Free Guides for Governments to Engage with Civic Communities

26 August 2016,

The subject of civic engagement is a fascinating one. It involves technology as a driver, but also depends on softer aspects such as planning, implementation, and feedback to improve the process of engagement.

Free Guides for Governments to Engage with Civic Communities

Not all means of civic engagement are digital, though the digital proportion is increasing globally.

A 2015 study, , reports that about 75% of respondents in the US find it easier, or about the same, to access private sector services when compared to government services.

According to the Accenture Survey: Currently, US respondents are willing to use the Internet, or phone, to initiate interactions with the government, with decreases in non-digital interactions expected in the future. They also prefer to use the Internet and postal mail for tracking and payment purposes, but will likely decrease their use of postal mail in the future.

With the rise of mobile telephones and social media, the opportunities for citizens to talk about political issues, support causes, and is gaining momentum. Their participation in local government is also increasing.

Our focus here is on how local, state and federal governments can use technology and toolkits to improve their efficiencies in serving citizens and other stakeholders.

This article touches briefly on technology and focuses in detail on the rest of the processes that make for efficient engagement with stakeholders.

The questions we asked ourselves at the time of research were:

  1. Are there proven, tested citizen engagement models that civic officials can follow?
  2. Are there techniques and templates that local government officials can use, or trigger ideas with?
  3. Are there any best practices in civic engagement that will allow for quick assimilation and action, for officials?

Surprisingly, there is a wealth of information on this subject online in terms of guides, toolkits, and templates. These guides and toolkits are from governments across the world, and a good reference from any government.

 

The Technology for Civic Engagement

The technology for civic engagement is available in AMANDA, the versatile Case Management System for governments, from CSDC Systems.

With AMANDA, civic officials at all levels of government can use an off-the-shelf, fully configurable technology to rapidly provide both web, and mobile-based access to citizens for a variety of functions and processes - Permits & Compliances, Licences, Freedom of Information, Property Tax, Asset Management, and Courts & Justice.

In fact, the for uses crowdsourcing as a strategy to engage citizens and speed up communication on civic issues and service requests.

With AMANDA, civic officials at all levels of government can use an off-the-shelf, fully configurable technology to rapidly provide both a web, and mobile-based access to citizens for a variety of functions and processes.

 

The Research for Actionable Toolkits for Civic Engagement

Our research shows what’s available on the web with tools, toolkits, and actionable ideas for civic engagement by government officials.

 

Our first stop is at , where the Techniques, Strategies, Examples, and Questions for engagement in the Public Sector, are covered in great detail.

The Digital Engagement Website outlines the ways in which Public sector organisations can consult citizens, raise awareness of new schemes, deal with service user feedback using social media. The objective is to make civic engagement friendly, human, responsive, and save money.

 

The ideas are from all over the world. There is information on , blogging for the public sector, managing online reputation, content strategy and templates for action, training, education, and more.

 

The Government of New Zealand has put together some great resources for .

The ICT website by the Government of New Zealand is armed with tools, advice, policies, and case studies to assist government agencies in adopting ICT capabilities.

 

The is also available.

 

This guide provides advice to municipalities in the design and implementation of a community engagement process.

 

The Government of British Columbia in Canada has put together a t. This provides advice to municipalities in the design and implementation of a community engagement process.

The tools are meant for the municipal planning processes. However, it can be used in a wide variety of contexts.

It covers instructions on how to identify the most appropriate types of community engagement related to the issue in question, a number of engagement models, and implementation worksheets.

 

A guide to community engagement methods and techniques by the Government of Queensland, Australia.

 

The Government of Queensland offers a guide to . This guide explores the community engagement methods and techniques that assist public officials at all levels, to choose the most appropriate community engagement process.

Strengths and weaknesses of the techniques are summarised to support better decisions.

A broad spectrum of community engagement techniques is used by clients and other agencies to engage with citizens and stakeholders.

Some of these are designed specifically to share information or to elicit views and opinions. Others aim to effectively involve people in government planning, decision-making, service delivery, and evaluation.

 

This guide explains the use of social media to engage citizens and community stakeholders.

 

is particularly useful for those who wish to use social media as an add-on medium for civic engagement. It focuses on:

  1. It covers the benefits, opportunities and potential pitfalls associated with using social media as part of your municipal engagement
  2. It details the importance of planning for success with all of your social media activities.
  3. It examines your municipality’s readiness for engagement in social media

 

Like many governments around the world, the City of Victoria recognises that effective civic engagement is an integral part of good governance.

 

The Civic Engagement Guide details the strategies for engagement with the civic community.

 

The study defines the benefits of civic engagement, explains how strategies were developed, outlines the challenges encountered during the engagement, shares the recommended actions, and gives pointers on how to measure the success of civic participation, complete with Case Studies.

 

Are you someone who is actively exploring ways to engage citizens and stakeholders in your municipality?

We’d love to hear your views on the models and toolkits you use or have found useful.

About CSDC Systems

CSDC provides the most empowering Case Management & Process Automation platform for Governments and Regulatory Agencies. Independent research shows that CSDC's in an objective market scan. AMANDA helps you develop sophisticated apps in weeks, not years. A recent survey reveals that users have developed over 3000 Smart Governance Solutions using AMANDA. Think productivity, cost-efficiency, and speed in , , , , , , , , , .

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