Delivering Public Service for the Future: Harnessing the Crowd
Ivey Business Journal
Governments around the world are strained financially, yet the potential of the crowd has begun to transform the way firms do business, the way ideas come to fruition, and the way social change is catalyzed. While governments increasingly offer web services that reflect citizens’ needs, there is great scope for the internal equivalent. Beyond better linkages between departments, there are at least three ways that governments can harness the wisdom of the crowd internally: a) pool resources, b) encourage agency-to-agency services and c) explore government-to-government services. Effective governments should also take steps to harness the crowd externally. Policymakers and public managers may consider the potential of the crowd in three key areas: a) the delivery base (e.g. Seniors Helping Seniors in the United States), b) the funding base (e.g. social finance) and c) the evidence base (e.g. crime mapping in Chicago). Ultimately, there are three ways to accelerate the diversification of delivery models, funding options, and evidence-based policy making: a) open up government, b) get better at working with the small details of citizens’ lives and c) trust the ability of citizens to make decisions and help shape the services they receive.
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