We will begin with research and development that informs design specifications based on best practices of generic digital components (i.e., building blocks). These components would be designed based on five initial use cases to ensure diversity and generalization. Next, the collaboration will move towards creating a model digital government services platform, which will demonstrate elements of reuse across services and sectors (i.e., use cases). These design specifications and the resulting model government platform will be available as “digital public goods” for use by the global community, with a focus on procurement and implementation in a low-resource context.
Here is an outline of our three main activity areas:
We believe that if we take an architectural approach centered around APIs and microservices to help unlock monolithic legacy systems where core data and services are siloed, then we increase the speed of IT project delivery, leading to more effective and cost-efficient digital governments which are also more responsive to the needs of businesses and their citizens.
Our core set of objectives
Below outlines our core objectives:
- To develop Open Building Blocks requirements and API specifications based on selected SDG priority Use Cases and common experiences across countries
- To develop a blueprint of a “Whole-of-government Digital Government Platform” model
- To implement a “Whole-of-government Digital Government Platform” model as a learning and sandbox environment. The platform, its blueprint, and Building Block specifications will all be openly available as digital public goods (DPGs)
- To leverage the model implementation for learning and capacity development
- To expand the model implementation to include additional Building Blocks and promote self-sustainability
- To assist pilot countries to build their digital government integrated platform by leveraging and adopting the DPG model implementation
Our outputs and overall timeline
This timeline depicts our initial technical outputs.
How we organize ourselves
The following depicts our current working structure that consists:
- An overall coordinating body compromised of staff of the founding members.
- Various technical expert working groups, each dedicated to inform specification elements of an individual building block.
- An architectural working group that provides a view on interoperability/connectivity aspects of the building block sets as a whole.
- A neutral technical advisory body (TBD) that will review and approve the outputs and for quality control.
A brief description of each function of the groups are as follow.
Our working principles
Below outlines how we aim to work with one another across aligned partners and the expert community. Note that the GovStack initiative stakeholders largely embrace the Principles of Digital Development in guiding the work and these are how they specifically relate:
- Neutrality: No priority preference or exclusivity in considering specific products or standards in relation to any of our partnership, membership, commercial interest, or influence from sovereignty. All output and working processes will be based on applicability and value to the objectives, and target end users in low-resource settings [Principle of Digital Development: Be Collaborative]
- Generic: All knowledge products will be generic and comprehensive in capturing all relevant specifications, not specific to any single product in-market
- Open-source: All final deliverables (building block specifications, blueprint, minimal viable platform, other output) will all be open-source and publicly accessible for reuse and replication by any party, that they may be recognized as Digital Public Goods [Use Open Standards, Open Data, and Open Innovation]
- Standard-based: While the minimal viable platform might be built in its initial form with lower level of industry standards or practices to first accelerate demonstration of reusable/interoperable components, all knowledge products will capture and be guided by industry-recognized standards or reuse those from another sector where a lack of standards exists in a particular context [Reuse and Improve, Understanding the Existing Ecosystem]
- Minimalistic: Focus on the most common functionalities at the lowest maturity level that are required to deliver the minimum capabilities for each Building Block
- Agile: Quick and short cycles to develop documentation to test and validate them and then go for the next iteration
- Integration: Seamless exchange of information across applications and delivered through different channels. Services should be “integrated by design” (API-fication).
- Citizen centric: Design is centered around typical high-priority User Journeys and Use Cases related to the SDGs [Design With the User]