Digital Sustainability      Conversations    How Local Governments can       Engage Residents Online
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS                                                                                                          ...
TABLE OF CONTENTS              Only got a few minutes?                                                                    ...
Section II:	 Digital Tactics for your Engagement Goals.......................................................... 1        ...
1Section IV:	Appendix........................................................................................................
Chapter 1:	UNDERSTANDING LOCAL                                                                                            ...
Sustainable development is development                             B.	 Why are local governments addressing               ...
C.	 How can local governments address sustainability?            •	 Encourage sustainable behavior choices: Easy to use   ...
6.	 Generate Short-term Wins with visible improvements that                    recognize and reward community members or e...
C.	 The Spectrum of Public Participation                                                                                  ...
Digital engagement does not replace                OPEN GOVERNMENT                                                options,...
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
Digital Sustainability Conversations
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Digital Sustainability Conversations

  1. 1. Digital Sustainability Conversations How Local Governments can Engage Residents Online
  2. 2. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Executive Summary Why should As local governments face impacts from climate change, public health concerns, and public demand for increased accountability you read this Funding for the guidebook was provided by the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) Urban Sustainability Innovation (USI) Fund with funds provided by the Summit and transparency, it is becoming increasingly important to engage Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and The Home Depot Foundation. with the public on important sustainability topics. Guidebook? With over 75% of Americans now online, and 82% of them interacting with government online, local governments have This guidebook is designed to help City the opportunity to engage residents on Facebook, Twitter, Managers, Mayors, Directors of Sustainability, and a myriad of other “digital engagement” tools. In fact, local Communications Directors, other governments that do not participate in digital engagement risk This guidebook is a collaborative product made possible through the leadership and department heads, and project managers in remaining unaware of online mobilization, until it manifests at contributions of: local governments learn how to: public meetings and other face-to-face events. • City of Albany, NY Mayor’s Office of Energy & Sustainability • Create a business case for using digital This guidebook provides case studies and a step-by-step guide to »» Douglas Melnick, AICP, Director engagement as part of a community support local government digital engagement efforts. sustainability effort »» Sarah Reginelli, Principal Planner Case studies included in this guidebook are very diverse, • Create a business case for using digital • City of Richmond, VA covering: small and large initiatives; projects intended to tools as part of an engagement strategy inform and empower; and, digital engagement that has been »» Andreas D. Addison, Civic Innovation Team Manager • Understand legal challenges associated implemented for the many functions of local government, like • Case Study participants with digital engagement governance, service provision, and specific initiatives and policies.Authors of the Guidebook are: »» Amanda Mitchell , Olive Dempsey, and Tracy Vaughan, City of Vancouver • Learn about successful digital Our step-by-step guide takes both the digital novice and adept • Daniella Fergusson & engagement implementation through a 16-step process. The process includes: goal-setting, Vince Verlaan, »» Beth McMillan, Atlanta BeltLine HB Lanarc Golder • Plan, choose digital tools for, and defining audiences, selecting digital engagement tools, gaining »» Gina Knepp and Renee Traud, Sacramento 311 internal commitment, creating digital teams, clarifying roles and • Susanna Haas Lyons overcome challenges associated with »» Gregory Claxton, City of Austin digital engagement implementation responsibilities, listening online, combining digital engagementThe Spectrum of Public with face-to-face events, mitigating risk, evaluating and measuring »» Jake Barton, Local Projects • Assess your local government’s internal impact, and incorporating organizational learning.Participation and IAP2name and logo are used readiness and your community’s »» Mackenzie Kelly, Williamson County Emergency Managementwith permission from the readiness for digital engagement We hope that you will find this guide useful for strengtheningInternational Association for »» Ritchard Ludlow, Denton Wiki government responsiveness and augmenting your in-person • Develop, implement, and evaluate aPublic Participation. »» Ross Collicutt, City of Nanaimo engagement tactics with new, online tools. digital engagement strategyMarch 2012 »» Sara Solomon and Rebecca Winkler, Get Fit Philly Good luck with your digital engagement initiatives!
