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Re: Multi-Channel Section rewiewed

From: Catherine Roy <croy@communautique.qc.ca>
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 23:53:39 -0400
Message-ID: <49EE94C3.6080308@communautique.qc.ca>
To: "Miguel A. Amutio Gómez" <miguel.amutio@map.es>
CC: "Jose M. Alonso" <josema@w3.org>, "Ken Fischer ClickForHelp.com" <ken@clickforhelp.com>, eGovIG <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
Hi Miguel,

I have read your latest draft and wish to thank you for your work. I 
also wish to share several comments with you and this group.

Under the heading "What is Multi-Channel Delivery?"

1rst paragraph:

"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." I wonder about the use of the term "user friendliness". 
Perhaps add the term "usability" ?

5th paragraph:

"These new electronic channels require the adoption of new architectures 
and systems able to provide the top of their functionalities." Do you 
mean to provide "the maximum of their functionalities" or something else ?

7th paragraph:

"Governments should clearly take into account distribution and 
accessibility options which do not pose barriers which would result in a 
decrease the amount of information distribution or services provided." 
This phrase needs to be polished a bit but I am unclear what is meant by 
"accessibility options". Could you please clarify ? Do you mean access 
or accessibility ?

Under the heading "What are the Main Benefits of Multi-Channel Delivery?*"

*1rst bullet:

"An increase of flexibility in terms of anytime, anywhere, anyhow and 
accessibility for the user." Again, what is meant by accessibility in 
this item ?

Under the heading "How Can Multi-Channel Delivery Be Achieved?"

Following the bullet "Mobile Web: including Device Description 
Repository Simple API, Device Description Repository Core Vocabulary":

"Using the Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 [W3C-MOBILE]: 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]."

I do not understand why this paragraph gives technical advice in such 
detail. It is out of place and it should be sufficient to simply point 
to the related BP document.

Under the sub-heading "General requirements of the user and of the provider"

"General requirements of the user, as pointed out in [EC-MCD]: 
flexibility, accessibility, usability (easy to use), quality, security." 
Again, what is meant by accessibility in this item ?

Under the heading "Access to eGovernment services and information"

The 3rd bulleted paragraph:

I must remind members of this group that disability is an important 
aspect with regards to the Digital Divide. Whilst the definition cited 
from wikipédia does not include this dimension, there is sufficient 
material out there to illustrate this.

The 8th paragraph:

"Other strategies include facilitating free Internet enabled computers 
at libraries and kiosks, widely available to citizens for free at public 
locations; (...)". While this is outside of my main interests with 
regards to this document, I would like to say that I am extremely 
pleased that we are mentioning these very important and much needed 
initiatives.

Under the sub-heading "Conditions about the reuse of government information"

Second paragraph for the bulleted item "Fair distribution":

"It may be interesting for governments and for the users of their 
services and information to consider, for instance wide, distribution 
environments such as social networks."

It would be pertinent to add a warning about the use of these social 
networks with regards to privacy, reliability and, most notably, 
accessibility barriers they may present to disabled users and so 
therefore not to rely only on these environments for distribution of data.

Finally, as a general comment, I feel that a lot of emphasis is put on 
mobile technologies in this whole section. While I understand that this 
is increasingly an important method of distribution and can be very 
useful in developping and transitional countries, I would like to remind 
members of this group that mobile technologies pose accessibility 
barriers to certain people with disabilities and I would like to see a 
bit more balance with regards to other means of delivery.

