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CAPAM eyes smarter government


No matter if you’re a small organization like the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) or an emerging country, being on top of digital trends is a must.

Earlier this week, CAPAM CEO Gay Hamilton spoke in Ottawa, Canada at Innovative Management and Governance in the Commonwealth where she noted membership numbers have declined in recent years. She added the organization is looking at ways to transition itself to a new way of thinking.

For Hamilton, that means leveraging technology to reach more public servants, especially younger, with information that matters.

“We need to reach more people, and we need to align things so we can respond. And we need to leverage that big public service network that we have,” she said.

And as CAPAM continues to work with some big names in tech, the future looks bright.

Enter SmartGov.

Their first initiative, SmartGov Learning, created by Degreed backed by the likes of American businessman, investor and TV personality Mark Cuban, is a social network focused on learning.

From informal learning, required courses to earning an MBA online, SmartGov Learning offers public servants a tool for education without having to return to the classroom.

The next solution CAPAM is developing is SmartGov Discovery. Powered by the Watson technology from IBM, this supercomputer could become the public service’s one-stop shop for all things data.

Hamilton said as the amount of information produced in the world doubles every 18 months, no human can consume that much data, but IBM Watson can.

So who’s this Watson character? Do you remember the supercomputer that couldn’t lose on Jeopardy back in 2011?

Not only will the supercomputer offer answers to questions, aggregate news and academic articles but it also reveals insights and looks for patterns that can be utilized going forward.

These two initiatives seem interesting, but will they be used? Is the public service ready for change? These are questions that arise with any new technology. So for now, good luck CAPAM, the Commonwealth is smart to jump into the digital revolution.

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Michael Sutherland-Shaw

Michael Sutherland-Shaw

Marketing Communications Specialist at FreeBalance
Michael works in the marketing and communications department following a career in journalism. Michael is currently learning Ruby on Rails and loves discovering new music.

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