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS Only got a few minutes? Section I: “Business Case” for Digital Engagement by and with Local Government....... 1 DO YOU WANT TO... Chapter 1: Understanding Local Governments & Sustainability.............................................................................3 A. What is sustainability?................................................................................................................................ 3 1 B. Why are local governments addressing sustainability?.......................................................................... 4 Understand the business case for C. How can local governments address sustainability?............................................................................... 6 digital engagement? Start by reading Section I to find tips on obtaining senior staff or D. Behavior Change, Sustainability, and Local Governments..................................................................... 7 Council approval to pursue a digital engagement strategy. E. References.................................................................................................................................................. 8 Learn about the risks of digital To assess your internal and external readiness for digital Chapter 2: Understanding Local Governments & Civic Engagement.....................................................................9 engagement? engagement, consult Appendix I. A. Governance : Responsive Local Government ...................................................................................... 9 B. Civic Engagement: What is it? .............................................................................................................. 10 C. The Spectrum of Public Participation..................................................................................................... 11 2 D. Digital Engagement: What is it? ............................................................................................................ 13 Explore how other local E. How sustainability efforts benefit from digital engagement ............................................................... 14 governments have used digital engagement? Jump into Section II to understand more about appropriate times Chapter 3: Business Case for Government Use of Digital Engagement...............................................................15 and techniques for using digital engagement tools. A. Benefits of Digital Engagement ........................................................................................................... 15 Browse tools that you could use in Appendix III contains a list of digital engagement tools. B. Cost of Not Engaging Digitally............................................................................................................... 18 your department? C. Expenses of Using Digital Engagement................................................................................................ 18 D. Return on Investment.............................................................................................................................. 19Quick Start Get going! I want to know how to 3 Quick Start with Section III to find out specific “how to” instructions and tips on developing, implementing, and evaluating a Digital Engagement Strategy. Chapter 4: E. References................................................................................................................................................ 19 Understanding & Overcoming Risks....................................................................................................20 A. Discrimination: Demographics, Geography, and Accessibility ........................................................... 20 do digital engagement B. State Specific Laws: Public Records, Data Retention, and Open Meetings....................................... 22 Look to Appendix II for worksheets referenced in this section. C. First Amendment Laws: Moderation, Terms of Use, and Employee Usage Policies.......................... 23 Appendix IV contains details on “how to” instructions and best D. Privacy: Information Collection, Anonymity and Minors...................................................................... 25 practices for using common digital engagement tools including: E. Intellectual Property................................................................................................................................. 27 Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Flickr, YouTube, and LinkedIn. F. References................................................................................................................................................ 28
  4. 4. Section II: Digital Tactics for your Engagement Goals.......................................................... 1 Section III: Preparing, Implementing & Evaluating your Digital Engagement Strategy..... 1Chapter 5: Digital Engagement for Governance.....................................................................................................3 Chapter 8: Get Ready: Assess your readiness for digital engagement...................................................................5 A. Inform: Help public understand the issues ............................................................................................. 4 A. Are you ready? Assess your Capacity for Digital Engagement.............................................................. 6 B. Consult: Obtain feedback on existing services or options..................................................................... 7 B. Have you set your engagement goals? ................................................................................................... 6 C. Involve: Solicit non-binding, influential advice........................................................................................ 8 C. Do you know your target audiences? ...................................................................................................... 7 D. Collaborate: Partner with the public on influential choices................................................................... 9 D. Have you decided which tools to use?.................................................................................................... 8 E. Empower: Stakeholders own the decisions........................................................................................... 11 Chapter 9: Prepare your Organization for Digital Engagement............................................................................13 F. References................................................................................................................................................ 12 A. Do you have internal commitment? ..................................................................................................... 14Chapter 6: Digital Engagement for Service Provision...........................................................................................13 B. Do you have digital engagement teams?.............................................................................................. 15 A. Inform: Help public understand the issues ........................................................................................... 14 C. Roles and Responsibilities for Digital Engagement.............................................................................. 16 B. Consult: Obtain feedback on existing services or options................................................................... 17 D. References................................................................................................................................................ 18 C. Involve: Solicit non-binding, influential advice...................................................................................... 18 Chapter 10: Implement your Digital Engagement Strategy....................................................................................19 D. Collaborate: Partner with the public on influential choices................................................................. 