Best regards,


Catherine

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


Miguel A. Amutio Gómez wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I send you the Multi-channel delivery section reviewed.
>
> I have tried to improve and complete some parts, introduce some more 
> references and avoid some controversial content.
>
> 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 of 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, or even Bluetooth and others; in this way the access to 
> government services would really be anyhow, anywhere, anytime through 
> mobile devices.
>
> Governments should clearly take into account distribution and 
> accessibility options which do not pose barriers which would result in 
> a decrease the amount of information distribution or services 
> provided. Consideration to socially disadvantaged users, users without 
> high bandwidth and high cost devices, as well as devices, platforms 
> and websites with smaller audiences should be taken into account.
>
> *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 both 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, principles and best practices./
>
>                +
>
>                   W3C technical specifications: URI, XML technologies,
>                   WML, XHTML, CSS, XPATH, ...
>
>                +
>
>                   Web Accessibility [W3C-WAI].
>                   <http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/accessibility.php>
>                   Using the guidelines developed by the Web
>                   Accessibility Initiative (WAI) for the different
>                   components: Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines
>                   (ATAG), Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG);
>                   User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG).
>
>                +
>
>                   Mobile Web: including Device Description Repository
>                   Simple API, Device Description Repository Core
>                   Vocabulary
>
> 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>.
>
>                +
>
>                   Device Independence principles [W3C_DEVIN]
>                   <http://www.w3.org/TR/di-princ/> set out some
>                   principles that can be used when evaluating current
>                   solutions or proposing new solutions, and can form
>                   the basis of more detailed requirements and
>                   recommendations.
>
> *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/.
>
> *Access to eGovernment services and information*
>
> In relation to the multi-channel access to eGovernment services and 
> information there are several main issues to be considered:
>
>    *
>
>       Web for everyone: so that it may be available to all people,
>       whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure,
>       native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or
>       mental ability. It has to be considered that services should be
>       satisfactory according to the context where they are used.
>
>    *
>
>       Accessibility: so that people with disabilities and others,
>       including older people <http://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/soc.html#of>
>       with changing abilities due to aging, can perceive, understand,
>       navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can
>       contribute to the Web.
>
>    *
>
>       Digital divide: as explained by Wikipedia [WIKI-DD]
>       <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_divide>, it “refers to the
>       gap between people with effective access to digital
>       <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital> and information
>       technology <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_technology>
>       and those with very limited or no access at all. It includes the
>       imbalances in physical access to technology
>       <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology> as well as the
>       imbalances in resources and skills needed to effectively
>       participate as a digital citizen
>       <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_citizen>. In other words,
>       it is the unequal access by some members of society
>       <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society> to information and
>       communications technology, and the unequal acquisition of
>       related skills. The digital divide may be classified based on
>       gender <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender>, income
>       <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income>, and race
>       <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race> groups, and by locations.”
>
> This means that when deployment multi-channel delivery of services a 
> certain knowledge of the environment is needed in terms of the 
> availability of different devices and bandwidth, and of the target 
> population, social preferences and user profiles including access by 
> persons with disabilities.
>
> Interesting information may be about the proportion between mobile 
> phones to PCs or preferences of channel in relation to specific 
> services. Depending on how simple or complex is the service, the user 
> may prefer making a phone call, browsing with the mobile, receiving or 
> exchanging information by e-mail or using a website with a computer.
>
> Governments use different strategies to get this kind of information; 
> for instance, studying user profiles, user groups and heuristics of 
> navigation.
>
> Other strategies include facilitating free Internet enabled computers 
> at libraries and kiosks, widely available to citizens for free at 
> public locations; targeting the lower cost devices and the lower cost 
> access; providing some information in text form for mobile access; 
> announcing multi-media information and making it 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 with access available.
>
> The MC-eGov Study on Multi-channel Delivery Strategies and Sustainable 
> Business Models for Public Services addressing Socially Disadvantaged 
> Groups [MC-GOV] 
> <http://www.mcegov.eu/media/156/mcegov%20project_study%20report_good%20practice%20examples_edited.pdf> 
> includes a good number of good practice examples.
>
> *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./
>
> Standards, principles and best practices are needed to facilitate the 
> provision of multi-channel services and to satisfy requirements such 
> as efficiency, effectiveness, integration, quick response to policies, 
> priorities and social needs and the delivery of services that offer a 
> sustainable value to society.
>
>    *
>
>       /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 may be interesting for governments and for the users of their 
> services and information to consider, for instance wide, distribution 
> environments such as social networks.
>
> In relation to these questions, governments are considering and 
> putting in practice the idea of being present in main social networks 
> and similar instruments and thus reaching large communities, instead 
> of just remaining outside and waiting for users to come to their websites.
>
>    *
>
>       /Multi-media central feed./
>
> Strategies in relation to the distribution of multi-media government 
> content may include approaches to facilitate the access to content 
> provided through social media channels, in a searchable way, in freely 
> accessible, playable and downloadable formats, allowing tagging or 
> preserving hyperlinks.
>
> *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 
>
>
> *[MC-GOV]*
>
> MC-eGov Study on Multi-channel Delivery Strategies and Sustainable 
> Business Models for Public Services addressing Socially Disadvantaged 
> Groups 
> http://www.mcegov.eu/media/156/mcegov%20project_study%20report_good%20practice%20examples_edited.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-DEVIN]*
>
> Device Independence Principles http://www.w3.org/TR/di-princ/
>
>
>   *[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/
>
> *[W3C-WAI]*
>
> Web Accessibility Inituative 
> http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/accessibility.php
>
> *[WIK-MB-LIM]*
>
> Wikipedia, Mobile Web, Limitations, 
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_Internet
>
> *[WIKI-DD]*
>
> Wikipedia, Digital Divide http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_divide
>
Received on Wednesday, 22 April 2009 03:54:31 GMT

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