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Open Standards for Government Transformation: Enabling transparency, security and interoperability

Sponsor: Sustainable Development Network

                           Oasis event

OASIS, the international open standards consortium, joined with the Global Information and Communication Technologies Department/e-Development TG and World Bank Institute to

present a workshop on    

Open Standards for Government Transformation: 
Enabling Transparency, Security and Interoperability

April 17, 2009
World Bank, Washington, D. C.

Visit OASIS website of this event

The live webcast has been recorded and can be now watched at these links: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 (Real Media version) and here (scroll to last page for Starbak Windows Media version at 56 kbs bitrate, with chat and slide show)

Read live coverage/summary of this event on blog and Twitter

Speakers' Profiles       

  Press Release


This event was also covered in Social Media/Web 2.0 sites thanks to our partnership with

Feedback from African participants:  Sumary of discussion among African sites prior to the Workshop   Summary

So how did it go? We had about 80 participants in Washington DC and 80 in 7 other cities plus about 50 live webcast participants.  The workshop featured  19 speakers in 5 global panels and 3 country discussants. Many others were participating in online discussions in social media platforms. 

This event was unique in terms of experimenting quite successfully with new powerful social media tools like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing, Flickr thanks to our partnership with Austrian ICT for Development Network. For example, Twitter has generated 11 pages (!!) of short messages summarizing key takeaways coming out of this event. Our Austrian partners also did a comprehensive live coverage of the event on both Twitter and on their own blog featuring most interesting quotes and photos (which we sent them using iPhone during the workshop).

Program Description

“At this time of global economic crisis, when governments are planning major reforms of their regulatory regimens, it is imperative that consideration for open standards be part of the solution. Standards build trust, support greater transparency and accountability, and reinforce citizens' confidence.” - Laurent Liscia, executive director of OASIS.

This one-day workshop offered a unique opportunity for professionals from the World Bank, leading public administrations and the private sector to share experiences in using open standards for transforming government. Issues surrounding  public financial management, e-procurement, cloud computing, electronic identification, security, and interoperability frameworks were discussed. 

This workshop helped to understand how to make better policy, strategy and technology decisions when designing and implementing ICT projects and components, which will maximize development impact and sustainability of these investments.

Open standards allow different systems, platforms, and devices to communicate, and are at the very core of the new “open” architectures. Open standards provide choice and interoperability between systems. The Internet, based largely on the framework of the TCP/IP and HTML standards, is a strong example of open standards-driven innovation. Leading governments have begun to emphasize open standards as part of their policy frameworks on ICTs. For example the UK has recently come out with a Government Action Plan on "Open Source, Open Standards and Re-Use". Developing countries need to incorporate open-standards while leveraging ICT for development. 

Open standards and interoperability are important for rolling out convenient 'one-stop' services for citizens and businesses. They are also important for avoiding waste in public expenditure and unnecessary duplication of investments. These issues are particularly relevant in the context of the current economic crisis. For ensuring interoperability across government, it is necessary to focus on organizational structures that help exchange of data and information (organizational interoperability), evolving a common language for understanding various functions of government (semantic interoperability) and dealing with technical aspects to ensure that different systems can talk to each other (technical interoperability).

Speakers examined the relevance and promise of open standards to developing and transition countries in their pursuit of good governance and better service delivery. Onsite attendees were joined via interactive video links with officials from client countries, including Russia, Moldova, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and many others joined via live webcast.

The following questions were discussed among others:

  • What should be the institutional structures for ensuring compliance to open standards and interoperability across government?
  • What mechanisms should be put in place to ensure that interoperability standards/frameworks are kept current in the context of rapid changes in technology?
  • What arrangements should be put in place for connecting developing and transition countries with international standards bodies and leading public administrations in an era of cross-border interoperability?

This workshop is part of the broader Government Transformation Initiative (GTI), a collaboration of GICT, WBI, PREM with the private sector.  The initiative focuses on building capacity of government leaders to pursue ICT-enabled public sector transformation.  The GTI will develop and promote viable business models and best practices through peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and training events. A project development facility to support selected Governments in setting up the enabling environment and initiating concrete related projects is also contemplated.

Program Agenda

8:15 am -8:30 am


Establishment of video links to the distance participants


Opening Keynote Session: Open Standards for Government Transformation

Workshop moderator:  Randeep Sudan, Practice Leader for e-Government, Global ICT Department, World Bank


Introduction of audience in remote sites

Welcome and Introduction

Laurent Liscia, Executive Director, OASIS
  • Philippe Dongier, Manager, Global ICT Department, World Bank
  • Han Fraeters, Manager, GDLN/ Knowledge Exchange, World Bank

8:30 am -9:30 am


















9:30 am



Keynote speech:  e-Government in Ghana and the Adoption of Open Standards - Experiences, Challenges and Perspectives
Speaker:  Dr. Sam Somuah, Director General, Ghana Information and Communications Directorate (GICTeD)  
download presentation

This presentation traces the development of e-government in Ghana from its beginnings until the current efforts to develop national standards for interoperability among Government organizations. The intent is to provide these organizations the ability to transfer and use information in a uniform and efficient manner across multiple organizations and information technology systems. In developing the e-Government Interoperability Framework, efforts were made to ensure that it is vendor-neutral and open standards-based. All standards and guidelines must therefore conform to open standards principles. This presentation also discusses the process of implementation, and relevant experience gained and goes on to discuss challenges problems faced to date.


