Exploring New Governance Models for Professional Advisory Committees: Interview Questions

NYU Administrative Management Council: Exploring New Governance Models for Professional Advisory Committees

Interview Questions

This component of the research activity will center on the effectiveness of the new platform in engaging Council representatives and the ability to facilitate deliberation and decision-making. The objective is to identify leading practices in collaborative technology innovation in voluntary governance bodies, to provide lessons and best practices for similar bodies considering the implication of new collaboration platforms, and to identify barriers to their use.

Core issues:

  • how can online collaborative platforms be used to facilitate the work of voluntary committees so that not only their processes are more effective, but they can conduct governance activities that are perceived as more legitimate (especially by the members of that committee, but also but by external actors who look to that committee for guidance)?
  • can governance that is currently conducted by representation move towards full participation – i.e., does the collaboration and voting platform scale up to the level of a large population? What are the scale barriers? Can expertise within a large organization be targeted so that deliberation is focused on members having the most relevant expertise related to the issue?

Notes:

  • The estimate number of public servants to be involved is approximately 5.
  • The estimated time to complete the interview is 20 minutes.
  • Potential interview candidates will be contacted by email, inviting them to participate in a research interview. Should they agree, a mutually convenient time involving the respondent and two members of the research team (Justin Longo and Tanya Kelley) will be set up.
  • The interview will be conducted using Internet web conferencing technology (e.g. Skype). The interviewers will take notes and no recording of the interview will be made.
  • Consent to be interviewed will be affirmed verbally by the respondent following their reading of the Short Consent Form.
  • At the conclusion of the interview, the web conference connection will be closed

1. Impressions of open collaboration and innovation

The experiment sought to move past email as a primary mechanism of information exchange, and the need for in person meetings for the exchange of views, in order to take advantage of new technologies for open collaboration and innovation. Do you think our current technology is capable of achieving this?

Follow-up probes:

  • What have been the positive impacts of this move?
  • Have their been challenges or barriers to operationalizing this move or to achieving the desired impacts?
  • What advice would you give a colleague embarking on a similar move?

2. Reflections on the AMC Experiment in Online Collaboration

The experiment represented a movement away from small group, in person interaction to online full group interaction. Would you characterize the experiment as a success?

Follow-up probes:

  • What have been the positive impacts of this move?
  • Have outside actors (e.g., Senate) responded?
  • Have their been challenges or barriers to operationalizing this move or to achieving the desired impacts?
  • Has their been senior admin support for this?

3. Thoughts on the role of voluntary advisory bodies like the AMC within larger governance settings like NYU

While it may be too early to tell, do you think the experiment can lead to greater effectiveness and legitimacy for the AMC?

Follow-up probes:

  • What is your impression of these experiments? Have they been effective in yielding positive results?
  • What are some of the benefits?
  • What are some of the barriers?
  • Have these innovations been effective?
  • Perceived benefits of new technology, functions not possible before?
  • Does broadening the mechanisms for input into AMC decisions mean that other bodies such as Senate will see those decisions as more legitimate and reflective of the views of the entire AMC membership?
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Exploring New Governance Models for Professional Advisory Committees: Consent Form

NYU AMC: Exploring New Governance Models for Professional Advisory Committees

Short Consent Form (to be presented to Interview Participants prior to start of interview – interviewee to verbally affirm consent)

We are researchers in open governance working under the direction of Erik Johnston, professor in the School of Public Affairs and Director of the Center for Policy Informatics at Arizona State University. Along with research team members Justin Longo (post-doctoral fellow in open governance in the Center for Policy Informatics) and Tanya Kelley (phd student in the School of Public Affairs), we are conducting research on the use of new collaborative tools in advisory governance settings like the NYU Administrative Management Council.

If you agree to participate in this interview, we estimate that it will take approximately 20 minutes. The interview will cover three topic areas: your general impressions of open collaboration and innovation in governance; your reflections on the effectiveness of the collaboration technology the AMC has been experimenting with; and your thoughts on the role of voluntary advisory bodies like the AMC within larger governance settings like NYU.

