Heading into the second decade of the 21st century, we constantly hear about how social media, geolocation, mobile apps and similar technological innovations are changing the way we interact with each other. But how are they changing the way we interact with our governments (particularly local governments)? Are they offering new opportunities for civic engagement? Are they changing the way residents view their role in local government, creating new opportunities for citizen involvement? Or are they cementing old ideas of citizens as customers by facilitating the delivery of government services?
These questions are of particular interest to those of us at the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership as we seek to help solve public problems by promoting citizen's participation in governance. We have created this blog to provide up-to-date information relating to what is being called "Government 2.0." We hope what you find here will help local governments and their residents make the most of the technology available for genuine citizen engagement.
New to Gov 2.0? Check out our foundational documents »
We’ve written before about ways that online gaming is being used to encourage ongoing civic engagement. A recent post on the OpenGovHub blog brings up some interesting points about challenges to engagement and how games may be able to address it:
According to Eric, “there is often a lack of objectives as to why we want people to participate – or these objectives are simply not known or communicated. People talk about ‘engaging the community’ but that’s not really what’s happening. Data is being extracted, but there is little thinking about how the groups and participants are affected.” Basically, many means of acquiring civic engagement are simply for the sake of it.
You can read more about the lessons learned here.
Thanks to Alan Silberberg for drawing our attention to a recent post on the MPA@UNC blog that offers some helpful information on the distinctions between “open government,” “e-government,” and “government 2.0.” The post also offers a list and description of various online resources with helpful descriptions and categories:
While some question the logistics of funding, implementing, managing, and securing Open Government, E-Government, and Government 2.0 projects, advocates—from single-source bloggers to large well-funded groups—don’t show any signs of slowing down. Plans for summits, conferences, new applications, and publications suggest that Open Government, along with all its emerging technology, is here for the long haul.
We have compiled a list of organizations, blogs, guides, and tools to help citizens and public service leaders better understand the Open Government, E-Government, and Government 2.0 movement.
You can read more here.
President Obama and Vice President Biden invited the public to view a day-long conference on mental health held at the White House today. The conference was live-streamed on the White House webpage. The format did not allow for official participation from viewers, but the White House hoped the conference would spark side-conversations – especially via twitter and facebook – amongst viewers. Viewers were invited to use the hashtag #MentalHealthMatters. How much interest did they generate? Check out the conversation on twitter.