While Gov 2.0 has been gaining a lot of traction recently; our economy remains stagnated. And during this arduous recovery period, the ugly truth is that many municipalities across the country have experienced stalling and de-prioritization of Gov 2.0 initiatives as fall-out from the economy. In fact, a Gartner survey taken of client’s priorities for the upcoming year shows less emphasis on Gov 2.0. Before ceasing efforts entirely, consider the following opportunities when burgeoning efforts are faced with deeply entrenched economic issues.
In the case of Gov 2.0, what you put into it should be relevant to what the people want out of it. Perhaps a politician is personally invested in a particular idea and utilizing emerging policies to promote or further their own agenda. Gov 2.0 will work best when it addresses the present concerns of the community. And what’s the best way to find out what the community’s priorities are? Just ask. If you’re busy focusing on open data initiatives but the wider community is preoccupied with public safety concerns or decaying infrastructure, none of your Gov 2.0 strategies are going to be successful. For the best results, continually strive to meet the needs of the people when launching new initiatives.
Also, Gov 2.0 isn’t a one-way street. While it’s great for communication, i.e. reaching a wider audience, promoting transparency, etc.; it’s also a tool for collaboration. Success can come not only in reaching the greater public but in tapping into this vast resource to help solve what ails your community. The ideas of those who live and work in your community shouldn’t be overlooked when trying to solve problems, even the nitty gritty ones like tax compliance and budget shortfalls.
Lastly, when it comes to Gov 2.0, we must keep the business of things in mind. While online initiatives don’t typically parallel business goals, Gov 2.0 outreach can and should align with an agencies goals. And while evaluating your strategies to ensure they have similar objectives, it’s important to weigh their costs and benefits. Using online outreach to promote citizen trust within your department may align with your goals, but if the costs outweigh the benefits then it’s time to reassess the manner in which your resources are allocated.