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Re: eGov IG, Multi-Channel Delivery, second draft, with a little update

From: Catherine Roy <croy@communautique.qc.ca>
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 14:34:10 -0400
Message-ID: <49E628A2.7040505@communautique.qc.ca>
To: "Miguel A. Amutio Gómez" <miguel.amutio@map.es>
CC: 'eGovIG' <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
Hi,

On this latest proposal, I have the following comments.

Sub-section "How Can Multi-Channel Delivery Be Achieved?"

I would suggest adding a bullet that suggests the use of accessibility 
guidelines (such as WCAG) or related government accessibility standards 
(such as Section 508 in the US, CLF-Accessibility in Canada, RGAA in 
France, etc., depending on where you are).

Sub-section "Accessibility"

I must reiterate that this whole section does not work if you are to 
keep it with the heading "Accessibility". What is being talked about in 
this sub-section is *Access* of which accessibility is a part.

For WAI's definition of accessibility, please see [1].

For W3C's definition of access for all or what they are now calling the 
“Web for Everyone” (what they used to call “universal access”[2]), 
please see [3].

As it stands now, you are redefining one of W3C's already accepted 
definitions for the concept of accessibility.

I would also suggest that reference to section 508 be removed from this 
section as I imagine this document does not only address US concerns.

Finally, I think the first paragraph, which seems to be adapted from my 
e-mail from last night, only adds to the confusion and was not meant to 
introduce this sub-section in this manner. It should therefore be removed.

Best regards,


Catherine
--

[1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/accessibility.php
[2] http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Points/
[3] http://www.w3.org/Consortium/mission

-- 
Catherine Roy
Chargée de projets
Communautique
514.948.6644, poste 222
http://www.communautique.qc.ca