21 A. Listening Online to find influencers, controversial issues, and where residents spend time online.20 E. Empower: Stakeholders own the decisions........................................................................................... 23 B. Using Digital Engagement Tools at Face-to-Face Events ................................................................... 22 F. References................................................................................................................................................ 24 C. Messaging for Sustainability................................................................................................................... 23Chapter 7: Digital Engagement for Specific Initiatives or Policies........................................................................25 D. Managing Conversations........................................................................................................................ 29 A. Inform: Help public understand the issues ........................................................................................... 26 E. References................................................................................................................................................ 30 B. Consult: Obtain feedback on existing services or options................................................................... 29 Chapter 11: Evaluate: Make sense of your initiative’s feedback.............................................................................31 C. Involve: Solicit non-binding, influential advice...................................................................................... 32 A. Set Engagement Targets......................................................................................................................... 32 D. Collaborate: Partner with the public on influential choices................................................................. 39 B. Measure your Impact............................................................................................................................... 35 E. Empower: Stakeholders own the decisions........................................................................................... 40 C. Close the Loop......................................................................................................................................... 37
  5. 5. 1Section IV: Appendix................................................................................................................. 1Appendix I: Internal & External Capacity Assessment..............................................................................................3 Self-Assessment Worksheet............................................................................................................................. 4 Internal & External Interviews Guide............................................................................................................... 7 Section I: “Business Case” for Digital Engagement by and withAppendix II: Digital Engagement Goals, Target Audiences, and Messages.............................................................9 Identify your Digital Engagement Goals........................................................................................................ 9 Identify Your Target Audiences...................................................................................................................... 10 Messages for your Audiences........................................................................................................................ 12 Local GovernmentAppendix III: Digital Engagement Tools Reference..................................................................................................15Appendix IV: Best Practices for Using Common Digital Engagement Tools............................................................19 1. Facebook Page........................................................................................................................................... 20 2. Twitter 22 3. Google+...................................................................................................................................................... 24 4. Flickr 26 5. YouTube....................................................................................................................................................... 28 6. LinkedIn Groups.......................................................................................................................................... 30 Business Case Digital Sustainability Conversations How Local Governments can 1 Engage Residents Online
  6. 6. Chapter 1: UNDERSTANDING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS & SUSTAINABILITY Sustainability Environment WHAT’S IN THIS SECTION: This section of the Guidebook will help you: A. What is sustainability? Sustainability is a catch-all word representing a systems-thinking approach • Chapter 1: Create a business case for using digital engagement as part to ecological and human systems. Human systems include ways we Economy Society of a sustainability effort mediate our relationships with each other, like economic transactions. Often understood as seeking a better balance between the environment, • Chapter 2: Understand what digital engagement means for local society, and the economy, sustainability is a process of collective improvement requiring human activities to reflect and respect ecological government, and where it fits in with your existing communications limits. Figure 1: Traditional definition of sustainability: This graphic is often used to depict sustainability as a balance between and engagement efforts environmental, economic, and social systems. A challenge with The two diagrams to the right represent the most common understandings this graphic is that it suggests the environment, the economy, and society are three separate systems that only partially • Chapter 3: Create a business case for using digital tools as part of an of sustainability. interact. The diagram also does not recognize ecological limits engagement strategy While hundreds of definitions for sustainability exist, common themes to economic growth. include: • Chapter 4: Understand and overcome risks associated with digital Ecological • Inter-generational Equity: Actions taken today impact the quality of Systems engagementBusiness Case Business Case life experienced by our children, our grandchildren, and their children. So, we should take care to use resources wisely to ensure that future Human generations experience a good quality of life. Systems • Intra-generational Equity: North America and Europe have enjoyed Section II to understand more over a century of unlimited industrialization and economic growth, but SKIP AHEAD TO about appropriate times and have made the largest impact on the planet in terms of consumption Economic of resources and generation of waste, like carbon emissions. Systems techniques for using digital engagement tools. • Precautionary Principle: Our actions today may cause harm to the public and to the environment. Although there may not be scientific consensus that our actions are harmful, the burden of proof falls on us Section III to find out how to prove that our actions are safe. Figure 2: Nested model of sustainability: Sustainability to develop, implement, requires that human impacts remain within limits that can • Ecological Integrity: Ecological systems and services (including potable be managed by ecological systems. This representation of and evaluate a Digital 2 water, clean air, pollination, and arable land) have limits, past which sustainability shows that the economy is one aspect of society, and reminds us that humans are just one of many living 3 Engagement Strategy. they cease to function properly. Ecological systems can reach “tipping creatures on our planet. points,” where they rapidly and irreversibly change.