Your participation in this study is voluntary. If you choose not to participate or to withdraw from the study at any time, there will be no penalty.

If you consent to participating in this interview, you have the right not to answer any question and to stop participation at any time.

There are no direct benefits to you or your organization from your participation. There are no foreseeable risks or discomforts as a result of your participation.

Your responses will be anonymous. All data will be reported in aggregate form and no personally identifiable information or personal data reported at any time. The results of this study may be used in reports, presentations, or publications but your name will not be used. Direct quotes, if used, will be anonymized and only used where the content cannot be used to identify the respondent.

My colleague Tanya and I will be taking notes during the interview as an aid to our analysis. These notes will remain in our secure possession until transferred immediately to secure encrypted computer files. Only the three members of the research team will have access to these notes. Your name will not be linked to these notes; instead, study codes will be used to protect your identity.

The interview will take place using web video technology <Skype, Google Hangout>.

If you have any questions concerning the research study, please contact the investigators: Erik Johnston <Erik.Johnston@asu.edu> or Justin Longo by email at Justin.Longo@asu.edu or by phone at 480-744-6395. If you have any questions about your rights as a subject/participant in this research, or if you feel you have been placed at risk, you can contact the Chair of the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board, through the ASU Office of Research Integrity and Assurance, at 480-965-6788.

Use of GitHub in Public Administration in Canada: Consent Form

Use of GitHub in Public Administration: Open Collaboration in Code, Web and Prose

Short Consent Form (to be presented to Interview Participants prior to start of interview – interviewee to verbally affirm consent)

We are researchers in open governance working under the direction of Erik Johnston, professor in the School of Public Affairs and Director of the Center for Policy Informatics at Arizona State University. Along with research team members Justin Longo (post-doctoral fellow in open governance in the Center for Policy Informatics) and  Tanya Kelley (phd student in the School of Public Affairs), we are conducting research on the use of new collaborative tools in government, specifically the use of the GitHub platform for code development, website development and text document creation.

If you agree to participate in this interview, we estimate that it will take approximately 20 minutes. The interview will cover four topic areas: your general impressions of open collaboration and innovation in government; your thoughts on open governance; your reflections on the use of collaboration technology in the public sector; and your comments on the use of GitHub and similar vcs technologies as a tool for open collaboration.

Your participation in this study is voluntary. If you choose not to participate or to withdraw from the study at any time, there will be no penalty.

If you consent to participating in this interview, you have the right not to answer any question and to stop participation at any time.

There are no direct benefits to you or your organization from your participation. There are no foreseeable risks or discomforts as a result of your participation.

Your responses will be anonymous. All data will be reported in aggregate form and no personally identifiable information or personal data reported at any time. The results of this study may be used in reports, presentations, or publications but your name will not be used. Direct quotes, if used, will be anonymized and only used where the content cannot be used to identify the respondent.

My colleague Tanya and I will be taking notes during the interview as an aid to our analysis. These notes will remain in our secure possession until transferred immediately to secure encrypted computer files. Only the three members of the research team will have access to these notes. Your name will not be linked to these notes; instead, study codes will be used to protect your identity.

The interview will take place using web video technology <Skype, Google Hangout>.

If you have any questions concerning the research study, please contact the investigators: Erik Johnston <Erik.Johnston@asu.edu> or Justin Longo by email at Justin.Longo@asu.edu or by phone at 480-744-6395. If you have any questions about your rights as a subject/participant in this research, or if you feel you have been placed at risk, you can contact the Chair of the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board, through the ASU Office of Research Integrity and Assurance, at 480-965-6788.

Use of GitHub in Public Administration in Canada: Interview Questions

Use of GitHub in Public Administration in Canada: Open Innovation in Code, Web and Prose

Telephone or web video interviews were conducted with five Government of Canada public servants, two of whom had direct connection to the use of GitHub as a collaborative tool in government and three of whom were senior public service executives with experience and interest in pan-organizational collaboration and collaborative tools and who were identified by colleagues as being at the forefront in promoting new technologies to enhance knowledge sharing and collaboration in government. Initial interview candidates were identified based on our sample described above, with additional candidates identified using snowball methods where interviewees suggesting additional candidates (Babbie 2012). While we connected with public servants in provincial governments, no one from orders of government other than the federal level agreed to be interviewed.

