At least in some respects
🇮🇹 Italy has launched the National Index of Digital Domiciles, essentially it’s a contact details proxy for government services to message people via a certified email address. An alternative to the ‘tell us once’ model of cascading contact details across government? (Italy has also been actively working on data exchange).
🇮🇳 Bhashini is an AI/ML based platform for translating government services into different Indian languages and providing speech-to-speech interfaces. Nice to be able to point to a practical implementation rather than hype.
🏴 The Scottish government is developing a place for storing and managing access to digital credentials called MySafe. It’s unclear it will follow a centralised model like DigiLocker, or device only. (The trade-offs between those models need to be better understood by those implementing digital wallets).
- 🇮🇹 233 schools in Italy have used a standardised design systems and templates to create their online presence. There is a similar model design for municipalities. A small jump from there is a common platform for schools?
🇬🇧 The UK government has posted an update about the devlelopment of it’s authentication and identity verification platform GOV.UK One Login which is in use by 8 services.
- 🇬🇧 £100 million is heading Delloitte’s way to attempt to deliver the UK’s post-Brexit ‘single trade window’ platform. Hopefully there is a plan to start small.
Thinking aloud - transparency infrastructure for digital services
The app store’s public version histories explains new functionality. There is a (public) feedback mechanism in the form of ratings and comments. There are often some screenshots showing what a user can expect. information about the organisation operating the service is consistently presented and the ‘privacy labels’ attempt to explain how data is used.
What information should digital public services routinely publish and link to? It probably falls into 3 buckets:
The raw materials the service is made up from (UI, data, code, releases) and how they are changing over time
Information about the team responsible for the service (blog posts, roadmaps, feedback mechanisms)
Policy and legislation underpinning the service
The practice of platforms
💳 Aaron Unger and Nancy Norris on data exchange, digital wallets and trust in British Columbia. Includes a screen design for a court services requesting a user shares their personal details.
Seamless design Designing the seams
Software is politics
“States have been encouraged by the federal government to use techniques to reduce burdens, by, for example, using administrative data to automatically re-enroll people who are clearly eligible”
“the United States and India will explore how to partner together and align our efforts to advance the development and deployment of robust DPIs, including appropriate safeguards to protect, privacy, data security and intellectual property. They will explore developing a U.S.-India Global Digital Development Partnership, which would bring together technology and resources from both countries to enable development and deployment of DPIs in developing countries.”
“Much has been written from an economic perspective about whether automation will eliminate jobs, decrease wages, contribute to job growth, or “create as many jobs as it destroys over time.” However, less attention has been given to thinking about how these technologies will affect our politics.”
- 🌍 The rise of digital parking apps in the UK mean that people with vehicles that damage the climate and air the most can be charged more to park. (Digital creates new policy patterns).
A response to the US/Indian digital partnership (see above) from campaigner Srinivas Kodali who points out, among other things, that countries from the Global North are supporting the adoption of tech that they have historically not have been willing to accept at home:
These solutions will not function the same way in the Global North as they would in the Global South where democratic systems are often fragile. Our privacy and other human rights will continue to be collateral damage in some rich man’s vision for the world.
OECD Recommendation on the Governance of Digital Identity
The final version of this has now been adopted. To pick just two of the recommendations:
Don’t just focus on government services:
“both the public and private sector contribute to the success of digital identity systems, and that their roles and relative contributions in the digital identity ecosystem might be different across countries”
and think about the long-term implications of technical architecture
“consider the longer-term implications of introducing new technologies and architectural paradigms into digital identity systems, including with an awareness of any potential unintended risks and consequences”
There’s lots for user-centred design folks to chew on in this report, including some areas that will be increasingly important for next-generation service design:
Designing appeals processes - how can these be as well designed as the core user journey?
Automated eligibility - how can services use automation for the benefit of users?
Explaining complex calculations - how can this be done in a way that people can understand and plan?
Designing forgiving forms - draft applications and partially completed forms (easy on paper, less so on a screen)
Proof of benefits - how should people prove this in a digital way?
Access after account closed - just because someone is not longer using a services, does not mean they don’t need to access it.
Audit trails - what tools should users have to understand their past interactions with government? (Interestingly, at the launch event a member of parliament said that constituents regularly come in and present their Universal Credit ‘Journal’ to explain their situation.
There are clearly different models of digital wallets emerging. India’s DigiLocker takes a centralised approach providing a “shareable private space on a public cloud” with “authentication, consent, audits, and other security best practices”. This framework dates from 2016, but is a good summary of the approach.
Interestingly there is consideration of adoption by legacy systems. The aim is to work with what agencies do now, not insisting on full digitisation of existing processes:
Issuers can also choose to digitize older documents without having a machine readable representation and allow a verifiable and secure access to older (legacy) documents. They can focus on new e-documents in machine readable format while progressively providing digitization of older (existing) documents.
Platforms designed not to be predicated on a service redesign = good adoption strategy.