Commonwealth Local Government Forum


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Streamlining project management with Microsoft in the city of Stirling, Australia

Project management can be both complex and challenging. And when projects span multiple areas, are interdependent, and cost many millions of dollars, project managers play a mission-critical role.

Author: Microsoft Publisher: Microsoft Publication year: 2018

Surat Safe City Project

To provide a safer community for its citizens, the Surat City Police Department started the ‘Safe City Project’, an initiative striving to reduce the city’s crime rate using modern technology.

Author: Microsoft CityNext Publisher: Microsoft CityNext Publication year: 2016

Canadian city adds automated services, saves money with cloud solution

In effort to bring its technological capabilities in line with other major cities, the City of Regina, Canada, built a portal powered by Microsoft Azure to handle community sign-on for accessing city services and viewing public utility bills. The city also adopted Microsoft Office 365 to increase productivity of government employees and serve citizens more efficiently. As a result of its move to the cloud, the city enhanced municipal worker output and saved taxpayer dollars in IT infrastructure costs.

Author: Microsoft Publisher: Microsoft Publication year: 2018

Smart transport in Antwerp

Antwerp, Belgium, chose Microsoft Azure-based Be-Mobile technology to build its SlimNaarAntwerp platform, which is providing citizens with a mobility-as-a-service solution to identify an optimum trip, combining different means of transportation—car, train, shared bikes and on foot. The plan is to avoid 20,000 car movements to Antwerp’s city center during rush hours while improving satisfaction.

Author: Microsoft Publisher: Microsoft Publication year: 2018

Houston: Smart City Transformation

See how Houston has partnered with Microsoft's CDS IoT Scale team to identify IoT solutions that create a connected foundation for the city. By utilizing technology to build a cohesive connected infrastructure, they are one of the pioneering cities to connect citizens, data and a well-integrated fabric across the city to allow real-time learning and sharing.

Author: Microsoft Publisher: Microsoft Publication year: 2018

Canadian city uses the cloud to remove barriers, reduce costs, and improve citizen engagement

The City of Brampton, located in the Ontario province of Canada, has a highly mobile workforce that needs data at a moment’s notice to do their jobs. The city is using Microsoft cloud solutions to deliver highly secure IT services to its workforce when and where they’re needed. The city has created a collaborative culture where employees come together to address citizen needs, work more efficiently, and ultimately save taxpayers money.

Author: Microsoft CityNext Publisher: Microsoft CityNext Publication year: 2016

The city of Burlington Canada – a trend to smarter governance

In the lobby of City Hall in Burlington, Ontario, an inscription reads “Where people, nature and business thrive”. Repeatedly voted as one of the best places to live in Canada, the City of Burlington is committed to innovation, sustainable growth, and to building trust with its most valued assets – its constituents.

Author: Microsoft Publisher: Microsoft Publication year: 2018

How Glasgow is reinventing itself with data

In 2013, Glasgow City Council won £24 million in a competition to become a model for demonstrating smart city technology at scale. Here’s how the city is using the latest technology and open data culture to reinvent itself with greater transparency, responsiveness and as an engine of growth.

Author: Microsoft CityNext Publisher: Microsoft CityNext Publication year: 2015

Supporting local government associations: creating value for member councils in Queensland Australia

Local Government Associations play a vital role in not only representing their constituent Councils, but also sharing best practice and knowledge. The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), with its 77 local government members, is no exception. Membership is voluntary and the Association is proud of its coverage and is determined to preserve it.

Author: Microsoft Publisher: Microsoft Publication year: 2018

Sedibeng District Municipality assisted in achieving a clean audit for two years running

All activities of local government in South Africa are tightly regulated. There are numerous Acts governing how municipalities need to run operations. Municipalities are challenged by not having effective and efficient systems, tools, and processes to support managing their operations. This ultimately impacts on their ability to being able to effectively and timeously monitor their performance against their annual plans. However, the Sedibeng District Municipality was on a manual system that had a negative impact on its effectiveness and productivity. Sedibeng therefore needed to implement a performance management system that would comply with South African legislative requirements. The municipality went on an open tender and awarded the project to Microsoft partner Vision Activ that specialises in performance management solutions for both the corporate and public sectors.

Author: Microsoft CityNext Publisher: Microsoft CityNext Publication year: 2016

Espoo proves that artificial intelligence recognises those who need support

The unique artificial intelligence experiment by the City of Espoo and the software and service company Tieto achieved the hoped-for result: artificial intelligence can pick up service paths out of an enormous mass of service data by grouping together risk factors that trigger the need for heavy and expensive services if found in the same person. The experiment was unique, because public administration client relationship data has never been combined and analysed as extensively using artificial intelligence before.

