Public sector digital government syllabus launched

A new syllabus - Teaching Public Service in a Digital Age - was released yesterday into the wild under a Creative Commons Licence, with the aim of supporting the development of the skills required now to be effective in the era of digital government.

David+EavesDeveloped by a Who’s Who of leading public administration academics from around the world, and orchestrated by Harvard Kennedy School’s Professor David Eaves, the syllabus seeks to equip students with the digital competences required in the “digital era” which they say has “unambiguosly arrived”.

You can listen to Professor David Eaves talk about the development of the syllabus, and how it can be used in the replay of his presentation from the GovX Digital conference in November.

The syllabus prioritises eight competencies which attempt to define the new baseline skills all public service leaders should have regardless of their other capabilities, and regardless of their role in public service leadership.

These reflect the consensus of 20 digital government specialists from 10 countries - including Tom Steinberg, mySociety founder, and Dr Tanya Filer, University of Cambridge - across three continents, on what aspects of digital-era capability were truly essential for all public service leaders to have, versus those that were 'nice to have'.

The competences are:

  1. Understanding user needs in order to design, test, and adopt effective solutions

  2. Can anticipate and mitigate the privacy, security and ethical risks of digital government

  3. Understands the need to blend traditional public service skills with modern, digital skills

  4. Understands the importance of iteration and rapid feedback loops

  5. Able to identify opportunities to improve government performance

  6. Can use a range of techniques and tools to make government more open, collaborative and accountable

  7. Understands how to use data to inform decisions, design and run services, and create public value

  8. Understands evolving digital technologies and how they can be used to improve public outcomes

The first two syllabus teaching units have been published, along with teaching notes and example lessons - and a further seven units will follow in a matter of weeks.

You can also listen to one of the “core contributors” Honey Dacanay, Director of the Digital Academy at the Canada School of Public Service, speaking at the November GovX Digital conference about Rebuilding Trust in Government: Asking the Ultimate Awkward Question.

Also Read