Hundreds European, North and South American and African Public organizations participate in the PloneGov project. The goals of this close collaboration is to share knowledge and develop in a cooperative manner, applications and websites suited for public organization for their own use as well as for their citizens’. PloneGov strategy mainly rests on two renowned multiplatform Open Source tools: Plone and Zope.
Apart from a greater independence from IT service providers, PloneGov expected benefits are: to enhance the applications’ consistency with the users’ needs; to promote collaborative websites (managed by communal services, associations and businesses); to promote both the independence and the proficiency of the Communes’ internal IT staff; to use the most recent technologies while avoiding licence fees; to ensure publication of sources with General Public License (GPL).
PloneGov, the strong points
- Plone: all the applications developed within the framework of the project are based on a common technology, Plone. This tool, 100% open source, is available in 40 languages, and is internationally recognised for its stability and ease of use. Plone is a content management system which allows people with no or limited technical knowledge to provide with content a tool interfaced in web mode, enabling them, for instance, to update the content of a website. Zope, the application server, includes basic modules such as access management and security, as well as a workflow system, a web server, a database, etc.
- Collaboration: With the support of SME’s, administrations develop applications that they make available to their peers, others help to identify problems and find solutions to them, and others still participate in editing and documenting, and in testing. Everyone contributes according to the means that they have available. All assistance is welcome, and everybody benefits. With PloneGov the development of software that corresponds to a specific need is never undertaken repeatedly, thus eliminating unnecessary expense. The public administrations become more efficient, while also reducing costs.
- Accessibility: PloneGov respects standards in terms of accessibility (WAI) with the objective of aiding navigation on the Internet by persons with visual and motor deficiencies.
- Effectiveness: By developing management applications specifically adapted to the needs of public authorities, PloneGov enables their effectiveness to be considerably improved, their repetitive tasks to be automated, and public funds to be saved.
- Economy of knowledge: By offering the many companies and associations located within the territories of the associations taking part the possibility of having their own mini website, the public authorities are directly combating the gap between those who do and don’t have access to the internet, encouraging promotion and activity within local economic and association life and participating in the training of the population.
- Making the most of skills: PloneGov enables full benefit to be made of the skills and human resources which public authorities and local businesses have at their disposal. It breaks down technological dependency and gives everyone their own autonomy.
PloneGov, the applications
Over 15 applications are already in production. Here are some examples. Others are still under development.
Out of the box Municipal internet site: an easily reproducible internet site which is suited to the needs of cities (agenda, newsletter, RSS feed, geo-location, a mini website for companies and associations, etc.)
- Meetings management for a decision-making entity: additions to and management of the running order, list of those present, drawing up minutes, follow-up of decisions taken, generation of documents in pdf format, etc.
- On-line services: an ordering module for official documents, inter-connectable to an on-line payment system and, in Belgium, with another eID secured connection.
How to join the PloneGov community?
The Public Organizations wishing to join the project are invited to contact its coordinators.
See information on: http://www.plonegov.org/support