Saturday saw the hosting of the first “Gov Hack SA” event at the Bandwidth Barn in Woodstock. The Western Cape Government was well represented as Johan, Luke and myself attended the event. I do feel that the attendance could have been better, but considering that this was the first Govhack event, I’m sure the organisers will take the learnings on board and we’ll see greater attendance next time.
The event highlighted the eagerness within the development community to develop e-Government services and at the same time the lack of data provided by government. In the Introductory session, I mentioned that the WCG was in the process of drawing up our draft “Open Data and API” Policy. This policy will be the framework through which departments can provide datasets to the development community.
Considering the recent drives to curb unnecessary government spending , an open data strategy has potential to have a reasonably high Return On Investment. The return I’m talking about is not a financial one but rather an exchange whereby governement provides data and the IT sector develops citizen e-service apps.
Below are the challenges given to the developers on Saturday.
“IT and Education” Create a leadership board for high school students that take an online (mobile accessible) logic / problem solving skills test, including questions to identify potential future software developers. We anticipate the questions will be provided by industry. School learners will all have to register with the system via their schools, so the learners will use real names and will be identifiable to their school. Any learner can do the test. The aim is to encourage studying for IT careers, and find candidates that are likely to be employable and skilled in this career.
“Aggregated Tourism Event Portal”The official Cape Town tourism body currently collects events into their portal manually. Create an events website that let’s the event owners upload the details of their events, which will be reviewed by
the portal owner. Create an events app that uses geolocation to show viewers what events are near them, possibly using knowledge of their event type preferences to give personalised recommendations.
“Fix My Potholes” Create a local version of fixmystreet.com, where you can report issues such as potholes and broken lights, which will notify the corresponding councillor and streamline service delivery, also providing overall statistics of issues and resolutions in various areas.
“Fix My Redtape” Create an app which aids government in monitoring the latest and most urgent ”gitches” in the system. ie: electronic tax clearance certificates, tender applications streamlines
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