Technology is increasing government efficiency
2015 was a booming year for government focused technology, also referred to as civic technology solutions. The number of people and available resources entered the space at a feverish pace, We saw more people and resources than ever enter the space, bringing innovation and new found support to government agencies, with major potential to improve the relationship between the government and its citizens.
Civic Tech has already transformed many different spaces, for example Change.org created a system that allowed citizens to better engage 2016 presidential candidates and ask the candidates direct questions, and view candidate details that might not be placed in political ads
Civic Technology is also vastly improving workforce development. Workforce agencies nationwide are piloting projects ranging from workforce focused crm to creative wi-fi hot spot applications. These new projects are being acquired as small projects to avoid the typical too big to fail mentality, and cities and organizations are learning a great deal from this methodology, ultimately becoming more innovative in the process.
Procurement policies and a lack of awareness between civic tech companies and government agencies have created a wall between government and new technology across the country. between government agencies and civic tech startups. Procurement policies and a general lack of awareness between the two groups often mean that the best solution to a city’s problem may never get discovered and implemented. This divide is potentially the biggest obstacle still facing civic tech in 2016.
We’re starting to see the wall being chipped away in cities like San Francisco, thanks to local government agencies’ growing willingness to rethink procurement. governments are implementing problem-based procurement,where instead of issuing a list of specifications for a pre-determined — and often quite limited — solution, agencies make an open call for new ideas around a challenge facing their communities, such as job training services, new job matching technology, and everything in between.
Many cities and agencies are gaining traction and bearing fruit with civic tech pilots.
Workforce development agencies can benefit equally as well by piloting innovate technology platforms and sharing the results with partners and other affiliates. The continued growth and strengthening of the partnership between workforce development and technology is vital for delivering services now, and into the future.