How Crowdsourcing Helps in E-Governance

How Crowdsourcing Helps in E-Governance

Catalina Joseph, Gov CIO Outlook | Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The government sector is experimenting with crowdsourcing to promote transparency and engagement. 

FREMONT, CA: In various ways, e-government has been described. Crowdsourcing can be very helpful from the e-government viewpoint. Some local governments have conducted crowdsourcing experiments (especially in the United States) with public discussions, idea generation, and public comment. Such initiatives offer transparency, encourage engagement, and bring together professionals from various fields, clearly beneficial to any existing democratic government.

Crowdsourcing may put people closer to decisions, allowing them to be more involved in decision-making or implementing standard acceptable practices or programs. It should be explained that while any program of e-government can lead to citizen involvement, it does not happen in reverse. Where an effort for participation does not come from a government entity, e-government should not be considered.

Governments have primarily used crowdsourcing for e-government in some of these forms:

1. Public policies and budgeting

In such situations, the government produces a document in which it is possible to find specific public policies or budgets and encourages people to vote on or recommend improvements to strengthen them.

Although at the political level it might sound idyllic (citizens reforming and creating fairer policies, or at least getting involved), the truth is that it is an environment that must be changed, not because such measures do not exist, but due to the impact, they might have. The reality is that, at the end of the procedure, the documents were given to people to research and suggest changes are barely influenced by the opinions or comments expressed.

2. Idea generation

Citizen participation is pursued in such situations to suggest proposals that can enhance services, save money, and many more. Tools such as UserVoice or IdeaScale are used in this form of crowdsourcing initiative. Ensuring that what users suggest is considered is a crucial point in promoting participation in this form of initiative. A moderator, anyone who reports because a concept is rejected or approved, is necessary for such purposes. Someone who generates input.

Participation can be inspired by rewards for the proposals adopted or the involvement of the person who suggested the project's concept that made it into practice. The SAVE award is a clear example.


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