The “Digital Leaders” Program: Evaluation of the First Cycle, Interim Findings

“Digital Leaders” is a program implemented as a partnership between the government national initiative “Digital Israel”, the Government ICT Authority, the Civil Service Commission and the JDC Institute for Leadership and Government. The program aims to advance the vision of the national initiative “Digital Israel” of promoting economic growth, enhancing social welfare and reducing social gaps through digitization. The main goal of the program is to create a leadership group of change agents that will promote innovative and digital-based projects in the social sector.

The programs goals are to enhance knowledge, strengthen skills and provide tools to promote digital excellence and lead digital projects as well as foster professional contacts and cooperation among the participants.

The first group included 39 senior executives from government ministries, local government and civil society organizations. The program included an educational phase, a phase in which projects were developed in small groups and a seminar at Harvard.

The Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute was asked to carry out an evaluation of the program. To this end, self-administered on-line questionnaires were completed by program participants at the end of the activity.

Highlights from the reports of the participants:

  • The participant reported that the program contributed to the acquisition of knowledge and enhancement of their understanding with regard to advancement of digitization. It also provided them with skills and tools to apply these understandings in practice.
  • The vast majority of the participants reported high motivation to assume leadership roles in this field. Many of them have even begun to implement digital projects beyond those that they were involved in as part of the course.
  • The program contribute significantly to creating and enhancing professional ties among the participants and established a base for shared activity in the future. Some of them expressed an interest in the strengthening of the infrastructure for their work as a group after the completion of the program
  • There was more emphasize on digitization in the government and less on digitization in the municipal level or civil society, both in terms of the program’s content and the number of participants from the different sectors.
  • Although all the participants reported a significant contribution of the program, this was higher among participants from implementing ministries (e.g. education and health) than among participants from administrative ministries (e.g. Finance and Justice).
  • The participants expressed an interest in a more hands-on practice during the program, as well as strengthening the project phase, by providing more consultation and assistance in selecting the projects and in implementing them.

The findings were presented to the program’s steering committee and have served as an important resource in planning the next cycle.

The study was commissioned and funded by “Digital Israel” and the JDC Institute for Leadership and Government.

Citing suggestion: Kedem Kadish, L. (2016). The “Digital Leaders” Program: Evaluation of the First Cycle, Interim Findings. Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute. (Hebrew)