I started working at the Western Cape Government in February of 2011, which was great because it allowed me a breather before the financial started in earnest from the 1st April 2011 to 31st March 2012. With it being May, we are now well into the current financial year, allowing me to look back on the year past. As I’ve mentioned before there is a misconception that government workers don’t do much and with this post I’m hoping to highlight how much our team has done with so little.
First a bit about our team, our directorate is called e-Government for Citizens and is headed up by Clayton Wakeford as our Director. The Website programme is supported by three “work streams” comprising of Content, Usability and Design and Tech. When I started at provincial government is was immediately clear that we were under resourced, but plans were underway to secure capacity. The area where capacity was (and still is) most needed was in the Tech space and with our Content Management System on its last breath we need developers urgently.
Throughout 2011 we spent our time trying our utmost to procure developers, which for months remained a fruitless exercise as Supply Chain Management hoops make this a arduous task. But our hard work finally paid off and on 1st February 2012 we had a developer join our establishment. Yes, one developer.
So with the backdrop to our year set, let’s look at what was achieved for 2011/2012
NOTE: The images below have been scaled and optimised for this post. Please click on the URL for a true reflection of the website mentioned
Homepage in Drupal
In one line: The Western Cape Government website has been on the now aging “BEE” CMS for almost ten years. We moved the homepage to Drupal and refreshed the website to the new provincial branding in one swoop.
Social media – Twitter account
In one line: The Western Cape Government had not had an official Social Media presence before this twitter account. Twitter is the first of many social media engagement points planned.
In one line: The safely home website is the first WCG site that implements our Create Once Publish Everyone mantra as the same content is pushed to the mobile optimised theme. This website also features a reporter tool that allows citizens to engage with the Department of Transport by uploading traffic incident photo’s.
In one line: This is the first mobile optimised website launched by the Western Cape Government. The site is designed for basic feature phone to promote digital inclusion. The reporter tool pioneers government engagement via mobile.
Refreshed Tenders website
In one line: With the aim to be more transparent, provide ease of access and supplier support. The refreshed Tenders website aims to be the port of call for all tender related information.
In one line: As the most popular section on the provincial website, the jobs section was refreshed by cleaning up the homepage and making the search more prominent. The website now also features e-application in preparation for the full e-recruitment solution coming later this year.
In one line: An initiative by the Department of Social Development, the Druginfo website was the first website built in Drupal and was our first chance to interrogate Drupal as our new Content Management System.
What else did we do?
There were of course times where despite lacking key resources we invested time into research and building the foundational requirements for our future implementations. These were some of the work items we had begun with.
– Develop the information architecture and wireframes for the new Drupal website
– Wrote the Social Media Policy and Strategy
– Created a Facebook page but parked it because we need people to run it
– Met with Mxit in Stellenbosch and discussed the WCG Mxit presence
– Began research into our future web API and enabling the digital industry
– Researched Responsive design and how we could apply in to the provincial website
– Discussed the Create Once Publish Everywhere structure to our website
So while we just had one designer and developer, being tactical and proactive in our approach allowed us to achieve all our goals for 2011/12. I’ll be writing a post soon on our plans for 2012/2013 and how you can get involved.