonprofit Feeding America reports that this number will increase due to the economic and unemployment consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The food waste crisis is not new. Wasted, a 2012 report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, recorded Americans’ annual food waste at 40 percent. Horrified by the report’s findings, Leah Lizarondo, a food and health advocate who began her career working in consumer-packaged goods and technology, was inspired to find a solution.

“I tried to figure out why this inefficiency was happening—where the failing was in the supply chain,” Lizarondo says. She knew that consumer-facing businesses such as grocery stores and restaurants were the second-biggest culprits of food waste—behind American households. And even though these businesses didn’t intend to waste food, they lacked the logistics, structures, or incentives to redirect the food surplus to people experiencing food insecurity. Furthermore, because most wasted food is perishable, traditional waste methods didn’t work within the food-banking structure.

“It was so cheap to just throw food in a landfill,” Lizarondo comments. “There’s no legislation [in the United States] that prevents us from doing that, unlike other countries.” For example, France banned food waste in 2016, while Norway has stores that sell food past their sell-by dates, and Asian countries like Japan and South Korea have adopted their own regulations, including the latter charging a fee to citizens for each pound of food waste. Currently, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont are the only US states with legislation enforcing organic waste bans.

In 2016, Lizarondo launched the nonprofit Food Rescue Hero, a technology platform that redirects food waste to the food insecure in cities across America.

Since its launch, Food Rescue Hero has given more than 68 million pounds of food to people in need. Currently, it operates in 12 cities in the United States and Canada, with more than 22,000 drivers volunteering their time….(More)”.

GovTech Case Studies: Solutions that Work

Worldbank: “A series of GovTech case study notes — GovTech Case Studies: Solutions that Work — provides a better understanding of GovTech focus areas by introducing concrete experiences of adopting GovTech solutions, lessons learned and what worked or did not work.

Take a sneak peek at the first set of case studies which explores GovTech solutions implemented in Brazil, Cambodia, Georgia, Lesotho, Myanmar, and Nigeria….


Read Brazil GovTech Case Study…(More)”.

GovTech Practices in the EU

Report by Kuziemski, M., Mergel, I., Ulrich, P. and Martinez, A.: “To support governments in the EU embracing GovTech, this report provides an overview of the diversity of GovTech programmes and shares lessons learnt for setting up government-run GovTech programmes. While the focus of this report is on national GovTech programmes, its findings and conclusions can be applied to others levels of government as well. The term GovTech refers to the use of emerging technologies and digital products and services by government from start-ups and SMEs – instead of relying on large system integrators. This report presents an overview of how the existing GovTech programmes are set up in different EU member states and introduces practical case studies. This is followed by a discussion of the rationale of governments’ investment in GovTech and the barriers countries have encountered when engaging with the GovTech ecosystem. The report then distils important lessons learned for setting up government-run GovTech programmes. This report is aimed at anyone wanting to understand how governments are already supporting GovTech, and especially public sector managers who are looking for a starting point for establishing or improving a GovTech programme. It is part of two twin reports on GovTech developed by the JRC with support from the ISA² programme…(More)”.

A new data deal: the case of Barcelona

Paper by Fernando Monge, Sarah Barns, Rainer Kattel and Francesca Bria: “Cities today are key sites for the operation of global digital marketplaces. It is at the curbsides and the intersections of cities where global digital platforms gain access to valuable urban data to be used in the delivery of data-driven urban services. Signalling an emerging role for city governments in contributing to regulatory responses to global digital platforms, a number of cities have in recent years tested their capacity to reclaim the urban data that is ‘harvested’ and monetised by digital platforms for improved local governance and participation. Focusing on the City of Barcelona, this paper investigates the conditions that enabled Barcelona to pivot from its strong focus on attracting commercial platforms under the rubric of smart city programs, to becoming one of the leading advocates of a citizen-first data rights and data sovereignty agenda. Through a series of interviews with key participants involved in the design and implementation of Barcelona’s data sovereignty program under Mayor Ada Colau, the paper examines the policy and governance instruments deployed by the city to regain access and control over data and discusses the challenges and tensions it faced during the implementation phases of the program. Finally, the paper presents the main lessons of the Barcelona experience for other cities, including a reflection on the role that cities can play in shaping a global agenda around improved data governance….(More)”.

When Do Informational Interventions Work? Experimental Evidence from New York City High School Choice

Paper by Sarah Cohodes, Sean Corcoran, Jennifer Jennings & Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj: “This paper reports the results of a large, school-level randomized controlled trial evaluating a set of three informational interventions for young people choosing high schools in 473 middle schools, serving over 115,000 8th graders. The interventions differed in their level of customization to the student and their mode of delivery (paper or online); all treated schools received identical materials to scaffold the decision-making process. Every intervention reduced likelihood of application to and enrollment in schools with graduation rates below the city median (75 percent). An important channel is their effect on reducing nonoptimal first choice application strategies. Providing a simplified, middle-school specific list of relatively high graduation rate schools had the largest impacts, causing students to enroll in high schools with 1.5-percentage point higher graduation rates. Providing the same information online, however, did not alter students’ choices or enrollment. This appears to be due to low utilization. Online interventions with individual customization, including a recommendation tool and search engine, induced students to enroll in high schools with 1-percentage point higher graduation rates, but with more variance in impact. Together, these results show that successful informational interventions must generate engagement with the material, and this is possible through multiple channels…(More)”.

Open Data Standard and Analysis Framework: Towards Response Equity in Local Governments

Paper by Joy Hsu, Ramya Ravichandran, Edwin Zhang, and Christine Keung: “There is an increasing need for open data in governments and systems to analyze equity at large scale. Local governments often lack the necessary technical tools to identify and tackle inequities in their communities. Moreover, these tools may not generalize across departments and cities nor be accessible to the public. To this end, we propose a system that facilitates centralized analyses of publicly available government datasets through 1) a US Census-linked API, 2) an equity analysis playbook, and 3) an open data standard to regulate data intake and support equitable policymaking….(More)”.

Design for Social Innovation: Case Studies from Around the World

Book edited By Mariana Amatullo, Bryan Boyer, Jennifer May and Andrew Shea: “The United Nations, Australia Post, and governments in the UK, Finland, Taiwan, France, Brazil, and Israel are just a few of the organizations and groups utilizing design to drive social change. Grounded by a global survey in sectors as diverse as public health, urban planning, economic development, education, humanitarian response, cultural heritage, and civil rights, Design for Social Innovation captures these stories and more through 45 richly illustrated case studies from six continents.

From advocating to understanding and everything in between, these cases demonstrate how designers shape new products, services, and systems while transforming organizations and supporting individual growth.

How is this work similar or different around the world? How are designers building sustainable business practices with this work? Why are organizations investing in design capabilities? What evidence do we have of impact by design? Leading practitioners and educators, brought together in seven dynamic roundtable discussions, provide context to the case studies.

Design for Social Innovation is a must-have for professionals, organizations, and educators in design, philanthropy, social innovation, and entrepreneurship. This book marks the first attempt to define the contours of a global overview that showcases the cultural, economic, and organizational levers propelling design for social innovation forward today…(More)”