New Apps for Public Sector Professionals
As Cory Booker said, “When American citizens pull together, there is little we can’t accomplish.” What brings citizens together, fosters collaboration and enhances communication today more than technology?
Public servants in every role can fulfill their functions more efficiently than ever before thanks to a slew of new applications developed specifically for public sector professionals. They also adopt many or other applications that are widely used in the public sectors.
These apps make it possible for professionals in the public sector to fulfill their obligations with a greater level of efficiency while also remaining close to their constituents.
Citizens Connect — City Government Communication App
One of the greatest frustrations citizens express about their political leaders when they feel that those leaders are not listening to them. The Citizens Connect mobile app makes it possible to keep up with what your constituents are saying. With this app, you can help engaged citizens submit issue reports quickly and efficiently. The residents of Boston use the application to report non-emergency issues to city officials. A person simply takes a picture of an issue, locates it, categorizes and describes it. When that person submits the issue through the app to her public official, she can not only route and assign the issue but she can also communicate the location and update the person who reported it as it is handled.
ADPH — Public Health App
Alabama was an early adopter of creating an app specifically for disseminating information about public health. Though already active on social media, the Alabama Department of Public Health developed the application to connect more deeply with the public on important health matters.
This groundbreaking app brings together all the information from the state’s various public health divisions into a single feed. In addition, it provides news alerts, information about wellness events, and tips about health matters of regional importance. The app’s success has many local and state public health offices around the country investigating ways to release similar apps in both general areas of public health and targeted concerns such as nutrition, sexual safety, and disease control.
iCity — Civic Engagement App
The type of app that has public sector professionals most excited these days foster civic engagement. iCity.us, for example is a highly adaptable app that can be branded for any city or community. This app’s features include encouraging social connections with local businesses, delivering local news and emergency information, and building a dialogue between citizens and officials.
Nextdoor is an application that allows community members to connect with each other and their leaders. It acts as a social network that is private to each community for which it is created. Over 100,000 neighborhoods in the US are taking advantage of the technology, which allows them to do everything from voicing neighborhood concerns to finding lost pets, selling items to people close by and recommending service providers to local peers.
One Verge interviewee notes that Nextdoor “has been great for getting into the flow of small-town news and politics. ‘Love it. Recent huge threads: local elections, whether to turn beloved local park into flood basin, if fluoride in water is bad, drama around $17m traffic mitigation plan, dog poop in people’s yards, stolen bikes, steel wool in someone’s salad from local pizzeria.’” Local representatives also utilize the app for connecting with constituents, getting the word out about public meetings, and more.
Not only are these new apps useful and more efficient than ever, they’re fun to use. From increased communication capabilities to streamlining important health news and information, public officials now have the technology to allow them to be more active in serving their communities. When technology and innovation come together in the form of apps that increase efficiency and communication, it’s a win for everyone involved.
To learn more about technology and innovation in the public sector, visit University of San Francisco online.
Sources linked to and referenced in article:
http://healthland.time.com/2013/08/30/to-promote-wellness-public-health-departments-are-launching-apps-will-they-work/ http://www.sap.com/pc/tech/mobile/software/industry-apps/citizen-reporting-app/index.html”www.sap.com/pc/tech/mobile/software/industry-apps/citizen-reporting-app/index.html http://icity.us http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/08/02/the-senator-and-the-street