Panel One:   Identity, Authentication and Security

Chair:   Deepak Bhatia,   Practice Leader for e-Government Applications, Global ICT Department, World Bank

Credential Management Evolution

Speaker: Bob Sunday, Senior Architect, CTO, PWGSC, Canada & OASIS eGov

Steering Committee   download presentation

This will be a trip through the Canadian Government initiatives to provide individualized information and transactions for citizens and businesses. The presentation will focus on the infrastructure decisions needed for an architecture to support the changing service delivery environment. The evolving use of standards to provide choice as well as interoperability will be highlighted. Our experiences should help others avoid some of the difficult and expensive parts of the road we have travelled so far, as we continue to follow our strategy and vision.

Identity & Authentication Standards: Status Report

Speaker:  Colin Wallis, Identity Standards Manager, New Zealand Government & OASIS eGov Steering Committee & OASIS eGov Steering Committee  download presentation

Colin's presentation will snapshot the current status and emerging trends in Identity and Authentication standardization.  It will touch on the key consortiums and industry sectors, the various competing protocols that they support and the progress towards interoperability, if not convergence.  Colin will share the learning experiences from the New Zealand Identity and Authentication Programme, as it transformed from a distant follower in 2005 to become an influential leader by 2009, and how every nation can play a significant role in the shaping of standards in this space.

Information Security Standards:  Promoting Trust, Transparency and Due Diligence
Speaker:  Ron Ross, Senior Computer Scientist and Information Security Researcher, National Institute of Standards and Technology  
download presentation





11:00 am


12:30 pm


Panel Two:  Public Financial Management and e-Procurement

Chair:    Laurent Liscia, Executive Director, OASIS


Standards for Public Financial Management, including e-Procurement
David Temoshok, Director, Identity Policy & Management, GSA, Washington   download presentation
This session will discuss U.S. national standards and requirements for electronic transactions, including requirements for electronic signature, authentication, and validation. Such transactions are used to support access control authorizations, financial transactions, supply chain management and e-procurement.


Cyber Security Issues Impacting Public Sector Financial Management

Speaker:  John T. Sabo, CISSP Director, Global Government Relations, CA, Inc.   download presentation  

Public financial management systems, e-procurement, and other services vital to government operations and citizen trust increasingly make use of information technology, networked infrastructures and Internet services.  Cyber security risks continue to multiply as the threat landscape broadens.  As governmental services migrate to Internet and Internet Protocol-based infrastructures, managing cyber security risk takes on greater importance as government agencies cut ties to old business processes and fully embrace Internet-based services.  This presentation will provide an overview of cybersecurity risk issues, a number of public-private sector partnership efforts to assess and mitigate cyber risks, and examples of work underway by Technical Committees in the OASIS IDtrust Member Section to develop standards to help address these challenges.

Standards-Based e-Government Procurement Systems:  Opportunities and Priorities
Eduardo Talero, Senior Consultant, World Bank  download presentation
Introduction of electronic government procurement (eGP) is one of the highest priority items in the international eGovernance agenda with compelling political and business rationale, few conceptual detractors yet quite modest results. This presentation will examine how international and open standards can help accelerate the pace of introduction and evolution of eGP systems, where some major opportunities and priorities lie and how multilateral development organizations can help this process.


12:30 - 1:30

Lunch Break


1:30pm – 3:00pm


Panel Three:   Interoperability Frameworks


Chair:  Bill Piatt, CIO, International Finance Corporation, The World Bank Group,

Power and Institutional Values:  Interoperability as Politics
Speaker:  Peter Lord, Director, Technology Policy, Oracle Corporation

Enabling government interoperability can bring benefits to all stakeholders; however, the barriers to developing and successfully using a framework are not just technical.  This presentation will identify and review governance aspects of interoperability frameworks and examine strategies that work to greater align technology and policy experts.


Interoperability and Cloud Computing
Speaker:  Daniel Burton, Senior Vice President,   download presentation

This presentation will discuss the emergence of cloud computing and the advantages it offers, with a special focus on security, reliability, integration and interoperability.

Interoperability, Web and Mobile Applications:  Opening the Door to Access and Sharing
Speaker:  Kevin Novak, Vice President, Integrated Web Strategy and Technology, The American Institute of Architects (representing W3C)    
download presentation

Interoperability across the web and applications requires standardization, thought, and planning. The presentation will discuss legacy and other challenges, provide insight into the available standards and processes which exist to aid movement forward and review the benefits of interoperability.



3:00pm – 3:30pm


Concluding Session:  Concluding remarks from the Steering Committee

Members of OASIS eGov Member Section

Chair:  Wm.(Bill) Barnhill, Booz Allen Hamilton & Secretary, Steering Committee

OASIS eGov Member Section


Randeep Sudan, Practice Leader for e-Government, Global ICT Department, World Bank



Previous eTG Events on Open Standards

Open Systems for e-Government in Developing and Transition Countries: Open Source, Open Standards and Open Format

Evolving to Open ICT Ecosystems

The event was also co-sponsored by The Institute of the Information Society (Russia), and many other partners.

Last updated: 2009-03-16

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