  7. 7. Sustainable development is development B. Why are local governments addressing Even with modest UN projections for road networks and servicing impacts future generations, because it determines community walkability and how sustainability? that meets the needs of the present population growth, consumption and soon infrastructure will reach capacity or will need to be without compromising the needs of future Local governments are experiencing challenges that can climate change, by 2030 humanity will replaced. be addressed by fostering more sustainable behavior. New generations to meet their own needs. 1 realities include: need the capacity of two Earths to • Resident Demand: Residents are asking for more absorb CO2 waste and keep up with local government services and regulations that foster • Carrying Capacity: The rate at which we use natural • Budget constraints: Local governments are looking to cut operating costs and find ways to finance capital projects. natural resource consumption. 6 sustainable living. 9 Examples include: recycling of paper, resources should equal or be less than the rate at which plastics, glass, metals, and electronics; composting the environment produces those resources. When our Reducing government building-energy consumption, residential and commercial organics; rainwater harvesting; zones for native plants. Climate change impacts vary by population or consumption levels grow faster than the replacing energy-inefficient street lighting, metering food gardens and urban agriculture; safe, separated bike location. environment can provide resources and absorb waste, we water services, and increasing composting and recycling lanes; pleasant sidewalks with trees and benches; and are living past an ecological system’s carrying capacity. can reduce government expenditures. Large capital • Growing scientific consensus on climate change: In energy efficiency incentives. costs, like upgrading the stormwater system, siting response to the lack of international leadership on • Renewable and Non-Renewable Resources: Some and constructing a new landfill, and negotiating water sustainability, local governments across North America • Economic Development: Financial crisis, offshore resources, such as ancient aquifers, petroleum, agreements can be avoided by using existing resources are taking action to reduce emissions in both their manufacturing, and other macroeconomic trends are and petroleum derivatives (plastics, fertilizers, more efficiently. corporate and community-wide activities. 5 causing local governments to investigate local economic pharmaceuticals), are formed over millennia. As a result, development and jobs creation. Sustainability’s “buy these “fossil” resources are non-renewable. When a • Growing cities: Greenfield, suburban development can • Public Health Concerns: Air quality-related respiratory local” focus encourages new industry and business non-renewable resource “peaks” (like Peak Oil), the burden local governments by requiring more miles of illnesses and obesity are major problems in the US. development. resource is experiencing declining production rates from road paving and utility servicing than an equivalent According to the Centers for Disease Control and year to year. Renewable sources of energy, such as the compact development. Urban infill and compact, Prevention (CDC), the US has experienced a dramatic solar thermal, solar electric, wind power, tidal power, walkable development are also more amenable to transit increase in the rate of obesity in past two decades. InBusiness Case Business Case hydroelectric, biomass, and geothermal energy recharge provision, while protecting farm and industrial lands from 2010, over one-third of US adults were obese. 6 Creating over a much shorter period of time. encroachment. more compact, walkable communities with green buildings can help address (indoor and outdoor) air Bicycling and walking projects • Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: Faced with a • Shrinking cities: As some communities get smaller, local quality and obesity concerns. 7 create 11-14 jobs per $1 million governments are challenged to service the smaller world with higher global average temperatures, increased likelihood of severe weather events, and unpredictable and less dense population. As urban parcels become • Equity and Diversity: Offering a variety of housing and spent, compared to just 7 jobs impacts on food systems, local governments are available, local governments have the opportunity to transportation choices helps create a more diverse and created per $1 million spent on preparing to adapt. create greener and more creative cities with urban economically-viable community, attracting new talent, highway projects. Cost benefit farming, arts districts, and building rehabilitation. and reducing congestion. analysis show that up to $11.80 in Sustainable development is • Experiencing climate change impacts: Already • Infrastructure Decay: land use patterns created by roads benefits can be gained for every $1 concerned with the development suffering from the urban heat island effect, US cities are and infrastructure have lifespans of 50 or more years. In invested in bicycling and walking. of a society where the costs of experiencing more extreme heat in the summer. 4 Other 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers issued a development are not transferred climate change-related impacts include severe weather report card on America’s infrastructure, highlighting its While bicycling and walking fell 4 to future generations, or at least an events (like hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and floods), current state of disrepair. Four sectors received C’s and 5 rising sea levels, invasive species, and changing climate the remaining 11 earned D’s. 8 Long-range planning for 66% between 1960 and 2009, attempt is made to compensate for obesity levels increased 156%. 10 such costs. 2