Author: Microsoft Publisher: Microsoft Publication year: 2018

How Singapore is realising the true power of the Internet of Things (IoT)

We’re at a transformative moment in time where the proliferation of technology has penetrated into every aspect of our lives and allows us to advance a broad range of sectors. With the number of connected devices set to reach 26 billion by 2020, we’re reaching a tipping point in which we can realize the power of Internet of Things (IoT) across various sectors – from transport to logistic and healthcare. On a recent trip to Singapore, I had the pleasure of meeting with Microsoft partners, and business leaders in both the public and private sectors. I am impressed by the country’s drive towards becoming the world’s first Smart Nation – a bold vision that is being realized by bringing together government, academics, big businesses, and startups, to solve some of the world’s toughest societal challenges through technologies such as the cloud, IoT, and analytics.

Author: Jean-Philippe Courtois, Microsoft CityNext Publisher: Microsoft CityNext Publication year: 2016

Award-winning solution keeps Auckland ahead of the growth curve

Auckland, New Zealand, has big plans for our city’s transportation infrastructure. We can’t afford to think in half-measures, because Auckland continues to grow at a dramatic pace. By 2020, our city of 1.4 million is expected to expand to 2.2 million, and a lot of those people are going to need ways to get around. We adopted a custom digital solution called Fulcrum that could manage the 200-plus construction projects on our plate from end-to-end. Developed by LeapThought, the 2015 Microsoft CityNext Partner of the Year, Fulcrum uses the capabilities of SharePoint Server to provide cross-departmental tools that help manage properties impacted by projects such as City Rail Link. Although Fulcrum was implemented initially for City Rail Link, the solution can grow and evolve with our agency’s needs. The cost savings and operational efficiencies gained by using Fulcrum on big projects can also extend to smaller capital projects as well. We estimate a savings of $3 million in the first 10 years alone, and the more projects we put into the system, the more savings we’ll realize.

Author: Roger Jones, Microsoft CityNext Publisher: Microsoft CityNext Publication year: 2015

Kent County Council - local economy and social services - data innovations

Kent County Council (KCC) UK is responsible for providing public services in education, transport, strategic planning, emergency services, social services, public safety and waste disposal to 1.4M residents across 12 district councils and 300 town and parish councils. KCC wanted to rethink Citizen Services for a digital world that would improve health and social care, regenerate towns and cities, and grow its gross domestic product (GDP) by using technology as an enabler to help make people’s lives better.

Author: Microsoft CityNext Publisher: Microsoft CityNext Publication year: 2015

Gender-Responsive Budgeting: The Case of a Rural Local Body in Kerala

This article discusses gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) at the local level in Kerala by studying a village panchayat, the lowest tier of rural local government. GRB of a rudimentary form, known as Women Component Plan (WCP), had been in existence at the local level for the last 20 years as a key feature of participatory planning. The study adopts a fourfold classification of all projects implemented in the panchayat on the basis of their gender friendliness and calculates allocation and expenditure under each of these categories. The data on which the article relies relate to the expenditure incurred under the annual plans rather than budgets, which are based on inflated and unreliable data. The article ends by making some observations based on the data and the overall experience of Kerala in gender budgeting.

Author: John S. Moolakkattu, John S. Moolakkattu Publisher: Sage open Publication year: 2018

Economic Development Pathways for Local Area Development: A Guide to Understanding Local Economic Development and its Implementational Challenges in Ghana

Since 1988, Ghana has embarked on a more vigorous agenda of decentralisation where power and resources have been made available to the local governments to realise their own development agenda. This policy decision has engendered more praise and admiration as a boost in the process of consolidating the county's democratic gains. Rather than waiting on the central government for very minimal level of development support, communities in Ghana now had governments (local political administrations) closer to them usually cited in the district capitals. Complains and agitations for enhanced service delivery no longer had to wait for months and in some cases years to be heard as one could now drive to a nearby government administrative body to lodge such complains. Over three decades of implementing Ghana's decentralisation agenda, local level development has not been exactly what the local residents expected. In recent times, there is even more calls for investment and development in communities that what used to exist some 30 years back. There are increased calls for job opportunities in the local areas in the various districts or municipalities; the lack of which compels the teeming youth to move to cities in search of better livelihoods. Whereas successive governments since Ghana's independence have tried to spread developments across the country with the latest attempts at empowering MMDAs to take charge, the gap in local level investments continuous to widen. The MMDAs themselves have failed to create the platforms for local businesses to spring up and thrive.

Author: Kwadwo Ohene Sarfoh, David Anaafo, Edward Teye Sarpong, Dennis Asare Asante Publisher: Journal of Good Governance, Africa Publication year: March 2020

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