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January 19, 2016

From GovLoop.com

“Digitization can’t be successful as a solely top-down initiative from the CIO, but it also can’t really bubble up from the program level,” he explained. “It takes all of them working together. Successful digitization initiatives require buy-in and cooperation across all different elements of an agency. There’s a complexity that requires a lot of consensus.”

By Emily Jarvis

This interview is an excerpt from our recent guide, 30 Government Innovations That Mattered in 2015 which examines 30 government case studies that explore innovation at all levels of government. Innovations that spanned the government job spectrum from human resources to cybersecurity and back again.

January 18, 2016

From Granicus.com

How does the procurement process work? More importantly, what role does civic tech play in procurement in federal, state and local organizations? Let’s take a look:

By 

The government procurement process can sometimes be a headache to understand and navigate. In today’s fast-paced society, government organizations need to be able to keep up with changing trends without compromising efficiency within public-sector supply chains. E-government solutions are critical not only because they are the things being procured, but also because they play a key part in the act of purchasing new tools.

October 22, 2015

From CommsGoDigital:

In Community Engagement probably one of the weakest areas of the process is ‘closing the loop’, providing the feedback that shows how a decision has been made andwhere the community has had an influence.

By n

In Community Engagement probably one of the weakest areas of the process is ‘closing the loop’, providing the feedback that shows how a decision has been made andwhere the community has had an influence.

September 23, 2015

From nesta.org.uk

A crucial question is whether the same tools work well for different types of issue or context. The short answer is ‘no’. Here I suggest some simple formulae to ensure that the right tools are used for the right issues; I show why hybrid forms of online and offline are the future for parliaments and parties; and why the new tools emphasise conversation rather than only votes.

 

By Geoff Mulgan

I’ve written quite a few blogs and pieces on digital technology and democracy – most recently on the relevance of new-style political parties.[1]

Here I look at the practical question of how parliaments, assemblies and governments should choose the right methods for greater public engagement in decisions.

September 11, 2015

From Living Cities: 

This week, we bring you another edition of the i-teams Lightning Round shared by the Innovation Teams (i-teams), a cohort of in-house innovation consultants in cities across the United States and Israel that are developing and deploying bold ideas to tackle the biggest issues facing city governments.

September 3, 2015

From MySidewalk / Medium

Interested Bystanders are not apathetic, they’re American: busy, distracted, and discerning. If they’re not defaulting to demanding daily routines, they’re spending their precious fringe hours on activities that are entertaining and/or restorative. Civic engagement doesn’t usually make the cut.

 

 

According to recent research at Google, low civic participation is not so much an awareness problem as a motivation one. In fact, a whopping 48.9 percent of adult Americans are aware of the issues affecting the people and places around them; they just aren’t moved to action…easily.

September 1, 2015

From PublicCEO.com

Counties across California are increasingly facing tough challenges and are asking residents to weigh in in a variety of ways. However, many still find that only a relatively small number of community members actually take part in public conversations and forums. Not involving a cross-section of residents limits the effectiveness of public engagement efforts, negatively impacts the breadth and quality of ideas contributed, and can reduce community support for the decisions reached by the governing body.

To help counties better engage their communities, the Institute for Local Government (ILG) has put together the following tips for increasing engagement.

 

By Melissa Kuehne.

Counties across California are increasingly facing tough challenges and are asking residents to weigh in in a variety of ways. However, many still find that only a relatively small number of community members actually take part in public conversations and forums. Not involving a cross-section of residents limits the effectiveness of public engagement efforts, negatively impacts the breadth and quality of ideas contributed and can reduce community support for the decisions reached by the governing body.

September 1, 2015

From PublicCEO.com

Counties across California are increasingly facing tough challenges and are asking residents to weigh in in a variety of ways. However, many still find that only a relatively small number of community members actually take part in public conversations and forums. Not involving a cross-section of residents limits the effectiveness of public engagement efforts, negatively impacts the breadth and quality of ideas contributed, and can reduce community support for the decisions reached by the governing body.

To help counties better engage their communities, the Institute for Local Government (ILG) has put together the following tips for increasing engagement.

 

By Melissa Kuehne.

