A Citizen’s Guide to Open Government, E-Government, and Government 2.0

June 10, 2013 by Logan Harper

Engaged citizens want clear, credible information from the government about how it’s carrying on its business. They don’t want to thumb through thousands of files or wait month after month or go through the rigors of filing claims through FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). They want government information, services, and communication to be forthcoming and swift. The Open Government, Government 2.0, and E-Governance movements fill the need of connecting citizens with the government and each other to foster a more open, collaborative, and efficient public sector through the use of new technology and public data.

Open Government is defined by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) as “the transparency of government actions, the accessibility of government services and information, and the responsiveness of government to new ideas, demands and needs.”

E-Government is defined by the World Bank as “the use by government agencies of information technologies that have the ability to transform relations with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government. These technologies can serve a variety of different ends: better delivery of government services to citizens, improved interactions with business and industry, citizen empowerment through access to information, or more efficient government management. The resulting benefits can be less corruption, increased transparency, greater convenience, revenue growth, and/or cost reductions.”

Government 2.0 is defined by Gartner Research as “the use of Web 2.0 technologies, both internally and externally, to increase collaboration and transparency and potentially transform the way government agencies relate to citizens and operate.”

Open Government and E-Government paved the way for Government 2.0, a collaborative technology whose mission is to improve government transparency and efficiency. How? Gov 2.0 has been called the next generation of government because it not only utilizes new technologies such as social media, cloud computing, and other apps, it is a means to increase citizen participation.

While some question the logistics of funding, implementing, managing, and securing Open Government, E-Government, and Government 2.0 projects, advocates—from single-source bloggers to large well-funded groups—don’t show any signs of slowing down. Plans for summits, conferences, new applications, and publications suggest that Open Government, along with all its emerging technology, is here for the long haul.

We have compiled a list of organizations, blogs, guides, and tools to help citizens and public service leaders better understand the Open Government, E-Government, and Government 2.0 movement.

We welcome any additions to the list that we may have missed in the comments below.

On this site, users can create a petition for almost any cause and then easily distribute it on Twitter.
The personal blog of journalist and Gov 2.0 advocate Ariel Hampton, this site tracks the progress of Gov 2.0 activity nationwide.
The Networking Exchange Blog, sponsored by AT&T, features articles about mobility and security issues for state and local governments.
Developed by Gov. 2.0 advocate Ben Balter, this site is a collaborative resource for government employees looking to participate in the open source community. The site’s goal is to increase information sharing and efficiency within government.
Booz Allen Hamilton, a technology consulting firm, presents impact stories on services using technologies on this site, which presents the company’s ideas and visions to evolve the dynamics of government initiatives.
This site is an open government resource for policymakers, the media, advocacy groups, community organizations, and the public. The Center for Effective Government’s mission is to build an open, accountable government that advances the national priorities defined by an active, informed citizenry.
The Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany works to foster public sector innovation, enhance capability, generate public value, and support good governance through applied research, knowledge sharing, and collaborative problem solving at the intersection of policy, management, and technology.
The site is a Google group in which the goal is to assist the nationwide campaign for greater government transparency, from city councils to Capitol Hill.