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Innovating at the Point of Citizen Engagement: 7 Government Stories

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In this guide, we share 7 examples where government is improving access to services and information along the spectrum of citizen engagement: 'must do', 'should do' and 'can do' moments.

You can read more about each section below the embed:


“Must Do” Moments: These are the compulsory points of engagement. How do we leverage these “forced” moments to inform and invite citizens to other opportunities for engagement? We share two innovative examples in this section:

  • Retooling Tax Time: How the IRS Educates and Engages Taxpayers on the Go
  • Rejuvenating Jury Duty: How a “Captive” Audience Can Become a Catalyst for Action

“Should Do” Moments: These are the points of engagement when citizens aren’t required to participate, but it behooves them to do so. How does government make it easier to take advantage of these opportunities? This section covers case studies where government has effectively facilitated a connection:

  • Helping the Hard to Reach: How Savvy Social Workers Build Digital Bridges
  • Transforming Town Hall: How Takoma Park's Co-Located Community Center 

“Can Do” Moments: Sometimes citizens create their own rallying point. How does government most effectively come alongside these initiatives to appropriately fuel the positive, collective energy of a committed group of citizens? This section shares case studies of citizen-led, government-supported partnership.

  • Enabling Citizen Energy: How Raleigh Opens Up Opportunities for Innovation
  • Mobilizing a Movement: How Online Community Connects Neighbors in Need
  • Overcoming Budget Constraints: How Crowdfunding Supplements Tight Budgets


How is your organization innovating at the point of engagement?

Share your examples below.


We also want to offer a special thanks to the sponsors of this report:

To learn more about Accela and their Civic Cloud, please visit In addition, please check out our full interview with Accela CEO Maury Blackman.



To learn more about the ways in which GovDelivery drives citizen engagement, please visit: Also, be sure to read our full interview with GovDelivery CEO Scott Burns.



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Tags: citizen engagement, communications, gl_guide, gl_resource, tech


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Comment by Rebecca M. Townsend on May 23, 2013 at 2:57pm

How timely!  I am retuning home from a trip to the Kettering Foundation, an organization that promotes reseach on "how to make democracy work as it should." We had extensive discussion and reflection on centers for civic life (of which my Manchester Community College is one) that work with local, state, and federal government agencies to enage the public (and also work with the public to engage their government).  My most extensive work has been in the area of transportation; the model I've developed is being applied in other states beyond Connecticut, and is capable of being adapted to other issues.

While the final report will come out in a couple months, a smaller write-up is found here

Comment by Andrew Krzmarzick on May 21, 2013 at 9:40am

Thanks, David, Alicia and Terri!  What other stories are you hearing out there?

Comment by Terri Jones on May 20, 2013 at 9:09am

Nice guide and inspiring!

Comment by Alicia Dickerson on May 17, 2013 at 10:17am

Great post on one of the newer frontiers of the government/public interface.   There are so many interesting stories to tell around government to citizen and citizen to government engagement and how social media and other technologies are breaking down barriers to communication.

Comment by David B. Grinberg on May 16, 2013 at 1:56pm

Awesome post, Andy!

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