  8. 8. C. How can local governments address sustainability? • Encourage sustainable behavior choices: Easy to use recycling systems, composting classes, metered water, People need to engage in meaningful Through beacon projects, regulation, public education, service and smart power meters can help residents make more discussions about sustainability to provision, and working with state and regional partners, local sustainable choices. uncover their own priorities and governments can directly and positively impact many aspects of their community’s sustainability. Local governments can: • Foster local economic development: Local foods, clothes, understand each other’s values before soaps, furniture, arts, building supplies, and other making decisions. • Increase awareness & shift consumption: Provide consumables are great products that keep dollars within information about environmental risks and sustainability the local economy. Local currencies, business incubators, information and opportunities for dialog are better-suited opportunities in the community via face-to-face, technical assistance, and tax breaks can also promote D. Behavior Change, Sustainability, and Local for influencing individual behaviors and supporting collective traditional, and online media. local businesses. Governments choices (e.g. policy). To foster this kind of public participation, • Improve air quality: Reduce the need to drive by • Plan for resilient infrastructure: Design for a world 30 to Many actions required to achieve a more sustainable governments use tools like interactive public meetings, online providing a complete and diverse community with 50 years from now where transportation and energy costs community require individuals to make choices different from discussions, and planning charrettes. compact design, mixed-uses, and a high-quality walking are much more expensive. Even if fossil fuels and water their usual habits. Governments thus often find themselves Incorporating participatory approaches into government- or biking experience. remain abundant, your residents will still be able to live in working to elicit behavior change in citizens. led sustainability programs requires a strategic approach. A • Reduce carbon emissions: Reduce building and a well-designed, vibrant, and walkable community. number of key principles can help local governments foster It is often thought that if people just knew more about transportation fossil fuel use through energy-efficient • Influence energy supply and prices: Protect and climate change and other sustainability issues, they would change in their communities: 16 building codes, promotion of renewable energy encourage renewable energy generation through act more sustainably. This “information deficit” model of 1. Establish a Sense of Urgency by identifying and generation, and demand-side management regulations and incentives (solar shading bylaws, smart civic engagement is an expert-driven approach and assumes discussing crises, potential crises, or major opportunities meter implementation, energy-efficient building codes, that education will change people’s values, attitudes, and and how they relate to the public’s values and priorities • Reduce corporate resource use and emissions: Although energy-efficiency building permit fast-tracking or fee- behaviors. Governments often use open houses, publicBusiness Case Business Case a local government’s corporate emissions comprise a based incentives, Energy Star incentives, property- presentations, and advertising campaigns to raise public 2. Create a Guiding Coalition (a group with enough small fraction of community-wide carbon emissions, assessed clean energy financing, etc.) 11 Advocate to state awareness about issues and solutions. power to lead the change effort) representative of the local governments can reduce operating costs and be agencies for net metering laws and renewable energy community and your government, which has committed a role model for local businesses. Choosing sustainable We now realize that people need more than information to portfolio standards. to work as a team alternatives to capital projects can also stretch local shift behaviors. The public understands sustainability through budgets. • Influence water supply and prices: Anticipating floods and multiple and conflicting values, moral positions, and belief 3. Engage the Community in developing a change vision to droughts, local governments can design streets and parks systems. 