What is Government 2.0?

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What does the term Government 2.0 mean? Do the public really know to it and need to understand it? How can Web 2.0 technology and social media help to improve efficiencies within government and citizen participation? In the 21Web 2.0 initiatives are being used within the public sector, giving more currency to the term Government 2.0 (New World Encyclopedia, 2009).

Government 2.0 with the use of technology, both inside and outside government. The term “Government 2.0″ leverages Web 2.0 and social networking technology. It is always associated with Web 2.0 and Social Media. In 2005, The term was first coined by is one of America’s best known authorities on government reform William D. Eggers and with co-author Stephen Goldsmith in Government 2.0: Using Technology to Improve Education, Cut Red Tape, Reduce Gridlock, and Enhance Democracy. According to New World Encyclopedia (2009), it is an attempt to integrate the social networking and interactive advantages of Web 2.0 approaches into the practice of government. It can provide more effective processes for service delivery for individuals and businesses. Integration of tools like wikis, development of government specific social networking sites, use of blogs, multimedia sharing, podcasts, RSS feeds and data mashups are all helping governments provide information to citizens in a manner that is most useful to them.

A simpler definition is that “Government 2.0 either describes a vision of a new form of governance , engaging with constituents is understood as a critical element of political legitimacy”. (A. Schellong and P. Girrger, 2010) In other words, Government 2.0 can have two meanings. It is the use of Information Technology (IT) to socialize and commoditize government services, processes and data (A. Maio, 2009). It is also the use of social media and Web 2.0 technologies (especially the collaborative technologies) to interact with citizens more directly and provide better government services at a city, state, national and international level.

A more intriguing definition, the term “Government 2.0″ was introduced by respected developers’ handbook publisher Tim O’Reilly, is “Government As a Platform” at both Gov 2.0 Expo and Gov 2.0 Summit Conferences in 2009 and Washington DC.

A video explains “What Government 2.0 is” by Tim O’Reilly

Video 1.0 – What Government 2.0 is

Characteristics of Government 2.0

  • It is citizen-driven.
  • It is employee-centric.
  • It keeps evolving.
  • It is transformational.
  • It requires a blend of planning and nurturing.
  • It needs Pattern-Based Strategy capabilities.
  • It calls for a new management style.

From Gartner – Government 2.0: A Gartner Definition by Andrea Di Maio.

Four Types of Interaction of Government 2.0

  • Government to citizen – providing services and information to citizens.
  • Citizen to government – citizens report on probelms that need government assistance.
  • Citizen to citizen – not every problem needs to be solved by government.
  • Government to government – we need better cooperation within government agencies.

From My Heart’s In Accra – Tim O’Reilly on Government 2.0 by Ethan Zuckerman.

Benefits of Government 2.0

  • To reduce cost of engagement through more productive tools
  • To provide a more efficient and effective communication way with cizitens
  • To help government better take advantage of social networking technologies
  • To use collaborative tool for easier knowledge sharing
  • To enhance information discovery through transparency and data mashups
  • To improve satisfaction between citizen and employee
  • To simplify knowledge creation and retention though usable Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0 applications

Risks of Government 2.0

  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Bureaucracy
  • Regulation
  • Data Silos

From Government Blogs – Building On The Government 2.0 Platform by John Foley.

In conclusion, Government 2.0 with technology is enabled government to provide better government services and processes through social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter. The Government 2.0 platform is serving as an online communication platform for government to communicate and engage more efficient and effectively with citizens.

References:

Web 2.0. 2009. New World Encyclopedia.
A. Schellong and P. Girrger. 2010. GOVERNMENT 2.0 IN BETA PHASE : An Analysis of eParticipation and Web 2.0 Applications of Germany’s 50 largest Cities and 16 Federal States.
A. Maio. 2009. Government 2.0: A Gartner Definition.
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