I read Andrea DiMaio’s post with great interest which analyzed Matthew Bishop’s piece on the potential of a Peace Corp for Developers (PCD). I find all of the points interesting, but want to ensure we embrace a braod agenda in our answer to how we can solve some tough problems within Government.
As most of you know who follow my blog, I am obsessed with the sustainability of Governmental change efforts. And while PDC certainly have a valid place they seem far more a tactic than a strategic attempt to sustain open government efforts longer term. For that I suggest a simple add-on to the great ideas from Andrea and Matthew – a focus on Entrepreneurship globally.
When I talk to elected, appointed and civil servant leaders throughout the world we almost invariably start to discuss job creation. This discussion spans from well before the current economic crisis. The best governmental program ever invented was a solid and reliable job. And for us to attach our open government efforts directly to the need of governments to stimulate growth in their economies, the more successful we will be.
I would offer, in addition to the creation and funding of multiple PDCs, several points for national governments to consider to make themselves more competitive and grow their economies:
1) Support Entrepreneurs wherever we find them – avoid training programs that exclusively focus on universities or business schools. Don’t look just to urban areas as great ideas are not simply the province of our big cities. And don’t assume that age is relevant – our Microsoft founder was a very young buck when he started the process of founding Microsoft’s technology. National Governments should embrace Application Development contests across multiple dynamics and age groups, and eliminate restrictions on small business formation so that these ideas are not just created in the public sector but deeply rooted in the private sector as well.
2) Arm the PDCs and the resulting small businesses with the industrial ecosystem they need – Broadband must be deployed broadly. Higher education must offer training in modern development methodologies and we must also allow students to graduate with a freedom from student debt in order to start companies to unlock open government data quickly without unneeded restrictions.
3) Incentivize Early Seed Capital – Eliminate penalties and provide incentives for sidelined capital to get in the game on early endeavors. Even to target it on endeavors that provide public based applications would radically reduce the amount of money needed to develop such apps internally.
4) Attach a requirement that a certain percentage of national spending be spent on micro-businesses. Stimulate the demand side of public microapp development by using the direct leverage and spend of central governments.
5) Open your government data – Enough said.
Latest posts by Matt (see all)
- Government Platforms, Co-Creation and Time for Revolution #gov3 #GaaP #CoCreate - March 4, 2017
- A New Call To Industrial Growth - March 11, 2013
- The New Industrialists – Datacenters and Rebuilding the Economy - March 10, 2013