This week, the New York State Technology Leadership Academy will take place in Albany, New York. As I posted two weeks ago, I’ll be speaking about deep citizen engagement – the ways that government leaders can get the benefit of citizen co-creation and co-delivery of public services.
Note: the new website for you to contribute to and assess ideas is at https://claritypresales-13df0e80fac.secure.force.com/ca_idea__ideahome .
A timely article by Governing magazine appeared Monday – Tax Day, appropriately enough – about a “Study: Citizen Budgeting Related To Better Outcomes”. (http://www.governing.com/blogs/view/gov-study-citizen-budgeting-related-to-better-performance.html)
The study was published in The American Review of Public Administration and focused on the relationship between the degree of citizen participation in highway budgeting and outcomes, such as road fatalities and road surface quality. The researchers found that the greater the citizen participation, the more positive the outcomes. This effect was strengthened the earlier the citizens had a chance to participate.
While there have been increasing reports about participatory budgeting, this is the first study that shows that citizen participation is not merely a democratic ideal, but is also a way to get better government.
Go to http://arp.sagepub.com/content/43/3/331 , if you want to read the original article, “Citizen Input in the Budget Process: When Does It Matter Most?” by Hai (David) Guo and Milena I. Neshkova, The American Review of Public Administration, May 2013; vol. 43, 3: pp. 331-346.
Some other reports about citizen participation in budgeting can be found here:
- “Making Citizens Part of Government: Local governments are leading the way in engaging the public in decision-making. More and more, technology is the key.” http://www.governing.com/columns/mgmt-insights/col-cities-making-citizens-part-of-government.html
- “Chicago Brings Participatory Budgeting to the U.S.: Participatory budgeting, which started in Latin America, lets citizens determine spending priorities.” http://www.governing.com/columns/urban-notebook/col-chicago-brings-participatory-budgeting-to-us.html
- “Putting In Their 2 Cents” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/nyregion/for-some-new-yorkers-a-grand-experiment-in-participatory-budgeting.html
- The Budgeting for Outcomes video and documents by the Government Financial Officers Association (GFOA) at http://www.gfoa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=506&Itemid=270] , http://www.gfoa.org/downloads/BFOSectionConcepts.pdf and http://www.gfoa.org/downloads/BFOCC08.pdf
- And on citizen funding of public services, see “GovFresh Q&A: Neighbor.ly” , a civic crowdfunding platform for U.S. cities and civic-minded organizations. http://govfresh.com/2012/09/govfresh-qa-neighbor-ly/
© 2013 Norman Jacknis
There was an interesting article in the New York Times, “Police Surveillance May Earn Money for City” (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/04/nyregion/new-york-citys-police-surveillance-technology-could-bring-in-money.html).
Because it focused on law enforcement, much of the article dealt with privacy and other issues raised by police use of technology. These issues are indeed challenging, but not that new.
A newer part of the story is that this is a good example of something I’ve been expecting to see for a couple of years: government to government software-as-a-service.
Here are some relevant excerpts from the story:
The policing system is making New York safer and it will also make money for the city, which is marketing it to other jurisdictions.
Buyers would pay to access the software (at least several million dollars and more depending on the size of the jurisdiction and whether specifications have to be customized). New York City will receive 30 percent of the gross revenues from the sale of the system and access to any innovations developed for new customers. The revenue will be directed to counterterrorism and crime prevention programs.
This government-to-government service allows less technologically skilled governments to get sophisticated services they could create for themselves. It also enables the most technologically advanced governments to spread out their development costs over a larger base and to save some money for their taxpayers. A win-win as the old expression goes.
Even beyond law enforcement – or maybe I should say, especially outside of law enforcement – the logic of this situation is likely to lead to an expansion of these government-to-government technology services. More examples in future posts. Please let me know if you have any examples.
© 2013 Norman Jacknis
In two weeks, the New York State Technology Leadership Academy will take place in Albany, New York. This event brings together hundreds of the technology executives who try to make technology serve, ever better, the needs of the people of New York.
I’m on a panel Thursday, April 18, talking about Deep Engagement with the citizens of New York, enabling them to co-create public policy and deliver public services.
As befitting the topic of the panel, there is now an opportunity to direct the conversation. You can share your ideas or participate in the live conversation on April 18 at 11 AM Eastern Time. Go to http://bit.ly/11LSR5U
© 2013 Norman Jacknis