Critical Read

IT aids best practices for citizen engagement

a group of young adults

What: "Engaging Citizens in Co-Creation in Public Services: Lessons Learned and Best Practices" by Satish Nambisan and Priya Nambisan, is part of the Collaborating Across Boundaries Series from the IBM Center for the Business of Government.

Why: Like customers in the private sector, members of the public can provide valuable feedback on government initiatives. The report identifies roles -- explorer, ideator, designer and diffuser -- that individuals can play in government problem-solving. Those roles are due at least in part to new information technologies.

Public input can be facilitated through online competitions, mobile apps, open-source databases and online communities such as Facebook and Twitter. The report recommends increasing data transparency in high-impact problem areas, encouraging problem identification in online communities and framing problems in a comprehensive way for the general public.

Verbatim: "With the advent of information technologies including social media, mobile computing, and data analytics, the nature and scope of citizen involvement in problem-solving and public service innovation are changing. Such technologies have the potential to redefine relationships and connections among citizens and between citizens and their governments, enable access to and analysis of public data in ways that will lead to innovative solutions, and offer new platforms to develop and host innovative services."

Full report: BusinessofGovernment.org

About the Author

Reid Davenport is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him on Twitter: @ReidDavenport.

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