Miguel A. Amutio Gómez wrote:
> Hello all,
>
> I have added a little thing.
>
> There is a paragraph about the investigation whether the service can 
> be divided into distinct steps and explaining that sometimes the full 
> transaction could take several steps which might involve different 
> channels.
>
> I have added an example:
>
> For instance, in order to renew the citizen´s ID card in Spain an 
> appointment can be made through a web site, then the citizen may 
> receive a confirmation with an SMS message through the mobile phone 
> and then the last step is made face to face in an office of the 
> administration.
>
> Best regards,
> Miguel A.
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> *Multi-Channel Delivery*
>
> The objectives of this issue are as follows:
>
>    *
>
>       /Identify ways to facilitate the deployment, delivery and
>       availability of multi-channel services by governments:/ Identify
>       any gaps to be filled in creating a complete suite of standards
>       to enable services that can be located, accessed and consumed by
>       all potential users, through different networks, terminal
>       devices or platforms and interfaces, satisfying quality and
>       security conditions.
>
>    *
>
>       /Gather information about best practices in multi-channel
>       delivery of public services./
>
> *What is Multi-Channel Delivery?*
>
> Channels are different means used by service providers to interact 
> with and deliver services to their user community. Multi-channel 
> service delivery is the provision of services through different 
> networks, terminal devices or platforms and interfaces, in an 
> integrated and coordinated way, with comparable levels of user 
> friendliness.
>
> Governments, like other sectors, also interact with citizens through 
> different channels, from the traditional ones such as the counter or 
> face-to-face and postal delivery to the electronic channels such as 
> Internet web-sites, e-mail, SMS-messaging, fixed phone, mobile phone, 
> interactive voice response systems, digital television, fax, 
> self-service terminals (ATMs), etc. Governments also have challenges 
> in relation to the elimination of barriers in the access to their 
> services and in relation to the provision of choices about how to 
> access their information and services.
>
> Mobile devices, digital TV and others are opening new ways of 
> interaction between citizens and governments, so that electronic 
> services are no longer limited to the PC. This is possible thanks to 
> the evolution of terminal devices with better features in terms of 
> processing capacity, memory, power autonomy, screen size and quality, 
> on one side and to the improvement of networks, protocols and mark-up 
> languages on the other side.
>
> Industry and citizens are getting used to these new electronic 
> channels taking advantage of their possibilities and new services and 
> there is an expectation that governments may be able to do the same.
>
> These new electronic channels require the adoption of new 
> architectures and systems able to provide the top of their 
> functionalities.
>
> The Web is a main channel to access government services permanently 
> available and it should be possible to offer the citizens such 
> services through any device incorporating Internet access. This would 
> allow a significant increase in the usage of government services by 
> means of any kind of widespread channels such as PDA,s, smartphones, 
> WAP, WebTV, and others; in this way the access to government services 
> would be really anyhow, anywhere, anytime through mobile devices.
>
> Governments should clearly prioritize distribution and accessibility 
> options which do not pose barriers which would result decrease the 
> amount of information distribution. At the same time some 
> consideration to disabled users, users without high bandwidth and high 
> cost devices, as well as devices, platforms and websites with smaller 
> audiences should be taken for high priority information as well as 
> possible on-demand conversion services. A low-barrier method which 
> could serve as a base from which to achieve these accomodations would 
> be a central text-based multimedia index feed containing hyperlinks to 
> content in open formats. This feed would be searchable from both text 
> based mobile and internet browsers and contain context information 
> which would allow replication of the content posting which were 
> created on non-government websites by government officials.
>
> *What Public Policy Outcomes are Related to Multi-Channel Delivery?*
>
> Multi-channel policies developed by governments generally address the 
> following goals:
>
>    *
>
>       /Facilitating e-Inclusion, avoiding digital divide and reaching
>       the disadvantaged citizens/. For instance, the Lisbon
>       Ministerial Declaration [MD-LISBON]
>       <http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/egovernment/docs/lisbon_2007/ministerial_declaration_180907.pdf>
>       refers to multi-channel delivery in relation to inclusive
>       eGovernment. Also, the ICT PSP work programme 2009 [EC-CIP]
>       <http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/ict_psp/index_en.htm%20>*
>       *focus the multi-channel service delivery to the socially
>       disadvantaged and opens this entry explaining that one third of
>       the European population is currently considered socially
>       disadvantaged, most of it suffering from multiple difficulties
>       leading to social exclusion (economic, physical, cultural,