12 They also have ingrained behaviors and habits that help direct the change effort and develop strategies for • Reduce obesity rates: The provision of local food, that can absorb excess stormwater and survive droughts. are hard to change. achieving that vision farmers’ markets that accept food stamps, recreation services, and neighborhoods that are enjoyable to walk Zoning regulations can discourage impermeable surfaces As a result, people need to engage in meaningful discussions 4. Communicate and Ask for Feedback about the vision to can help promote a healthy and active lifestyle. to decrease the risk of flooding. Tree-cutting ordinances about sustainability to uncover their own priorities and deepen buy-in through every vehicle possible. Also teach can protect lands from erosion, which chokes local understand each other’s values before making decisions and new behaviors by the example of the guiding coalition • Provide housing and transportation choices: Such choices water sources. Local governments may also permit rain changing behaviors. This occurs through an active processes mean that people have access to affordable housing that barrels and greywater recycling systems, while recovering 5. Empower Broad-based Action by removing obstacles to of reflection, negotiation, and reevaluation. is well connected to jobs and services by transit, bike potable water from water treatment facilities. change, particularly systems or structures that seriously 6 paths, or sidewalks. A more interactive approach to behavior change requires undermine the vision. Support community leadership 7 providing community-specific information and opportunities by fostering networking, risk-taking, and non-traditional for mutual understanding and personal reflection. Local ideas, activities, and actions
  9. 9. 6. Generate Short-term Wins with visible improvements that recognize and reward community members or employees E. References Chapter 2: UNDERSTANDING LOCAL who are involved in the successes 1. United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). 1987. Our Common Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://www.un- GOVERNMENTS & CIVIC ENGAGEMENT documents.net/wced-ocf.htm 7. Never Let Up. Use increased credibility to change 2. Pearce, D. 1993. Measuring Sustainable Development. London: Earthscan. systems, structures, and policies that don’t fit the 3. WWF. 2010. Living Planet Report 2010. http://awsassets.panda.org/downloads/ Governance vision. Hire, promote, and develop employees who can wwf_lpr2010_lr_en.pdf This chapter briefly describes and defines “responsive local implement the vision. Identify, support, and encourage 4. A US heat wave in July 2011 caused more than 1,400 record-high temperatures, with more than 132 million people living under an excessive heat warning or heat government” and the role of engagement in creating and ensuring Civic community members who can advance the vision. advisory. Two dozen people died in New York City alone. http://www.nytimes. responsiveness. Engagement Reinvigorate the process with new projects, themes, and com/2011/07/23/nyregion/heat-wave-envelops-the-northeast.html change agents. 5. In 2007, 600 Mayors in all 50 states across the US signed the U.S. Conference of The “nested hierarchy” image at right illustrates that digital Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement, an agreement where supporting mayors engagement activities are just one part of your organization’s 8. Incorporate Changes into the Culture of your government pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. As of January 2012, over 1,000 Mayors have signed this pledge. http:// engagement activities. Efforts to share information with, consult with, and community by articulating the connections between Digital www.usmayors.org/climateprotection/revised/ and involve residents and stakeholders in the decision-making and the new behaviors and success. Also develop the means Engagement 6. In 2010, at least 20% of the population in each state was obese, with a 25% business processes of government are part of an overall governance to ensure leadership development and succession prevalence of obesity in 36 states. In Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, function. 9. Evaluate Your Efforts and Keep Lines of Feedback Open Texas, and West Virginia, at least 30% of the population was obese. For more information, see: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html This image is used as an organizing principle for this chapter, and in order to find out how well you are achieving your vision 7. In 2009, 40% of trips in the United States were shorter than 2 miles, yet 87% we will return to it as we move from the general to the specific: from and how the efforts are being perceived by the public Figure 3: Digital engagement complements and enhances of these trips were by car. More than 1 in every 4 trips was shorter than a mile. governance to digital engagement. and key stakeholders Still, Americans used their cars for 62% of these trips. For more information, your face-to-face engagement methods and, therefore, your see: Alliance for Biking & Walking. 2012. Bicycling and Walking in the United governance philosophy Strategic engagement efforts and the effective use of digital States: 2012 Benchmarking Report. http://www.peoplepoweredmovement.org/Business Case Business Case benchmarking engagement tools can help local governments effectuate 8. American Society of Civil Engineers. 2009. “Report Card for America’s these behavior changes. Infrastructure.” http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/ A. Governance : Responsive Local Government 9. Residents have been finding that food gardens, outdoors laundry lines, and rain barrels have violated zoning codes. See: Dillon, Raquel Maria. 