HONOLULU — Today the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized my.hawaii.gov as part of the 2015 Bright Ideas program.
This year’s cohort includes 124 programs from all levels of government — school districts, county, city, state, and federal agencies; as well as public-private partnerships — that are at the forefront of innovative government action. my.hawaii.gov delivers ‘Your Government – Your Way,’ with a first of its kind approach to the gamification of government, leveraging existing portal architecture and a Single Sign-On system.
“We are continuing to incrementally implement additional capabilities in 2015 and beyond,” said Keone Kali, State of Hawaii CIO. “Our ultimate aim is to provide access to relevant information and offer transparency in government. We are extremely honored and proud of our team. This recognition strengthens our resolve in taking our Internet presence and application of citizen-facing services to the next level.”
my.hawaii.gov integrates with seven departments and includes a rich history of business conducted online with the state. Several of the core technologies have been in place for a number of years including Centralized Payments (2006) and Single Sign On (2008). It took some time for these enabling technologies to become prevalent enough across the enterprise in Hawaii. When the State asked its Internet portal provider, Hawaii Information Consortium, LLC (HIC), what could be done to forever change the way citizens perceive online government services, the answer was clear: leverage gamification techniques. There were three goals:
- Notify users of existing services about other related services they might also like to use.
- Give users a central point to access all information about their state and county government interactions.
- Inform users of what other services people are using, how much time, paper and gasoline they saved, and inspire some “collabetition.”
“The concept of applying game-design thinking to other applications is essentially taking advantage of proven best practice models to make resources more engaging. We are taking citizen engagement and user experience seriously. This is paying off with a measurable 20 percent increase in adoption over one year,” added Kali.
Gamification efforts were launched in November 2013 and April 2014, and have already been successful in increasing online adoption rates. Adoption rates indicate the ratio of an online service used versus paper. New services inspired by my.hawaii.gov include email and/or text based “gentle reminders” for filing deadlines and even the ability to monitor your business entity’s status at alertme.ehawaii.gov. A walk through of the service is available online at m.hi.gov/win.
“The Bright Ideas program demonstrates that often seemingly intractable problems can be creatively and capably tackled by small groups of dedicated, civic-minded individuals,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center. “As exemplified by this year’s Bright Ideas, making government work better doesn’t always require massive reforms and huge budgets. Indeed, we are seeing that, in many ways, an emphasis on efficiency and adaptability can have further-reaching effects than large-scale reforms.”
This is the fourth cohort recognized through the Bright Ideas program, an initiative of the broader Innovations in American Government Awards program. For consideration as a Bright Idea, programs must currently be in operation or in the process of launching and have sufficient operational resources and must be administered by one or more governmental entities; nonprofit, private sector, and union initiatives are eligible if operating in partnership with a governmental organization. Bright Ideas are showcased on the Ash Center’s Government Innovators Network, an online platform for practitioners and policymakers to share innovative public policy solutions.
About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards, the Center fosters creative and effective government problem solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world’s citizens. For more information, visit www.ash.harvard.edu.
Hawaii’s official Internet portal, portal.ehawaii.gov, is managed by Hawaii Information Consortium, LLC, a Hawaii corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of eGovernment firm, NIC Inc. (NASDAQ: EGOV). Hawaii Information Consortium partners with state agencies to bring more state business online and improve public access to government information.
Founded in 1992, NIC (NASDAQ: EGOV) is the nation’s leading provider of official government websites, online services, and secure payment processing solutions. The company’s innovative eGovernment services help make government more accessible to everyone through technology. The family of NIC companies provides eGovernment solutions for more than 3,500 federal, state, and local agencies in the United States. Forbes has named NIC as one of the “100 Best Small Companies in America” five times, most recently ranked at No.11 (2013), and the company has been included four times on the Barron’s 400 Index. Additional information is available at egov.com.
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Associate Director for Communications, Ash Center
General Manager, eHawaii.gov