As many of you know I (along with many other industry leaders from different industry/civil society segments) was proactively invited to be part of the NSTIC process including submitting a response to the notice of inquiry about how the IDESG and Identity Ecosystem should be governed.
I advocated and continue to advocate that citizen involvement and broad engagement from a broad variety of citizen groups and perspectives would be essential for it to work. The process itself needed to have its own legitimacy even if “experts” would have come to “the same decisions” if citizens were and are not involved the broad rainbow that is America might not accept the results.
I have co-lead the Internet Identity Workshop since 2005 every 6 months in Mountain View, California at the Computer History Museum. It is an international event and folks from Canada working on similar challenges have been attending for several years this includes Aran Hamilton from the National oriented Digital ID and Authentication Council (DIAC) and several of the leaders of the British Columbia Citizen Services Card effort.
I worked with Aron Hamilton helping him put on the first Identity North Conference to bring key leaders together from a range of industries to build shared understanding about what identity is and how systems around the world are working along with exploring what to do in Canada.
The British Columbia Government (a province of Canada where I grew up) worked on a citizen services card for many years. They developed an amazing system that is triple blind. An article about the system was recently run in RE:ID. The system launched with 2 services – drivers license and health services card. The designers of the system knew it could be used for more then just these two services but they also knew that citizen input into those policy decisions was essential to build citizen confidence or trust in the system. The other article in the RE:ID magazine was by me about the citizen engagement process they developed.
They developed to extensive system diagrams to help provide explanations to regular citizens about how it works. (My hope is that the IDESG and the NSTIC effort broadly can make diagrams this clear.)
The government created a citizen engagement plan with three parts:
The first was convening experts. They did this in relationship with Aron Hamilton and Mike Monteith from Identity North – I as the co-designer and primary facilitator of the first Identity North was brought into work on this. They had an extensive note taking team and the reported on all the sessions in a book of proceedings. They spell my name 3 different ways in the report.
The most important was a citizen panel that was randomly selected citizens to really deeply engage with citizens to determine key policy decisions moving forward. It also worked on helping the government understand how to explain key aspects of how the system actually works. Look in the RE:ID I wrote an article for RE:ID about the process you can see that here.
The results were not released when I wrote that. Now they are! yeah! The report is worth reading because it shows the regular citizens who are given the task of considering critical issues can come out with answers that make sense and help government work better.
They also did an online survey open for a month to any citizen of the province to give their opinion. That you can see here.
Together all of these results were woven together into a collective report.
Bonus material: This is a presentation that I just found covering many of the different Canadian province initiatives.
PS: I’m away in BC this coming week – sans computer. I am at Hollyhock…the conference center where I am the poster child (yes literally). If you want to be in touch this week please connect with William Dyson my partner at The Leola Group.