Counties across California are increasingly facing tough challenges and are asking residents to weigh in in a variety of ways. However, many still find that only a relatively small number of community members actually take part in public conversations and forums. Not involving a cross-section of residents limits the effectiveness of public engagement efforts, negatively impacts the breadth and quality of ideas contributed and can reduce community support for the decisions reached by the governing body.

August 24, 2015

From CityMinded.org:

In our fast paced world our big expectations and high hopes demand ever faster fulfillment. So it’s evident we need better planning delivery mechanisms. Rather than completely reinvent the way we do things, I believe smarter use of technologies and tools already at our disposal can help us do so.

by ARUN JAIN

When the planning profession was still nascent in the 1950’s, well defined social needs and the desire to improve poor living conditions were the dominant basis for policy and regulation. By the time the 1970’s and 80’s came around the emphasis shifted towards increasingly pluralistic and open ended outcomes.

August 6, 2015

From commsgodigital.com.au

  1. Citizen juries help make the quality of interaction better. In talking about the power of using citizen juries, Kathy Jones said they can help build better relationships with communities.
  2. Citizen juries allow community members to make hard decisions. Kathy says we should use citizen juries in the decision making process to help ensure Council is delivering the desired results.
  3. Randomly selecting citizens is better for the creation of such juries, and the process is fairly simple: provide good information and they will provide good results.
  4. Failure to communicate: some people you just can’t reach. This was a good reminder, that despite all our efforts, there are some people we as communicators will never reach and that’s ok. As long as we know we have tried our best!

By 

This is my second year attending the Government Communications Australia conference. This year I attended not only as a member of the committee, but also as a presenter. So there are many highlights, but here are the best takeaways!

July 31, 2015

From OpenSource.com

We are living in a time of radical openness—not of our governments, but of ourselves.

As we willingly open more of our lives to the public, government agencies are increasing their surveillance of us and also failing for the most part to take full advantage of digital technologies' ability to make public life more accessible and our public officials more accountable.

July 30, 2015

From CommsGoDigital.com.au

Yesterday, after having the app for a few weeks, I actually used Periscope for the first time. I’d been sat watching and reading all about it and its competitor, Meerkat but decided not to take the plunge until I fully understood what it was about. I wanted to make my first use of the app worthwhile but also to give me an understanding of how I could use it in my community engagement work.

By

Yesterday, after having the app for a few weeks, I actually used Periscope for the first time. I’d been sat watching and reading all about it and it’s competitor Meerkat but decided not to take the plunge until I fully understood what it was about. I wanted to make my first use of the app worthwhile but also to give me an understanding of how I could use it in my community engagement work.

July 28, 2015

From Fast Company:

In San Francisco, the Small Business Portal creates a blueprint for the process of starting a new business. The Small Business Portal launched in November 2014 and includes everything a person needs to know about starting, managing, and expanding a company. It's designed to streamline the nitty-gritty of entrepreneurship and even make it a little delightful. Since the Portal's launch, traffic has exceeded expectations.

May 20, 2015

We have available to us about a dozen ways that we could define the basic work of this book: engaging people in the public life and public decision-making of their community.  As I have learned over the years, talking about "public engagement" or "public involvement" or similar terms can become a quagmire, because it often turns out that people do not mean the same things by those terms.

Editor's Note: this article is a selection from a draft chapter for an upcoming book about online public engagement.  Your feedback is welcome - use the comment form below or go to wiseeconomy.com.  

By Della Rucker

April 8, 2015

From CEOs for Cities:

Before diving into implementing any tactical digital solutions, technology needs to take a spot alongside transportation, housing, and economic development in the strategic/master planning process. The roadmap needs to be forward thinking - next 18 months - and comprehensive;  it should include a full-scale analysis of all things digital, from a city’s social media strategy and website design to public wi-fi networks and open data policies.

By Michael Martin

 left my job as a city planner and joined a digital creative agency. Why? Because I am certain that to make our future cities versatile, responsive, and engaging, we must combine citizen interaction with smart technology and design.

March 26, 2015

From smartchicagocollaborative.org:

What distinguishes community-driven civic tech from “civic tech” more generally is the extent to which the humans that a tool is intended to serve literally guide the lifecycle of that tool. In other words, community-driven civic technologies are built at the speed of inclusion — the pace necessary not just to create a tool but to do so with in-depth communal input and stewardship — and directly respond to the needs, ideas, and wants of those they’re intended to benefit.

