digital transformation

How a Government Organisation Evolved to Embrace Ethnographic Methods for Service (and Team) Resilience: The Case of the Canadian Digital Service

Presentation slide: photograph of a diverse group of people waiting outside a building with a "Service Canada sign", most are wearing masks.
MITHULA NAIK Canadian Digital Service, Treasury Board Secretariat, Government of Canada COLIN MACARTHUR Universita’ Bocconi Government websites and online services are often built with limited input from the people they serve. This approach limits their ability to respond to ever changing needs and contexts. This case study describes a government digital team built from the ground up to embrace ethnographic methods to make government services more resilient. The case study begins by tracing the organisation’s origins and relationship to other research-driven parts of its government. Then it shows how the organisation’s structure evolved as more projects included ethnography. It describes various approaches to locating skilled researchers within bureaucratic confines, as well as what responsibilities researchers took on as the organisation grew. It then summarises researchers’ experiences with matrixed, functional and hybrid organisation schemes. The case study concludes explaining how embracing ethnographic approaches...

Designing and Envisioning a More Resilient Social System: How to Start from What’s Good to Create Something Better in Public Services

Presentation slide: diagram called "Service Concepts: Forecast & ideate". It looks like a colorful flow chart but it is too small to read.
SOFIA CARVALHO With Company Segurança Social (Portugal’s Social Security System) offers multiple service channels to the people. However, they were not perceived as a whole because the assistance was not standard, depending on the channel or person answering – leading to cumulative problems that could take months to resolve. We faced the complex nature of a big governmental organization. Our research made us more aware of people’s general reluctance towards public institutions as they tend to expect poor quality service. We used the information from field research to create four prototypes that would bring tangible results to citizens and impact the institution’s culture in the long term. Segurança Social has always been about resilience: the organization itself and the people it serves. Despite its flaws and fragilities, it’s the social system that allows many to thrive. That’s why we envisioned the system’s sustainability, rooted in the workers’ resilience and processes. Keywords: Public Services, Digital...

The Ethnography of a ‘Decentralized Autonomous Organization’ (DAO): De-mystifying Algorithmic Systems

Slide from presentation: A cartoonish drawing of a dumpster in an alley with eyes and a smile, half open, with flames coming out of the open side. Label underneath dumpster sayd "Governance". Slide title is "The Field Site: 'Decentralized Autonomous Organization' (DAO)... A.k.a:"
KELSIE NABBEN RMIT University, Centre for Automated Decision Making & Society / BlockScience MICHAEL ZARGHAM WU Vienna / BlockScience This paper details ethnographic methods, experiences, and insights from an ethnographer and an industry engaged complex systems engineer in how to study resilience in blockchain-based DAOs as a novel field site. Amidst digitization of numerous elements of government, work, and everyday life, ‘Decentralized Autonomous Organizations’ (DAOs) provide a field site for the generation of ethnographic insights into opportunities and limitations in organizational resilience in human-machine assemblages. As a broad organizational form, DAOs aim to enable people to coordinate and govern themselves through automated rules deployed on a public blockchain (Hassan & Di Filippi, 2021). DAOs are an experiment in ‘computer aided governance’. These adaptive, socio-technical infrastructures are envisioned as capable of restructuring the foundations of governance in human societies (Merkle, 2016;...