eGovernment means citizen engagement


I just came across Tiago’s tweet that linked me to the announcement of how the UN eGovernment Survey 2010 will be modified to stay up-to-date with the ongoing development in ICT. eGovernment and thus the relation of citizens with their governments is a becoming more and more important in fighting corruption.

One of the trends is of course Open Data, a very exciting discussion on governments opening up their data for common use, with some governments such as Norway and the UK having recently announced to go ahead.

This way. The other one is how citizens are being engaged and motivated to participate in these processes. This trend and opportunity is maybe even more important, with it being the only way governments and how services are provided can be held to account outside of elections.

In the words of Haiyan Qian, Director of the Division for Public Administration and Development Management at the United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA):

“We want to see governments engaging citizens actively, not passively. Gathering citizen feedback is not enough. Citizens need to be drawn into decision-making and monitoring to help governments boost transparency and accountability, and reduce corruption.”

A great example for social media enhancing dialogue between public works and citizens can be found on SeeClickFix in fixing a dangerous pedestrian crossing. Some call this citizen engagement even the next internet boom of Government 2.0, as it redistributes “governance to the hands of citizens”.

So far, I haven’t paid much attention to the survey. If the UN finds a way of integrating citizen engagement into the measurement of effective and successful eGovernment, I maybe should.

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