The editors of Government Technology together with e.Republic Labs, a sister organization focused on civic innovation and new market entrants, recently announced the inaugural GovTech100. In their words it is
a listing of the leading 100 companies focused on government as a customer, having developed an innovative or disruptive offering to improve or transform government, or having created new models for delivering services.
Note: Before I go any further, let me say that yes CitySourced was listed, and of course this post could have a self-congratulatory tone. We wouldn’t be writing this if we hadn’t been included, but I’m not here to write about CitySourced or any one Civic Tech company. Instead, I want to explore want the announcement says about the broader civic tech space.
Why You Should Care
The Explosion of Civic Tech
It’s no secret that civic tech has often been overlooked by the mainstream dotcom circles. But, the tide is changing. New, innovative startups are propping up at a rapid pace.
From the onset our focus as a civic tech company has been about civic engagement. We’re a group who believes technology, specifically in the hands of citizens, can make the entire citizen-to-gov experience better.
But since we began in 2009, civic engagement is a term that’s been thrown around a lot in Public Sector and has ballooned to become an all encompassing word to describe anything in government that touches the citizen.
Our partner, Salesforce, recently released a thorough and impressive “State of Service” report. We highly recommend you check it out. But, if you don’t have time get through the full 35 pages, we’ve distilled it down to the highlights.
#1 Citizens want Individualized Access across Channels.
In the traditional customer service model, communication channels were limited. But, as the channels of communication grow, citizens want that same level of access to their local government – in person, online, by the phone, on Facebook and Twitter and other social channels, and of course via a mobile app. The service delivery leaders across industries personalize that service and connect where citizens are already interacting.
We’re excited to announce that we’ve deepened our partnership with Cityworks to create a turnkey web portal allowing anyone to submit requests that flow directly into their city’s Cityworks public asset management system.The product highlights include:
Extend access of Cityworks reporting to anywhere on the web.
No software to install; deploy in under 4 weeks.
Includes Cityworks API at no charge for two-way integration.
The City of North Vancouver is building out it’s used it’s digital services to the public on the launch of it’s Mobile App. The ‘CityFix’ app is a mobile and and web app that gives Residents a quicker and easier way to contact City Hall to submit a service request for issues around the City such as vandalism, missed garbage pickup, potholes, broken streetlights etc.
Here at CitySourced we are all about citizen engagement. Did you know Instagram for government is an effective way to communicate directly with citizens through images, videos, and short snippets of text?
It is a wonderfully versatile platform. More and more governments are joining the ‘gram train and are using Instagram to share and connect. Instagram allows you to increase transparency, raise awareness, take polls, share some of the day-to-day operations of government officials, and more. Citizens can like, share, and comment on the content they care about. It’s useful, personable, and fun for everyone.
If you’re just getting started on Instagram, here are some quick tips:
The City of Peachtree Corners used it’s annual Festival, the ‘Peachtree Corners Festival’, to announce and education the public on the launch of it’s Mobile App. Peachtree Corners’ City Council approved a 311 mobile and web application, naming it Peachtree Corners Fix-It.
The app allows citizens to easily report non-emergency civic issues such as public works, environmental hazards, and quality of life. The user can upload a photo or video of concern and mark the geographic location on the map, which is then directed towards the City Hall for quick and systematic resolution.
Shayne Gallo, Mayor of the City of Kingston, to host ‘Download Day’ unveiling of Smartphone app that improves city quality of life. The app, built by CitySourced, allows residents to easily report quality of life issues such as park vandalism, trash and environmental hazards and for these smart reports (including photo & GPS location) to be automatically sent to City Hall for systematic and prioritized resolution.
The City of Wilmington, DE launched a new Smartphone application which allows citizens to identify and report non-emergency civic issues, such as public works, quality of life, and environmental issues. This mobile reporting platform will improve how Wilmington delivers services to its neighborhoods.
“Report It/Resolve It” allows a user to capture a photo, video, or audio of the problem. The user then uploads the media and, along with GPS location information pulled directly from the device, submits a report directly to the appropriate department. Once a report is submitted, feedback is provided to the user based on the action taken by the department handling the report.
For the Public Works department, the issues are integrated directly into the Asset Management System provided by Cityworks. Using the Service Request API, the staff works to update Cityworks and all updates are automatically forward to the public.