>       geographical factors etc.).
>
>    *
>
>       /A closer government to the citizens, providing transparency and
>       openness and expanding citizen participation/ in public policy
>       decision making. The Obama administration's memo on Transparency
>       and Open Government [OB-MEMO
>       <http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment/>]
>       emphasizes these questions. Also it is an issue in the the
>       Lisbon Ministerial Declaration [MD-LISBON].
>       <http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/egovernment/docs/lisbon_2007/ministerial_declaration_180907.pdf>
>
>    *
>
>       /Making available egovernment services to large part of the
>       population. /This is specially interesting in countries with low
>       computer penetration as explained in the case of the
>       “Multi-channel Citizen Service Centers in Greece” [EV-PAPA]
>       <http://www.epractice.eu/en/cases/csckep%20>. It has to be taken
>       into account the world wide expansion of mobile networks and the
>       forecast that by the end of 2010 there may be four billion
>       people in the world with access to a mobile phone.
>
>    *
>
>       /Expanding citizen´s choice/, extending and providing citizen
>       centric and personalized services; also referred in [EC-CIP].
>       <http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/ict_psp/index_en.htm%20>
>
>    *
>
>       Multi-channel delivery of government services in support to the
>       process of /combined service delivery across different
>       administrations/, also referred in [EC-CIP].
>       <http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/ict_psp/index_en.htm%20>
>
>    *
>
>       /Reusing data and applications independently from the channel/,
>       reducing the costs of providing services, included in policies
>       oriented to efficiency and effectiveness.
>
> *What are the Main Benefits of Multi-Channel Delivery?*
>
> Main benefits of multi-channel delivery may be for the user community 
> and for the service provider:
>
>    *
>
>       An increase of /flexibility/ in terms of anytime, anywhere,
>       anyhow and accessibility for the user.
>
>    *
>
>       An increase of the /choice /according to the user´s preferences;
>       access to the same information and services through different
>       channels.
>
>    *
>
>       /Wider usage and impact /of government services; a higher
>       population or user community reached by government services.
>
>    *
>
>       /Cost savings/ along the delivery chain for the service provider.
>
>    *
>
>       /Quicker deployment of services through new or additional
>       channels/ which may provide easy, accurate and personalized
>       content delivery.
>
>    *
>
>       /Integration of government services/ in the front-office.
>
> *How Can Multi-Channel Delivery Be Achieved?*
>
>    *
>
>       /Developing a multi-channel strategy./
>
> As a starting point governments develop strategies so that the access 
> to their Web sites may be available through mobile devices offering 
> more choice to citizens. More global approaches design strategies 
> which combine face to face offices, call centers and web sites, as in 
> the case of the multichannel initiative consisting in a website 
> (www.060.es), a network of offices (more than 1.600 in March 2009), 
> and a telephone number in Spain [Red060] 
> <multichannel%20initiative%20consisting%20in%20a%20website%20%28www.060.es%29,%20a%20network%20of%20offices%20%28more%20than%201.600%20in%20March%202009%29,%20and%20a%20telephone%20number.> 
> and the Multi-channel Citizen Service Centers in Greece [EV-PAPA] 
> <http://www.epractice.eu/en/cases/csckep%20>, with equivalent 
> experiences to this one in other countries.
>
> The study about “Multi-channel delivery of government services” 
> elaborated by the Program IDA of the European Commission [EC-MCD] 
> <http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/en/document/3119> elaborates on how to 
> develop a multi-channel strategy; this study includes a list of 
> possible channels with their main features, proposes a channel 
> selection framework and provides implementation guidelines of the 
> multi-channel strategy. This implementation may require a number of 
> steps such like the following:
>
>    *
>
>       Identify candidate services for multi-channel delivery.
>
>    *
>
>       Investigate whether the service can be divided into distinct
>       steps. Given one service, sometimes one specific channel can
>       satisfy the full transaction; in other cases the full
>       transaction could take several steps which might involve
>       different channels. For instance, in order to renew the
>       citizen´s ID card in Spain an appointment can be made through a
>       web site, the citizen may receive a confirmation with an SMS
>       message through the mobile and then the last step is made face
>       to face in an office of the administration.
>
>    *
>
>       Carry out research and segmentation of the target user community.
>
>    *
>
>       Analyze organizational changes including business processes,
>       back end and front end applications, staffing.
>
>    *
>
>       Analyze technical solutions.
>
>    *
>
>       Determine the channels to be implemented.
>
>    *
>
>       Quantification and evaluation. Statistics of access through the
>       different channels enabled.
>
>    *
>
>
>         /Using standards: /URI, XML, XHTML, WML, SOAP, WSDL, ...
>
>    *
>
