Policy Network Perspective Case Study – BC Water Act Modernization Process

Taking the policy network perspective, the focus shifts to a specific horizontal policy issue case where the BC government has attempted to develop a policy response to a complex issue which cuts across a number of ministries and departmental responsibilities – the British Columbia Water Act Modernization (WAM) Process. By looking at this specific case, the research objective is the development of an understanding of how Gov2.0 technologies can support efforts at knowledge-sharing and collaboration-building across internal-to-government policy networks that are created for the purpose of coordinating the input of multiple agencies aimed at addressing a complex horizontal policy challenge.

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Digital Fishers Website Launched

This is a project I’ve been involved with for the past couple of years through my company. If you’ve got 15 seconds to spare, we’re looking for a few hundred thousand volunteers to help analyze deep-sea videos—15 seconds at a time. You’re invited to participate in ocean science research (no experience required!). By playing Digital Fishers you’ll help researchers gather data from video, and unveil the mechanisms shaping the animal communities inhabiting the deep.

Developed by NEPTUNE Canada with the University of Victoria’s Centre for Global Studies (CfGS) and funded by CANARIE. Co-investigator Dr. Rod Dobell leads the involvement of CfGS with additional support from eBriefings.ca.

Play Digital Fishers Now

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BC HST Referendum Prediction Pool

Update: A winner has been announced: see http://bit.ly/hstprediction

A fundraiser and prediction game


As many of you know, voting in the BC HST Referendum closed on Friday August 5, and results will be announced on August 25. You may also know that the pollsters are afraid to predict the outcome, and estimates of voter turnout vary widely.

Partly out of an interest in prediction markets, and partly because I come from a long line of degenerate gamblers who will wager on anything, I’ve created a Prediction Pool for the referendum results.Can you correctly predict the result, and predict what the voter turnout will be?

Half the wagered amount will be donated to the United Way of Greater Victoria. The other half is yours to win.

The perfect game for political nerds … and those who will bet on anything not nailed down (I seem to know a lot of both types).

Game rules are at http://bit.ly/hstprediction

Vote early and vote often. It’s for charity. And tell your friends – they aren’t as smart as you, and they’ll increase your winnings.

Policy Network Perspective Interviews – Statement of Informed Consent

This research addresses questions of how Web2.0 technology, applied internally in support of knowledge sharing and collaboration efforts in public sector settings is affecting the policy formulation process in the Government of the Province of British Columbia. This specific set of interviews is part of a case study of the Water Act Modernization Process. The following is a summary of the privacy and participant research ethics protections for interview participants. The full “Participant Consent Form”  is available at http://web.uvic.ca/~jlongo/group3consent2012.pdf and the “Application for Ethics Approval for Human Participant Research” can be found at https://jlphdcand.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/ethics-app-form-complete.pdf

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Interview Guide – The Policy Network Perspective

For the Water Act Modernization (WAM) Process case study, data collection centres on semi-structured interviews with key BC Government public service individuals (both active and former employees) who were involved in the WAM Process. The following is a rough guide to the areas I’d like to discuss in the interview. Though it reads as a series of questions, the format of the interview is a lot less structured than this implies. As a semi-structured interview format, the conversation will follow the paths that you are most interested to talk about. I am most interested in your perspective on the WAM Process, so the interview will follow how you see that process and focus on the aspects that you are most interested in. And when it comes to analyzing the interview transcripts, I’ll be taking what is called an inductive approach which centres on what the respondents add to the conversation, rather than focussing on the things that I might be looking for.

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Dissertation Proposal – Policy Analysis 2.0

Policy Tweets and Facebook.Gov: Assessing the Impact of Gov2.0 and Organizational Social Networks on Knowledge Sharing and Horizontal Collaboration in the Internal-to-Government Policy Formulation Process

Abstract: This research is aimed at describing the modern policy formulation environment and processes of knowledge sharing and collaboration amongst public sector policy workers, assessed in the context of several emerging factors: increasing adoption of Gov2.0 technology, evolving social network structures, evolving norms of practice amongst individual policy analysts and shifting organizational dynamics. Using mixed methods, the research will be undertaken across three perspectives: the individual policy analyst, the policy unit perspective and the horizontal, cross-governmental policy network perspective. The objective is the development of a theory of Gov2.0-supported policy formulation and a description of the “PolicyAnalyst2.0”.

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The Proposal Process

(a short presentation to the PhD Seminar, School of Public Administration, University of Victoria)

May you have an interesting, interdisciplinary research topic. – Kai Lung

I’ve been asked to speak to the group about the dissertation proposal process, perhaps because I’ve been at it for such a long time and thus have accumulated significant experience points (using gamers’ parlance) and must be approaching the level of Guild Master. I was tempted to title this “The Never-Ending Story” but have decided against that because I think that may have been taken already, and it does sound a tad defeatist or cynical or less-than-inspiring.

But the fact that it has taken me a long time already and I have not yet successfully presented a proposal to my committee (let alone the fact that I do not have a committee – though that is another, albeit not-unrelated, issue) should probably disqualify me from being able to offer any advice to this group that’s worth taking. Or perhaps the best I can do is offer an anti-model, as in: “see what I’ve done? Don’t do that.”

But if there is a more precise – hopefully helpful – message I would like to convey, it relates to the particular challenge of developing a proposal in an interdisciplinary context which, if you find yourself in this position (and, more likely than not, a phd in public admin will entail navigating through interdisciplinary space to some degree), will call upon you skills as a translator and mediator and will require you to develop the skill of what I’ll call active non-listening.

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Dissertation Proposal Outline – Revised Discussion Draft

Gov2.0 and Collaborative Policy Formulation in the British Columbia Government

Problem Statement: How are Gov2.0 technology and methods affecting collaborative policy formulation in the British Columbia government?


I am proposing to investigate how individuals and policy units within the government of the province of British Columbia are using Gov2.0 technologies and methods in the policy formulation process, as applied both to within-government bureaucratic interaction and outwards through citizen-engagement activities, with reference to the ongoing challenge of horizontal, collaborative policy management. My aim is to develop a theory of Gov2.0-supported collaborative policy formulation, tentatively labelled Policy-Formulation2.0.

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