The computer systems of government agencies are notoriously complex. New technologies are piled on older technologies, creating layers that call to mind an archaeological dig. Obsolete programming languages and closed mainframe designs offer barriers to integration with other agency systems. Worldwide, these unwieldy systems waste billions of dollars, keep citizens from receiving services, and even—as seen in interoperability failures on 9/11 and during Hurricane Katrina—cost lives. In this book, Alon Peled offers a groundbreaking approach for enabling information sharing among public sector agencies: using selective incentives to “nudge” agencies to exchange information assets. Peled proposes the establishment of a Public Sector Information Exchange (PSIE), through which agencies would trade information.
For more information about the book see here.
Book Launch Event
On January 28, 2015, the Hebrew University's Library held a special event to honor the publication of "Traversing Digital Babel." Professor Karine Nahon (IDC and the University of Washington), Dr. Jennifer Shkabatur (IDC & World Bank) and Ms. Shevy Korzen (CEO of Israel's Public Knowledge Workshop) delivered presentations based on their work. Alon Peled delivered concluding remarks. Professor David Levi-Faur, Chairperson of the Federman School of Public Policy of the Hebrew University monitored the event.
Endorsements for Traversing Digital Babel
“How can we make better use of the information locked away in bureaucracies? Traversing Digital Babelexpertly helps us to understand the dysfunctions of existing governmental information systems, but also offers a compelling solution to facilitate greater sharing of government data.”
—Donald P. Moynihan, Professor of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin–Madison; author of The Dynamics of Performance Management
“How can we unleash data-sharing in government that is beneficial to society? In this original, eye-opening study, Alon Peled takes us deep into a world of data huggers and explains how we can turn them into data sharers. Peled is an optimist with a plan!”
—Arjen Boin, Professor of Public Institutions and Governance, Leiden University; editor of Public Administration
“Alon Peled presents a clever solution to a pervasive problem: the failure of government agencies to share information. In lucid prose that draws extensively on real-world experience, Peled shows how market principles can spur information sharing--and carefully assesses the technical and ethical problems associated with a market-based approach.”
—Alasdair Roberts, Jerome L. Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy, Suffolk University Law School; author of Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age