Friday, August 13, 2010

Moving governments from solely being service providers to community/civic enablers

This blog post about 'Code for America' explains why/how 'local governments' (aka city governments in the US) should be moving to more of a community/civic 'enabler' role, as well as improving its services, by utilisting technology better (see the 'How can 'the next generation of Gov 2.0 apps for city governments" help address some of these issues' section).

The following are some other ideas for better use of technology (cloud computing and mash ups) in local government includes:

- Water Quality Officers using data aggregation to compare and share real-time suburban wetland data can immediately report any health safety concerns.
- A Health inspector investigating a local restaurant after receiving notification of a food poisoning incident shares relevant data and can immediately source similar incidents in the area via a ‘Food Poisoning Outbreaks’ visualisation map.
- Environmental Land Management students are about to source, map and contribute to a group database of toxic waste incidents.
- A Building Inspector has received numerous complaints about XYZ Trading Pty Ltd, and is able to contribute to a collection of data about their poor workmanship by uploading images taken on her mobile phone to a workplace repository.

This will require the 'early adopters' (that's us) to take some risks and have a 'crack' and so I am interested in establishing a similar non-profit entity as 'Code for America' in Australia so we can help make this happen sooner.

Businesses are already developing the applications to enable this to happen, but as this blog post explains, local governments need to make sure that their data is available through 'platforms', ie websites which can be shared freely (Platform thinking)

Always open to ideas and input :)D

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