Making things open is making things better

ca.gov coronavirus website screenshot
ca.gov coronavirus website

California’s Governor Newsom just launched the state’s new coronavirus website, covid19.ca.gov. It is simple, clear and fast, as it must be at this time of crisis.

It was built in a few days by the Governor’s excellent new alpha.ca.gov team in Sacramento. Having worked with them since the autumn, we’re not surprised that Angie, Mike and a quickly assembled cross-government team have delivered for their state when the need struck.

And it’s been notable to observe how Angie and her team are determined to learn everything possible from the teams delivering similar coronavirus websites in other jurisdictions – not just here in the UK but also in places like Iceland,New Zealand and Peru. Peru’s page to to let people apply for freedom of movement and quarantine exemption was built in just 36 hours.

Meanwhile, the Nova Scotia Digital Service (working with Communications Nova Scotia) shipped a simple virus screening tool from scratch in 48 hours and published the code open source. They worked remotely, across departments, and continue to iterate it as medical advice changes.

And the open source notification platforms in the UK, Canada and Australia are setting up new services on their platforms in a matter of minutes, allowing them to send millions of vital sms and email messages.

I could go on – there’s just so much informal and formal sharing going on between teams in different governments, all focused on how to get the right message out in the right way to the right people. A cross-border response to a cross-border crisis. We’re collecting a list of the sites these teams have delivered at the bottom of this blog post.

These teams have made things open. And it’s making things better for us all.

Thank you, all of you.

An ever-growing list of coronavirus advice websites from governments around the world

Please tell us in a comment below (or a tweet) if you know of any we’ve missed, or if we’ve linked to the wrong one (sorry).

7 thoughts on Making things open is making things better

  1. The end of business as usual – Public DigitalApril 6, 2020

    […] Making things open is making things better by Tom Loosemore […]

  2. What excellent digital government teams are doing right now – Public DigitalApril 6, 2020

    […] efforts available to others, such as Singapore’s contact tracing app TraceTogether. Here is a list (that is regularly updated) of online responses from jurisdictions around the […]

  3. Sinead Doyle (@smcdoyle)March 19, 2020

    Great list! Not from a government, but Newspeak's crowdsourced Coronavirus Tech Handbook also has some great resources https://coronavirustechhandbook.com/

  4. Richard SmithMarch 19, 2020

    We’ve puled together this map of amazing local support services. Blog with details: https://blogs.hackney.gov.uk/hackit/how-we-all-responded-to-covid-19-in-36-hours

  5. David DurantMarch 19, 2020

    GLA https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/organisations-we-work/london-prepared

  6. Tom LoosemoreMarch 19, 2020

    Thanks Simon - have updated the list.

  7. Simon RenaultMarch 19, 2020

    Welsh Government have bilingual advice https://gov.wales/coronavirus

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