There's little doubt that Web 2.0 technologies have matured at an amazing pace, with many government and public service organizations embracing them to improve their ability to collaborate with and serve citizens. A new report by Accenture suggests the new model for governance is to engage citizens electronically and offers a framework for governments to use in evaluating Web 2.0 technologies. Accenture developed the framework based on its ongoing research initiative the Global Cities Forum, a series of daylong citizen panels in cities around the world focused on exploring and improving the role of government. The research yielded four commonalities that citizens around the world want from Government 2.0 initiatives:
- Improved social and economic outcomes.
- Balance between choice and flexibility on the one hand and fairness and the common good on the other.
- Higher levels of engagement, meaning educating and enrolling the public as co-producers of value.
- Improved accountability and transparency.
"These four components provide meaning and a language with which to clearly articulate a relationship that is about genuine engagement of people in their governance -- not one that is merely about voting in elections, answering surveys or paying taxes, as important as these things are," the report states. "We consider this type of engagement critical to the ability of governments to achieve high performance."
The framework closely resembles the four pillars federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra has identified as key to shaping his technology agenda: boosting transparency, using technology more effectively, lowering costs and encouraging participatory democracy. So it stands to reason that the U.S. government is on the right track.