Technology can help local governments change the who, when, where and how of educating and engaging local residents. Whether it’s economic development, housing, immigrant integration or a local contentious issue, local agencies are experimenting with different kinds of technology to enhance their engagement of the public. ILG offers tools and techniques on how to best use technology to increase engagement. Whether the goal is to broaden participation, accelerate progress on decision making or create a “safe space” for feedback on tough issues, ILG provides a variety of resources to assist in thinking about tech tool considerations – in both selection and implementation. These tools may be a way to help fully achieve the goal of more inclusive participation.
Technology is a powerful tool for public engagement. It can help cities and counties change the who, how, when and where of participation in local decision making. Yet it’s not a solution by itself. Whether they are oriented to the cutting edge or using more familiar tools, local officials who benefit most from technology are clear about their purposes, audiences and have staff in place to maintain it well.