Web Governance:
Buzzwords, Bywords
Mr. Lothar Wedekind
Head, News & Information Section
Division of Public Information
International Atomic Energy Agency
November 2006
Web4Development Forum, United Nations
The Panel
• Geoff Barnard, Head of Information, Institute of
Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
• Sharon Rusu, Coordinator, ReliefWeb, the UN gateway to
information on humanitarian emergencies and disasters.
The Panel
• Robert Valantin, Manager, Development Information,
Information Solutions Group, World Bank
• Daria Lavrentieva, Regional Web Coordinator, South Asia,
World Bank http://lnweb18.worldbank.org/sar/sa.nsf
What’s Web Governance?
• In short, how websites are operated, designed, & managed
• Issues of control, accountability, responsibility, & authority
What’s Web Governance?
“Web governance is the structure of people, positions,
authorities, roles, responsibilities, relationships, and rules
involved in managing an agency’s website or sites.” –
US Web Managers Advisory Council definition
What’s Web Governance?
Different management models:
• Centralized: Tight control over organization’s website look,
feel, content; one central web office or group
• Decentralized: Distributed oversight; multiple websites
determining content; often similar look and feel
What’s Web Governance?
• Getting things done:
“Management and coordination have become the
primary limiting factors of many Web initiatives.
Organizations must improve their Web governance
structures if Internet, intranet, extranet and portal
projects are to meet their full potential. ”—Gartner
Analyst Jeff Martin, Advance Web Governance Step
by Step, July 2005
What’s Web Governance?
• The buzzword & byword often is budget:
“Governance is the latest marketing buzzword” like
“paperless office” in the 1980s. “Although the term is
overused, it still fills a need for organizations to find ways to
quantify and
qualify the IT or
Analyst David
Kelly, Web
expert writing in
Informal Survey: Vienna
• United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
– Peter Holzleitner contact http://www.unido.org/
• United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) –
Alexei Tepaev contact, on behalf of multiple UN organizations
based in Vienna http://www.unodc.org/unodc/index.html
Informal Survey: Vienna
• Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) -Lucinia Bal-Doebel contact http://www.osce.org/
• International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) –
Horace Agbogbe contact http://www.iaea.org
Survey: Web Publishing Policy, Guides, Procedures?
• Guidelines, rules partially or fully in place
• Need for updates to keep pace with tech developments
• Fewer approvals of content required than for publishing
print products
• In some cases, contributors publish directly, with editing
done after the fact as needed
• Web team, if within public information setup, has final
word/ editorial control
Survey: Web Publishing Apps, Tools, Training?
• Content management systems, some home-grown
and tailored to site; sometimes by IT staff,
sometimes by editorial staff
• Web evaluation/feedback applications
• Organizational web-related training tends to be
within IT environment
Survey: Multiple public sites/collaboration?
• Many public sites/sub-sites common, up to 20+
including multiple languages
• Separate editor, support staff initially, but not
necessarily sustained
• Some organizations have web group meeting once a
week; others meet two or three times a year
• Some have web newsletters, emails, etc.
Survey: Size/Composition of Web teams?
• No magic number – five to seven staff often reported for main
public website
• Can include…
• Website manager
• Writer/Editor(s)
• Webmaster/infrastructure manager
• Web architect/designer
• Programmer (reported as outsourced)
• Web editorial assistants
• Few activities outsourced (some reported Web server
maintenance and/or programmer support)
Q & A: What’s your experience?
Just another day for the web team….

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