Report: European W3C Symposium on eGovernment

El triángulo mágico

Es poca la importancia real que le damos en la región a lo que está pasando con los estándares en los foros técnicos mundiales. Hace poco en LACNIC X uno de los participantes mencionó que este año sólo se presentaron tres trabajos de Latino América en IETF el máximo foro de debate de tecnología IP, donde ingenieros de todo el mundo trabajan y deciden los estándares que hacen funcionar Internet.

Cuando a mi alrededor se me ocurre mencionar al W3Consortium, el foro donde se construyen los estándares y lenguaje que definen la Web, no encuentro a muchos que sepan del tema.

Sin embargo todo el tiempo se habla de interoperabilidad, usabilidad y se toman desiciones, sin entender la relación que los estándares y su génesis tienen en estos temas. En los Estados, en la ciudadanía debería preocuparnos tener incidencia política y técnica en su orígen, como participantes activos, para que no tengamos que adaptarnos luego a modelos que no respondan a nuestra realidad.

Por su importancia me atrevo a reproducir el reporte final en Inglés de un encuentro sobre Gobierno Electrónico que se realizó este año durante la Feria Internacional de Muestras de Asturias (FIDMA)en Gijoón, España. Si recorren los archivos y documentos presentados encontrarán valiosas herramientas para el trabajo cotidiano de comprender un poco mejor el sentido de la innovación y los estándares en la administración pública.

Aprovecho y menciono el próximo organizado por la “United States National Academy of Sciences” realizará en Washington DC, entre 18 – 19 de Junio 2007 el “Toward More Transparent Government Workshop on eGovernment and the Web”. Ojalá que alguien pueda asistir.
On February 1 and 2, 2007, W3C Spain Office held an European W3C Symposium on eGovernment in the Feria Internacional de Muestras de Asturias (FIDMA) at the Palacio de Congresos (International Trade Fair of Asturias), in Gijón, Spain, to understand specific government and citizens’ needs related to delivery of eGovernment services over the Web, identify aspects that put Web interoperability at risk and learn how governments can deliver better and more efficient services through computer technologies.

The symposium program had 11 invited talks and 4 panels, structured into four sessions. Most speakers came from European Governments and organizations that work closely with them. Attendance was free and open to the public.

Pueden encontrar todos las presentaciones y archivos de los documentos en:
http://www.w3.org/2007/eGov/symposium-spain-report#archives

The first session was an introductory one and the reminding three had three talks each showing the point of view of the governments, citizens and organizations. After the talks there was a panel for each session to discuss issues raised during the talks and take questions from the audience.

Participants considered a number of issues that affect eGovernment today, mainly the lack of interoperability, Web accessibility, need of Best Practices, privacy and identity theft issues, and others. These issues surfaced during several talks and panels. Some projects on how to deal with them were presented.

There is a big difference between electronic services and “old” or “paper-based” ones. Governments seem to build the electronic ones starting from the old ones, and this does not work as expected. Electronic ones require a procedural change and a totally different approach to be effective; they should not be constraint by old ones.

The organizational/political layer and the technical one should work closely together to achieve fully electronic services and real eGovernment. Sometimes it is hard for the IT layer to influence the political one, but this is a must to succeed, eGovernment has to transform procedures at all levels to work efficiently. Bottom-up approaches from IT, solving small things and showing the benefit to the political layer could show a win-win situation and achieve more interaction and better understanding between layers.

Some technologies such as XML and Web Services are much used to develop eServices. Others such as the Semantic Web are only starting to show their potential. Semantic Web is perceived as powerful but expensive and complicated, although has the potential to solve problems at a high level, and could be the right tool to cooperate between organizational/political and IT layers.

There was a recurring question from the audience to W3C Staff Members during the symposium: “what will W3C do for eGovernment?”. Staff Members made a lot of effort explaining how W3C works, that the symposium was an event organized to find out what the community needs from W3C. The community should not “wait and see”; it needs to engage in such an effort from the inside and from the very beginning, participating actively. Such cooperation would make this effort a success for all the interested parties.

Governments have many common problems and they should share and cooperate to solve them, and not solve them independently a thousand times. Sharing and cooperation is in the road to success.

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