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Oct 13, 2015 5:00:49 PM Michael Myers Mobile Apps

How Local Governments can use Mobile to Engage Citizens

Mobile to Engage Citizens

Citizens want to engage with local governments using mobile

Mobile government and other digital communications tools are helping municipal and county governments become more accessible, convenient, interactive and transparent for the people they serve.

Nearly two thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and 10% don’t have any other form of high-speed Internet access at home. In early May, Google reported that more searches are being made on mobile devices than on personal computers in the United States and nine other countries around the world. For lower income, mobile is their main access to the Internet.

A recent survey of local government IT revealed that only half of respondents have mobile-ready websites and far less have mobile apps. That leaves many municipalities challenged to communicate with a majority of their citizens.

One respondent said “People want to communicate and work with government using the same tools they do in their personal and business lives. It’s about using the tools they are comfortable with, and doing so in a quick and convenient manner.”span

“Citizen convenience” was almost unanimously cited as the biggest benefit of mobile citizen service. “Expanded communications reach” and “time/human resource savings” followed in second and third place, respectively. See related post on Public Sector Mobilizes Content Management.

Local governments can use mobile apps for citizen engagement, fieldworker’s productivity, and for programs that help promote city amenities and services.

  • From within a 311 mobile app, a user can take a picture and the program prompts the person to enter information in that can be submitted to the appropriate person within the city with geo location information. The workflow ensures that the request is addressed in a timely and compliant manner.
  • City amenities and services app serves as a means to promote businesses, parks, activities and tourism information.

Truly portable and affordable mobile devices, combined with apps that can do single or multiple functions, offers real cost savings and efficiency improvements. Government mobile apps can be implemented in a few weeks and provide a significant ROI.

Mobile Apps for Government