>
>         /Using the Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0/ [W3C-MOBILE]
>         <%20http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/%20> : Design for One Web,
>         rely on Web standards, stay away from known hazards, be
>         cautious of device limitations, optimize navigation, check
>         graphics & colors, keep it small, use the network sparingly,
>         help & guide user input, think of users on the go. And verify
>         the result [W3C-VALIDATOR] <http://validator.w3.org/mobile/%20>.
>
> *What are the Main Issues and Limitations with Multi-Channel Delivery?*
>
> *General requirements of the user and of the provider*
>
>    *
>
>       /General requirements of the user, /as pointed out in [EC-MCD]
>       <http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/en/document/3119>: flexibility,
>       accessibility, usability (easy to use), quality, security.
>
> Some of them are specially relevant like security providing trust, and 
> simplicity so that the content may have a similar appearance from any 
> device, providing transparency from the point of view of the user.
>
> Many people uses the mobile phone only for phone calls and are not 
> aware of the rest of possibilities of the device, because its 
> operation may result difficult for them. This inhibiting factor 
> decreases the usage of the offered services. For instance, trying to 
> write an URL in a mobile may be a difficult task because certain 
> characters (“@”, “/”, “?”, “&”, “:”, …) are hard to find and the 
> writing task is generally troublesome. The user usually has to 
> remember a crowd of short numbers, key words, URLs, while using 
> impulsively a mobile device with low help capabilities and requiring a 
> quick answer to solve an specific problem.
>
>    *
>
>       /General requirements of the service provider, /as pointed out
>       in [EC-MCD] <http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/en/document/3119>:
>       efficiency, effectiveness, security.
>
> *Limitation of mobile devices and adaptation of information and 
> services provided*
>
>    *
>
>       /Limitations of mobile devices/, as listed in [WIK-MB-LIM]
>       <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_Internet%20>/: /Small
>       screen size, Lack of windows, Navigation, Lack of Javascript and
>       cookies, Types of pages accessible, Speed, Broken pages,
>       Compressed pages, Size of messages, Cost - the access and
>       bandwidth charges, Location of mobile user, Situation in which
>       ad reaches user.
>
>    *
>
>       /Adaptation to the access to the Web through mobile devices/,
>       which may require, between others, the reduction of download
>       traffic and the processing consume, because of the need to keep
>       the battery, reduce the cost by traffic and the time response
>       perceived by the user when used intensively or when downloading
>       contents.
>
> The ideal scenario is that introduction of new electronic channels 
> would be as non-intrusive as possible; for instance without having to 
> modify content managers used for the production of information for the 
> Web.
>
> This may require the deployment of intermediate elements which adapt 
> or format the content taken out from the web appropriately according 
> to the kind of device involved in the transaction.
>
>    *
>
>       /Management of contents that can not be showed in a mobile
>       device/, have a large size very costly to download and memory
>       consuming (images, PDF documents).
>
> *Coordination and integration of different channels*
>
>    *
>
>       /Coordination and integration of different channels/ is
>       necessary to provide a focus on the user, a consistent approach
>       to data and databases available or shared by all channels and
>       consistent look and feel.
>
>    *
>
>       /Interoperability/, discussed above in this /note/.
>
> *Accessibility*
>
> Accessibility has already been well-documented and defined by W3C, 
> through WAI, as well as by other related stake-holders. The following 
> paragraphs discusses the problem when it lumps together device 
> (interoperability), bandwidth (connectivity) and access by persons 
> with disabilities (accessibility) within the general concept of 
> Accessibility, but in any case within the concept of universal access 
> or universality (also traditionally defined by W3C).
>
> Accessibility is determined by 3 factors:
>
>    *
>
>       device,
>
>    *
>
>       bandwidth,
>
>    *
>
>       and user disability in using the device (commonly known as 508
>       standards in the US).
>
> Device and bandwidth issues together with the lack of accessibility 
> are typically talked about as the ‘digital divide’. Both wider 
> broadband distribution and accessibility of information on mobile 
> devices can help to solve this issue.
>
> One of the ways in which governments are broadening broadband access 
> is through free internet enabled computers at libraries and kiosks. 
> The type of access which is made widely available to citizens for free 
> at public locations as well as the bandwidth and devices available at 
> the lowest price points should be considered when choosing data 
> standards, platforms, devices and websites for the bulk of information 
> through social media channels. If broadly available access is not 
> compatible with how the majority of a country’s citizens use the 
> internet, then clearly public internet access is not adequate.
>
> The lower costs devices and the lower costs access in most countries 