2010. “Urban It may seem obvious, but residents pay taxes and elect local officials in order to have a good quality of life in their local gardeners versus zoning laws.”For more information, see: http://daily.sightline. org/projects/making-sustainability-legal-series/ and http://www.csmonitor.com/ community. People care deeply about their communities — where they live, play, shop, socialize, raise families, and perhaps The-Culture/Gardening/2010/0216/Urban-gardeners-versus-zoning-laws work and educate themselves. Residents are more than taxpayers or service consumers; they expect to see their tax dollars at 10. Alliance for Biking & Walking. 2012. Bicycling and Walking in the United States: work providing good roads, public safety, parks and programs, garbage pick-up, etc. They also expect government to make 2012 Benchmarking Report. http://www.peoplepoweredmovement.org/ wise decisions around potentially competing priorities, needs, or opportunities. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES benchmarking 11. For examples of regulations and incentives being offered by local, regional, A local government is responsive when it demonstrably seeks out and listens to input from residents and stakeholders about See Chapter 10 for more information on state and Federal government, check out the Database of State Incentives for what services and programs are most needed, how to address changing needs, and what policy issues should be addressed. Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) http://www.dsireusa.org/ communicating sustainability. The chapter 12. Robinson, J. 2004. “Squaring the circle? Some thoughts on the idea of Since local government exists to meet the needs of its residents and taxpayers, and is physically very “close” to these people, it includes ten principles for sustainability sustainable development. Ecological Economics 48: 369– 384. http://ipidumn. is critical that it remain open and responsive. pbworks.com/f/SquaringtheCircleSustainableDevelopment.pdf communications and tips for avoiding common 8 13. Kotter, J. 1996. Leading Change. Harvard Business School Press. http://www. Digital tools are helping local governments remain open and responsive. The text box on page 12 describes the principles of 9 missteps. kotterinternational.com/kotterprinciples/changesteps open government, or Gov 2.0.
  10. 10. C. The Spectrum of Public Participation HOW DO LOCAL As an organizational concept in this Guidebook, we use the International Association of Public Important! Tools and case studies in Section II GOVERNMENTS Participation (IAP2) “Spectrum of Public Participation” (Figure 4). The Spectrum helps us decide who to are organized using the Spectrum of Participation. engage, why to engage them, how to engage them, and on what issues and decisions to engage them. ENGAGE THEIR It is also a useful way of selecting appropriate digital tools. RESIDENTS? Each level of participation, from inform to empower, is legitimate. The level selected for a particular engagement program depends on the goals, time frame, resources, and public impact of the decision to be made. B. Civic Engagement: What is it? Engagement, or public participation, is a process that Increasing Level of Public Impact Civic engagement, or public participation, focuses on ensuring citizen and stakeholder awareness of and involvement in civic priority-setting, decision- involves residents in problem- solving or decision-making, using Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower making, program development, and service delivery. This is a growing movement, with many local governments experimenting with in-person and input to influence the decisions. To provide the public To obtain public To work directly with To partner with To place final online engagement. Governments involve residents to with balanced and feedback on analysis, the public throughout the public in each decision-making The ultimate goal of efforts to enhance and expand civic engagement are make decisions in three areas: objective information alternatives, and/or the process to ensure aspect of the power in the hands of Public to assist them in decisions. that public concerns decision including the public. to: a) improve government decision-making by increasing the quality of understanding the and aspirations the development of decisions reached and the effectiveness of programs and services; and, b) • Governance: Providing good participation problem, alternatives, are consistently alternatives and the to help government better address the range of issues that communities information on city decision- goal opportunities, and/or understood and identification of the now face. making and governance, solutions. considered. preferred solution. This movement also seeks to meet rising citizen expectations of opennessBusiness Case Business Case • Services: Improve government and responsiveness, to make information for residents easier to access, and We will keep you We will keep you We will work with We will look to We will implement service provision by informed. informed, listen to you to ensure that you for advice what you decide. to offer more – and more varied—opportunities for residents to have input into matters that affect them. responding to service and acknowledge your concerns and and innovation in complaints and requests, and concerns and