Discussion Group: We
know how to put council services online - is civic engagement next?
Chair: Steve Needham, Business Development Manager, Firmstep
The discussion around online service delivery spans the last 10 years. There is no doubt that channel shift is still a huge challenge for many local authorities but with rapid innovations in technology to help with the integration of services, management of data and the provision of self-service front-ends, are we giving enough thought to community engagement?
As well as driving take-up for self-service, nurturing an active, engaged community will become increasingly important. Raising awareness and interest in local issues, encouraging involvement and supporting a 'community helping community' approach will mean councils listening more, broadcasting less.
Although councils are not obligated to provide social media tools such as online forums or e-petitions, this session will discuss whether their inclusion should be part of current channel shift plans and, if so, how.