> means that whether a website or platform makes text based information 
> available on low cost mobile platforms should be taken into account. 
> While most platforms are multi-media, there is still often the 
> opportunity to provide some information in text form for mobile access.
>
> The availability of multimedia information should also be announced 
> and searchable through text based services so that users who have 
> limited access to multimedia enabled workstations, can find out about 
> resources they need and go to a kiosk or library which access is 
> available. To prevent those without full access even to discover what 
> is available would effectively block its use, since time and context 
> when accessing the public internet is limited.
>
> *Conditions about the reuse of government information*
>
>    *
>
>       /Conditions about the reuse of government information by the
>       public/, as explained in [GSA-TRAN]
>       <http://www.usaservices.gov/events_news/documents/Transparency.pdf%20>.
>
>    *
>
>       /Multi-Channel Distribution Standards./
>
> In an age of connected data, standards are not just about the format 
> of information but are also about accessible and fair distribution. 
> That having been said, a balance must be achieved so that distribution 
> of information does not become a barrier limiting the amount of 
> information which is distributed.
>
> In the digital age, information is key to both economic and social 
> development of societies. Therefore, governments need to prioritize 
> making the most information available through broadly distributed 
> channels over limiting information in order to make it most broadly 
> accessible and distributed. This is a classic 90/10 effort issue, 
> where the last 10% of effort to broaden distribution and accessibility 
> to near perfection would take 90% of the effort. Too often governments 
> have opted for an all or none method in information distribution and 
> it has resulted in less distribution and a lesser good for the public 
> as a whole. The amount of information is too vast given the current 
> state of information storage formats and technology to make all 
> information accessible through all conceivable methods and channels. 
> Accepting this fact and opening up government data needs to be the 
> priority.
>
> That having been said accessibility should not be discarded but rather 
> a system should be in place to determine which information warrants 
> the broadest, most accessible distribution and which information 
> should be posted but does not warrant extra effort to increase 
> accessibility. (Of course in both cases, the format chosen should be a 
> non-proprietary one so that the public may redistribute the 
> information if it chooses.) Concern for accessibility may be handled 
> by providing a government sponsored service which can provide specific 
> data in more accessible formats on demand.
>
> This is not a radical departure from traditional accommodations but 
> rather a continuation of choices which have become routine. An 
> excellent example to understand how this is an extension of existing 
> policies is to consider library books and the blind in the US. Library 
> books for the sighted are more widely available and more easily 
> accessible at libraries across the country, but Braille versions of 
> books can be accessed on demand through the Library of Congress’ 
> National Library Service for the Blind and Handicapped. A similar 
> program could be developed for on-demand access of multimedia material 
> for the handicapped. That having been said, basic accommodations which 
> can easily be built into websites to promote accessibility should be 
> addressed with social media providers by encouraging broad 
> accessibility to their material and links should be provide on 
> multimedia home pages on how to request more accessible versions such 
> as closed captioned videos.
>
>    *
>
>       /Fair distribution./
>
> Fair distribution refers to the issue if government distributed 
> content through selected websites, platforms or devices creates an 
> unfair advantage for a particular device, platform, distribution 
> network, or website. It seems appropriate for governments to not have 
> to expend resources on wide distribution if the bulk of the intended 
> audience is on one platform or website, but some consideration should 
> be taken so that governments do not become unintentional monopoly 
> makers through their social media distribution choices. Again this 
> consideration should not take priority over wide distribution of the 
> bulk of information but be a factor in making policy choices.
>
> The nature of social media information is that it is posted on 
> locations which are not on government servers or control and is 
> distributed though social connections not through formal 
> organizations. Social media information is distributed on websites 
> which choose whom to allow access to the website and which behaviors 
> are acceptable for participation. Also a user’s activity and 
> connections on a social media website determines to some extent how 
> much exposure they receive to information available on that site. For 
> instance, someone is who is a friend of a person who participates in 
> government discussion boards will be more likely to be exposed to 
> government distributed information and the fact of its availability 
> than someone who is not similarly friended. Likewise, people who 
> belong to communities who choose to participate in smaller online 
