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6 March 2020 #42

Hello, welcome 👋 

🇫🇷 We’re still looking for French-speaking digital experts to join our affiliates network. We’d like to work with you for 1 to 3 days a week, plus there’ll be opportunity for international travel.

This week I keep revisiting this tweet that looks back on early-day Nike and Apple values. Nike’s ‘business first’ style principles seem to put profit over people, while Apple’s 1977 marketing philosophy still rings true today. To paraphrase: We may have the highest quality and most useful software but if we present it as slipshod, it will be perceived as slipshod. 

💅 Good design = looks awesome + works superbly.


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Ways of working

🆗Practical advice from agile coach Emily Webber on capability profile mapping. Speaking to right people – the ones doing the work rather than a HR department – lets us map skills and capabilities across an organisation and find the gaps. 

💖 Boosting morale – 18F is practising Continual Appreciative Dialogue (CAD) to make sure teams members and stakeholders hear the praise and gratitude they deserve throughout a project. We typically have a Cumulative Appreciative Farewell (CAF) when a project or working relationship is over.

🔮 ‘Tarot cards of tech’ invites you to ‘explore the future’ and consider the possible consequences of your product or service. They ask questions around scaling and disruption, use, as well as equity and access. Cool prompts. Reminded me of Doteveryone’s Consequence scanning.

❓ “Humans tend not to accept new information as easily if we weren't involved in finding it out” say Monzo. So they explained the trick they use to make research findings memorable.

State of technology

🇨🇳 Tech titans v Communism –  China now requires citizens to use software on their smartphones that decides in real time whether they’re allowed into various public spaces. According to the New York Times, personal data is being sent to police – without users’ permission – and asks what this will mean in terms of control and surveillance after the epidemic is over.

💰 Ethics and epidemics – Amazon has told sellers that the prices of their medical face masks are not compliant with their fair pricing policy which states prices must not be “significantly higher than recent prices offered on or off Amazon”. Price tracking company Keepa says generic disposable masks are being sold for almost 4 times what they were only a few weeks ago. 

📹 The state of Utah has given an artificial intelligence company Banjo real-time access to government-owned surveillance, 911 emergency systems and other sensitive data. Banjo’s mission is to alert police to crimes as they happen… Details on how this will happen without putting privacy at risk aren’t clear at the moment.

🌎 And, a possible remedy to the last 2 stories, Doteveryone is working on a learning tool named Navigate to help tech companies anticipate possible dangerous use of geospatial data.


Digital government

☮️ Rose Mortada and James Reeve have written a series of posts about ‘things that are stopping change’. The first post talks about the difficulty in bringing policy and delivery together, the second is about engagement with ministers. Both are balanced – there’s no ‘us v them’ rhetoric. The posts identify, group and explain common challenges in government departments and conclude by offering ‘things we believe could make a difference’. Post 3 on governance is out next week.

🇺🇸 The alpha has come to an end. The team did their final show-and-tell this week, and got a warm response. You can read about the team’s progress – they are really very good at working in the open.

🇨🇦 The Canadian version of Notify (alpha) sent over 10,000 notifications in a day. A version of Notify – a platform developed by the UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS) to send service updates by email and text –  is also being used in Australia. Brazil is working on a version too.

💻 How to buy technology for Michigan Senate. (40 mins > 1 hour 4 mins). Based on ‘Technology budgeting’ published last year which recommends procuring services, not software as a way to minimise risk. Also worth listening to the Q&A afterwards (up to 1 hour 20 mins). “As long as legislators regard technology as some uncontrollable externality, a pit into which money must be shovelled and burned until vendors say “that’ll do”, then important programs will fail.”

🔢 This post explains why the GOV.UK Design System team changed the input type for numbers.

💪 Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans has announced testing for a new digital public services centre will begin in Wales.

News from Public Digital

2 thank you and goodbye-for-nows

👋Thank you Hillary – as she leaves the Government of Ontario, Tom’s post remembers Hillary Hartley’s great leadership. 

👋Gracias José – Dan’s post acknowledges José Clastonik and the digital services built during his 12 years of leadership. Spanish version here.

Some of our international travel plans are on hold for now.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 However, Andrew visited the Scottish government last week to help them with their Common Payments Service programme

🗣️ And Stacey attended a workshop by Principles for Digital Development alongside people from Digital Impact Alliance and Department for International Development and others. 
👋If you have any feedback or suggestions you can leave it in this google form. It's anonymous by default.
We’re Public Digital. We work for governments and large organisations around the world to help them adapt to the internet era. 

We are based in London but operate globally. If you'd like to work with us, there's more on our website about what we do. Or email 👋.
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