Each interview was scheduled for thirty minutes, with both authors participating as interviewers. The interviews were not recorded, though each of the interviewers kept close hand-written and keyboarded notes during the interview, and a common record was added to by both immediately following the interviews and a post-interview discussion between the authors. The interview protocol below served to guide the discussions. We explored perceptions and experiences on the questions of open collaboration and innovation within government, on efforts to open governance beyond the confines of government and on new forms of collaboration technology with a specific focus on the GitHub platform.

Interview Guide

1. Impressions of open collaboration and innovation

Reference to record of the respondent’s government and department with respect to open collaboration and innovation; what was the underlying philosophy or motivation for moving from traditional hierarchical models of the public service to a collaborative and open model?

Follow-up probes:

  • What have been the positive impacts of this move?
  • Have their been challenges or barriers to operationalizing this move or to achieving the desired impacts?
  • What advice would you give a colleague embarking on a similar move?

2. Impressions of open governance

Reference to record of the respondent’s government and department with respect to open governance; what was the underlying philosophy or motivation for moving from closed public sector models to an open model?

Follow-up probes:

  • What have been the positive impacts of this move?
  • Have the public / outside actors responded?
  • Have their been challenges or barriers to operationalizing this move or to achieving the desired impacts?
  • Has their been political and senior executive support for this?

3. Use of collaboration technology

What examples of collaboration technology have you experimented with?

Follow-up probes:

  • What is your impression of these experiments? Have they been effective in yielding positive results?
  • What are some of the benefits?
  • What are some of the barriers?

4. Use of GitHub and similar vcs technologies

Reference to record of the respondent’s government and department with respect to GitHub or similar vcs; what was the underlying philosophy or motivation for this adoption?

Follow-up probes:

  • What prompted the move to these new models?
  • Have these innovations been effective?
  • What have been some of the challenges?
  • Can you envision new uses for these technologies – e.g., for open governance and public engagement on policy development?

Invitation to Participate in Web Survey: Use of GitHub in Public Administration

I am a post-doctoral fellow in open governance working under the direction of Erik Johnston, professor in the School of Public Affairs and Director of the Center for Policy Informatics at Arizona State University.

On behalf of our research team, I am writing to invite your anonymous participation in our research on the use of new collaborative tools in government, specifically the use of the GitHub platform in Canadian governments for code development, website development and text document creation and collaboration. More information on this research is available here.

This component of our research involves a web-based questionnaire completed by select public servants in all levels of government in Canada who have a public profile on the GitHub platform associated with their workplace. Questions centre on experience using GitHub and similar platforms, reasons for doing so, and possible barriers or limits to its use.

The objective is to identify avenues for technology innovation in Canadian public sector settings, to provide lessons and best practices for other public sector agencies considering the implication of new collaboration platforms, and to identify barriers to their use.

Your status as a public servant in a Canadian government organization with a public profile on GitHub makes you a candidate for this survey. If you know of any of your colleagues that also fit this description, we would appreciate you making them aware of this invitation.

The questionnaire will take approximately 10 minutes in total to complete from any web-enabled device. Your anonymity and will be protected at all times. Additional safeguards are contained in the “Statement of Informed Consent” that precedes the questionnaire.

To start the questionnaire, please click here

If that link does not work, please copy and paste the following link into your browser: http://asupublicprograms.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_cv7ddsHW9ivHeqp

We would be pleased to hear from you if you have any questions. This research is being conducted under the purview of the Arizona State University Institutional Review Board, Protocol 00001319. If you have any questions about your rights as a participant in this research, you can contact the Chair of the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board, through the ASU Office of Research Integrity and Assurance, at 480-965-6788.

Thanks for considering this request.

Sincerely,

Justin Longo
PostDoctoral Fellow in Open Governance
Center for Policy Informatics
Arizona State University