aspirations are formulating solutions Civic engagement primarily helps participants find finding common Promise to aspirations, and directly reflected and incorporate ground and improves the perception that decisions are fair. Additional civic provide feedback in the alternatives your advice and • Initiatives: Hearing from the the public on how public input developed and recommendations engagement benefits for policy makers and residents include: public and stakeholders on influenced the provide feedback into the decisions to specific larger project or policy decision. on how public input the maximum extent • Civic engagement enables policy makers and staff to hear new influenced the possible. perspectives, learn new things, and gain more representative input initiatives. decision. that improves decision-making and the policies, programs, and services that follow. Important! Tools and case • Fact sheets • Public comment • Workshops • Citizen advisory • Citizen juries studies in Section II are organized • Websites • Focus groups • Deliberative committees • Ballots • From the perspective of residents, increased opportunities for into these three ways that Example • Open houses • Surveys polling • Consensus- • Delegated10 engagement and collaboration with government deepen residents’ governments engage residents. techniques • Public meetings building decision 11 impact on, understanding of, and ownership of the decisions reached. • Participatory decision-making Figure 4: IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation. © International Association for Public Participation
  11. 11. Digital engagement does not replace OPEN GOVERNMENT options, writing a Wiki, and convening in person after collaborating online. traditional face-to-face engagement. Open government, or Gov 2.0, is the idea that people Instead, digital engagement enhances have the right to access documents and government A number of website and mobile applications allow people and adds to your in-person efforts proceedings to provide government oversight. Principles to report problems in their communities, like potholes and of open government include: transparency, participation, graffiti, so that a local government can efficiently address collaboration, and innovation. these issues. SeeClickFix, my311, and Open 311 are used by local governments such as New Haven, Tucson, San Transparency Francisco, Richmond, Sacramento, Washington D.C., Transparency makes government accountable for its Boston, and Baltimore. Digital Engagement is... actions while helping residents understand how decisions Collaboration are made and how to get involved in decision-making. Transparency is deeply linked to providing online access to Working across government bodies as well as between D. Digital Engagement: What is it? important, up-to-date government data and activities. government and private organizations can improve the workings of government. Networking, coordinating, Digital engagement uses electronic Social Media Some communities, like the City of Nanaimo, broadcast cooperating, and collaborating are all part of this principle. communications tools to expand and strengthen council meetings online. In other communities, mayors and the relationship between governments and the council members write their own blogs about what is going Many larger governments use websites only available to public. Digital engagement tools range from on. Numerous local governments have opened their data staff internally (wikis or SharePoint sites) to collaborate. those as simple as the use of email and websites, sets, allowing passionate volunteers to make useful tools or Collaboration between government and external to social media (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube)Business Case Business Case findings. stakeholders can occur in many ways, such as informally and collaborative discussions or workgroups that via social networking, or more formally via news feeds or Multimedia are supported by online and mobile tools. Participation online brainstorming (Crowd Sourcing). Online and mobile engagement allows residents Public involvement in decision making enhances Innovation to better understand and communicate with government’s effectiveness, because knowledge is Gov 2.0 spurs innovation by giving people the incentive government. However, digital engagement does distributed within a community. Meaningful participation and new resources to think creatively about solving not replace traditional face-to-face engagement. also helps government meet residents’ needs. problems. For example, New York City hosts the annual Big Instead, digital engagement enhances the Digital engagement allows both broad and deep Apps competition to reward innovative uses of government techniques you already use to engage your Online Tools engagement, allowing each person to choose how much data. residents. he or she wishes to participate. Broad engagement For more information about the benefits of includes reading websites, participating in surveys, sharing digital engagement, please see Chapter 3: or favoriting a link, and subscribing to updates. Deep Business Case for Digital Engagement. engagement includes brainstorming and prioritizing12 Mobile 13 Figure 5: Digital engagement includes social media, multimedia, other online tools, and mobile applications
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