Open Source Government: Development and Strengthening of Local and Central Public Administrations

I just got back from Sarajevo, where I participated as speaker to an advanced course in web communications in the Public Administration. The course, aimed at public operators from Bosnia-Herzegovina, was designed to be an in-depth analysis on the use of Open Source in Public Administrations.

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I had the honor of presenting two seminar sessions, talking about Open Standards and Open Source Software. I opened my first speech focusing on what is a software patent, and how they (could) affect open data standards. I spent an hour or so talking about on Open Source Requirements, Principles and Practices and making analogies with the real world (power plugs, etc).

My second pitch was all about pragmatic open source. I started speaking about how Organisational Wiki Adoption could greatly help communications and information flows within Public Administrations. The audience was pretty interested and we eventually ended comparing email, Instant Messaging and Groove against a wiki, in terms of usability, synchronicity of interaction and ease of participation.

Attendees were concerned about the Open Source perception, and open source support, and I showed them some useful tools to manage software selections. Since only few open source projects offer enterprise support, I make them familiar with:

I really enjoyed being there. The audience, despite the latency due to the translation, was participative and willing to know more and more.

Is a country of contrast, where people died together, and now try to live together. A very interesting country, and I really hope to get a chance to be back.

About the Communications for the Public Administration course.

The project “Balkans 2 – Development and Strengthening central and local PA in the Balkan Region” is aimed to 6 Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro) and continues the activities already started up and partly developed with the Balkans 1 project which was held from November 3rd to December 31st 2004. This is an integrated project of “Institutional and Capacity Building” aimed to civil servants and executives from central and local Balkan administrations, divided into diverse activities of technical assistance, classroom and on-the-job training, information and communications on themes which have been identified and agreed upon together with the institutional counterparts of the involved countries on the occasion of numerous missions and meeting realized during the first year of activities. The dedicated areas are the following:- Civil Protection- Management of Protected Areas- Cultural Heritage- Communications for the Public Administration.

Technorati Tags: Sarajevo, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Open Source Government, Open Standards, QSOS, SourceForge