Governments Role in Digitalizing Citizen Engagement

Governments Role in Digitalizing Citizen Engagement

Catalina Joseph, Gov CIO Outlook | Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Governments must leverage digital communication tools to understand, respond to any issues and engage with citizens.

Fremont, CA: Digital technologies have practically changed every area of people's lives, and residents now expect their local government to use dynamically linked technology. However, digital transformation entails more than merely addressing urgent processing requirements. It's about changing how residents connect with one another, relate to one another, and lift one another up in order to build an equal community.

Local governments must emphasize digitally transforming citizen involvement despite heavy pressure, competing agendas, and limited finances. The worldwide pandemic and civic unrest have underlined the need for local government leaders to communicate with people in order to establish a feeling of trust and transparency in their communities.

Modernize citizen engagement

Citizens want their local governments to provide digital experiences comparable to those provided by consumer brands. In fact, private-sector IT adoption is frequently a leading predictor of changes to come in the public sector. Government agencies may employ a combination of AI, automation, and the cloud to connect and simplify services to meet constituents' demands, freeing up administrative time to focus on value generation.

Implementing technologically advanced technologies does more than only meet citizens' needs. Citizen engagement can also be boosted with the use of digital tools. These applications, for example, might encourage and solicit citizen feedback on municipal budget allocation, strategic planning cycles, community programming, and policy creation.

Breaking down barriers with digital technologies

Many municipal governments began to prioritize digital transformation as the pandemic spurred the adoption of previously unimaginable private-sector technological trends. However, more needs to be done to dismantle the echo chambers that exist in our online and offline communities, as well as the inter-agency silos that plague our local governments.

Some residents may continue to struggle to interact with their local government and communities if they do not have frequent access to digital services and tools. Greater civic participation and digital change go hand in hand. Administrative leaders, CIOs, and IT directors should consider user-friendly solutions that are agile enough to integrate seamlessly and utilize an omnichannel approach to reach the most residents when implementing new digital citizen engagement technology. Government organizations can better leverage technology to break down the silos that exist across our local governments and communities by putting employees and residents at the center.

Local governments must use digital communications on both a horizontal and vertical level to engage more with citizens. The introduction of new digital tools allows for more information exchange and decreases the barriers to participation in public dialogue. We can improve the democratic process and increase different voices in the public realm by increasing citizen-to-citizen and citizen-to-state participation, which will lead to better community-building

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