March 24, 2015

From commsgodigital.com.au

In the last two and a half years, our council Facebook page has grown from 1500 likes to 8500 likes – approximately 6% of our population. We have transformed it from a neglected comms channel to an important platform for communicating and engaging with our community. Here are my 24 tips for managing a local government Facebook page.

By 

In the last two and a half years, our council Facebook page has grown from 1500 likes to 8500 likes – approximately 6% of our population. We have transformed it from a neglected comms channel to an important platform for communicating and engaging with our community. Here are my 24 tips for managing a local government Facebook page.

March 24, 2015

From CitiesSpeak.org (The National League of Cities)

In a recent article by Jonathan Reichental, CIO of Palo Alto, he explains the importance and potential of civic innovation and urges city leaders to prioritize innovation at all levels of government. “Civic innovation” sounds broad and daunting, but there are three steps governments can take to successfully make it a central part of their strategy.

by Gayatri Mohan of PublicStuff

Innovation is all around us, and it’s more than just a buzzword. Cities of all sizes are tapping into multiple channels and local resources; they’re creating effective strategies for innovation in governance.

March 20, 2015

From commsgodigital.com.au

 It’s certainly true that by doing only online engagement you are alienating people who can’t or don’t want to, for whatever reason, get online and participate. But mirror that situation when using only using offline tools and you are effectively doing the same. 

March 13, 2015

From Granicus.com:

No matter the situation, there's likely someone who will not agree with various items that come up for discussion.

While these may often be civil discussions, things can turn very ugly very quickly in a public forum. And when this happens, anger supersedes reason, accusations get tossed about and the important topics at hand become afterthoughts.

Contentious meetings may not happen all the time, but when they do, there are a few things that you can do to turn them back around.

By 

We've all been in meetings before – whether it's an internal powwow with staff or a town hall with citizens. No matter the situation, there's likely someone who will not agree with various items that come up for discussion.

While these may often be civil discussions, things can turn very ugly very quickly in a public forum. And when this happens, anger supersedes reason, accusations get tossed about and the important topics at hand become afterthoughts.

March 12, 2015
From CoUrbanize.com

For such a pragmatic business, real estate development can get surprisingly personal. Simple misunderstandings over a development project can quickly turn ugly, and before you know it your company’s reputation is on the line.

While the Internet can be a breeding ground for angry commenters and unflattering social media posts, it can also be the best place to be proactive. An online civic engagement platform will help protect your company’s reputation, and while we can’t promise you’ll all be singing kumbaya, here are five ways it can help:

By Kate Loftus

For such a pragmatic business, real estate development can get surprisingly personal. Simple misunderstandings over a development project can quickly turn ugly, and before you know it your company’s reputation is on the line.

March 5, 2015

From Code for America Blog: 

Unfortunately, coffee + people does not equal participation or productivity. It’s important that all your facilitators are trained and ready to cultivate an active, inclusive, participatory space.

This crash course offers some easy to implement facilitation tips that can really help you create an open and inclusive space at any event; from your weekly hack night to your upcoming CodeAcross event.

BY BRIELLE PLUMP

So, your huge event/hack-a-thon/un-conference/extravaganza is THIS weekend!  It is time to do a final run through of the day and double check your ready with the most essential items.

The Checklist

Confirmed location  ✓

Invited city employees and government partners ✓

Invited other local NGOs and community partners ✓

Invited everyone else I know ✓

Confirmation emails sent to attendees ✓

March 3, 2015

From Living Cities

Go ahead, Google it. “Community engagement” is there, and it’s attached to everything from sports teams to businesses to libraries to universities. With all those associations out there, it can be difficult to identify “authentic community engagement” and to understand its power and potential for meaningful and sustainable change. Through my work with Nexus Community Partners, a community building intermediary in the Twin Cities, we’re trying to change that.

January 20, 2015

From Kettering Foundation

As attention to public deliberation has increased, one core interest of researchers has been evaluating the impact of deliberative processes. Researchers, practitioners, elected officials, and participants themselves want to know if what they’re doing matters. Does public deliberation impact policy? Does it change our attitude toward issues? Does it adhere to democratic ideals?