> venues will not be exposed to the government distributed information 
> on the larger venues. For instance, what about the parent who blocks 
> Youtube on the household computer because of objectional material? 
> Some consideration to the unevenness of social media distribution 
> should be made.
>
> *Multi-media central feed.*
>
> Therefore a government using social media to distribute multi-media, 
> should create a public location which announces distribution of 
> documents and content with links to their openly accessible location.
>
> A central text feed of all distributed info will serve four purposes:
>
> 1. Provide the public with a completely open and highly accessible 
> index to content provided through social media channels.
>
> 2. Provide the government content in a form isolated from other 
> content to broaden distribution to those who prefer to avoid mixed 
> distribution sources.
>
> 3. Provide other smaller content providers and websites methods to 
> have the same content as larger providers.
>
> 4. Provide a central reference location for any on-demand 
> accessibility service requests for government sponsored or partnered 
> services such as closed captioning or braille.
>
> This media index feed could be in the form of a searchable text feed 
> which link to the original documents. The text feed would be 
> searchable from text based mobile devices as well as web browsers. 
> Search would be provided through a tagging mechanism which at the 
> least allows those posting the information to create new search tags 
> and categories. It also may allow the public to tag items to create a 
> folksomy based search. Documents would be in a freely accessible 
> format, so long as that format allows for the same distribution both 
> in context and content to other websites as was carried by government 
> officials. For instance, if a document was associated on a social 
> media website with certain search tags, titles and description 
> attached, those tags should be indicated in this feed. If a document 
> had hyperlinks or embedded content placed in it by government 
> officials, those hyperlinks and content should be preserved in this 
> centrally stored format.
>
> Video and audio should be avaialble from a link on this central feed 
> in an instantly playable format such as a progressive player linked to 
> cloud based storage so high demand will not slow distribution, as well 
> as a downloadable format which can be used to replicate the 
> distribution on other websites. Again the meta or context data which 
> allows for duplication of the original post to the primarily 
> distribution site should be stored in the feed or the linked files.
>
> In the case of virtual world information distribution, some capture of 
> the virtual world experience would be attempted to replicate the 
> primary message in some way such as a video of the experience. If it 
> is possible to store in an open format 3-D objects or actions, that 
> content maybe also be considered for placement in this central data store.
>
> To the extent that an industry standard is developed to allow easily 
> subscription or importing of documents and audio/video content to 
> alternate media websites and platforms, governments should adopt these 
> methods to support their central feed.
>
> *References:*
>
> *[EC-CIP]*
>
> European Commission, COMPETITIVENESS AND INNOVATION FRAMEWORK 
> PROGRAMME (CIP) ICT POLICY SUPPORT PROGRAMME ICT PSP WORK PROGRAMME 
> 2009, 
> http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/ict_psp/index_en.htm
>
> *[EC-MCD]*
>
> European Commission – Program IDA, Multi-channel delivery of 
> government services, June 2004, 
> http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/en/document/3119
>
> *[EC-MCEGOV]*
>
> European Commission, 'MC-eGov: Study on Multi-channel Delivery 
> Strategies and Sustainable Business Models for Public Services 
> Addressing Socially Disadvantaged Groups', 
> http://www.epractice.eu/community/InclusiveeGovernment
>
> *[EV-PAPA]*
>
> Evangelos Papanikolaou (Ministry of the Interior, Public 
> Administration & Decentralization) Multi-channel Citizen Service 
> Centers in Greece, http://www.epractice.eu/en/cases/csckep
>
> *[GSA-TRAN]*
>
> GSA Office of Citizen Services and Communications, Intergovernmental 
> Solutions Newsletter, Transparency and Open Government, Transparency 
> in 
> Government,http://www.usaservices.gov/events_news/documents/Transparency.pdf 
>
>
> *[MD-LISBON]*
>
> Ministerial Declaration, approved unanimously in Lisbon, Portugal, on 
> 19 September 2007, 
> http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/egovernment/docs/lisbon_2007/ministerial_declaration_180907.pdf 
>
>
> *[OB-MEMO]*
>
> Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies on 
> Transparency and Open Government 
> <http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment/>, 
> B. Obama, 
> http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment/. 
>
>
> *[Red060]*
>
> Red 060 (Network 060), http://www.epractice.eu/en/cases/red060
>
>
>   *[W3C-MOBILE]*
>
>
>   Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0, http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/
>
> *[W3C-VALIDATOR]*
>
>
>   W3C mobileOK Checker , http://validator.w3.org/mobile/
>
> *[WIK-MB-LIM]*
>
> Wikipedia, Mobile Web, Limitations, 
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_Internet
>
Received on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 18:34:56 GMT

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