Better Citizen-Government Collaboration via Technology

Solutions Journalism Network

Every citizen observes from day to day how well their local government works. When faced with problems, whether it's a minor pothole or city-wide projects and policies, many of us have strong feelings about the best possible solution. But how can you express these ideas to your government? Oftentimes, city bureaucracies are difficult to navigate and slow to respond, and for issues requiring legislation, the path to change is even more complicated.

What if your government reached out, made it easy to provide feedback, and actually listened? Rapidly developing digital tools are making it easier and easier for governments and citizens to engage in productive conversations.

The goal of civic technology is to directly empower civic agency and political efficacy—the belief that an individual or group has the ability to make a difference in their own lives and in their surrounding community by participating in the political process. The implementation and use of civic technologies like the ones discussed in this collection encourages citizens to engage in the political process beyond going out to vote or protest.

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