citizen engagement

Effective Citizen Engagement Within Government Agencies

Providing effective government engagement is a top priority of most agencies. A person-centered approach creates a full picture of the individual, not just someone who is receiving services. Agencies are tasked with the responsibility of being responsive and available to the people they serve. In many cases, systems that are providing these services should have the goal to maximize independence for the individual while enabling services that help them become more successful in the community. Providing solutions that support this engagement model ensures that the agency and the individual served share responsibility.

This requires an agency to be relevant and engage with personalized information that is specific to that individual, thus equipping them with what they need to move forward with informed decisions about the services they utilize.

There are many ways agencies can provide these services:

1. Be intentional with interactions and be inclusive

While engagement models are changing to be more citizen-facing, this can be a different model than citizens expect based on previous interactions. It’s important for an agency to be accountable for interactive programs that not only deliver services in an effective way but also show an understanding of all the people they serve.

2. Be solid with communication

Part of providing services is creating a strong communications strategy. This should include the vision of the agency as well as the overall goals. In order to provide this type of communication, it’s important to have a constant conversation with leadership, advocacy groups and citizens. Understanding what is working and where to improve quickly allows an agency to grow the services they provide. Communicating this to people using the specific services is a big part of a successful strategy.

3. Understand your data strategy

Using tools and technology to measure outcomes creates a quantitative program. This focuses on the value of the system and allows for quick wins for users and citizens, all of which enables an agency to provide creative, innovative services.

Having a centralized approach that addresses the whole person shows the agency understands that individuals they serve are different. This engagement model creates strong advocacy for the citizen in addition to a relationship of trust with the agency.

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