Intended for those interested in public policy and service delivery, this course provides a broad overview of emerging opportunities, challenges and risks created by information technology in the public sector. Interested students can select among the following three options (credits vary):
Section A: Michael Flowers: Foundations of Digital Government (Fall; 4.0 credits). This course provides a pragmatic overview of the emerging opportunities, challenges and risks created by public sector use of digital platforms to provide resident services and manage internal processes. Through in-depth analyses of public sector technology efforts at the municipal, state, national and international levels in areas ranging from business regulation and emergency response to the use of digital platforms during the CoVID-19 pandemic, the course will emphasize the cultural, political, legal/regulatory and operational implications of “going digital.”? Among other issues, the course will address the rise and evolution of the digital government phenomenon, data as a public sector enterprise asset, the challenges created by new demands on the civil service model, and security and privacy concerns. In the final session of the course, students will place themselves in the role of resident, elected official and civil service technocrat in an emergency scenario requiring the rapid creation and deployment of digital solutions.
Section B: Charles Worthington: The Role of Technology and Design in Government Service Delivery (Spring 1; 2.0 credits). Effective use of technology and design is a core requirement for modern governments. This course will introduce students to the fundamental technical concepts, processes, and management theories used to manage the systems on which modern governments depend. Students will gain an understanding of tactics that have proved to be successful, common failure patterns, and the unique challenges and risks posed by technology that modern government leaders must consider. Concept such as cloud computing, machine learning, product management, human-centered design, and APIs will be illuminated with case studies and hands-on experience from leading practitioners in the digital government field.
Section C: Ayushi Roy: Building Products, Programs and Policies for the Public (Spring 2; 2.0 credits). Digital government is about both product and practice, or service delivery and governance design. The delivery of critical services to millions of people has changed from in-person offices, to mail, to online forms and even mobile applications. The proliferation of new products to digitally deliver public services has concurrently sparked an uptick in new governance practices. This course introduces the power of technology design and development practices (shared in Charles Worthington’s Spring 1 Course) to further shape service delivery, government operations, policymaking, and civic trust. This course explores the evolution of digital government, its practices and real-world impacts, and provides a peek into the future of this growing field. Students will gain an analytical framework for developing new and more equitable approaches to building things – products, programs, organizational culture, and policies – that better serve people. The goal of this course is to empower students who may not identify as technical to work within or adjacent to digital government teams, and imagine new thoughtful approaches to complex public problems, in a manner that prioritizes people over politics and bureaucracy.
Please note, students cannot take more than one section of "Digital Government" (DPI-662/662M) for credit.