I agree about helping each other by sharing best practices, but I disagree that competition is necessarily the opposite of that.
I have worked for 10 years helping local, provincial and federal governments in Europe implement e-government solutions. Some countries have implemented a government-run county-wide benchmark, showing which cities/organizations do best and worst. These benchmarks have an enormous (positive) effect on e-government awareness within those organizations.
First of all: nobody wants to be at the bottom of a list. Thus, it helps putting e-government on the agenda of the Mayor and Council. Also organizations in the top 20% tend to keep investing or freeing up even more budget for their E-Government plans. It also is a great way for Mayor and Council to expose themselves to the public.
As a side effect, governmental organizations showed much more sharing and collaboration. After all, governments are not competitors. So if a city has great experience with say Twitter, the webmaster of surrounding cities tend to contact him sooner. As long if it is not measured, people can’t learn or benefit from it.
Implementing a country-wide benchmark for local, provincial and federal governments in Canada would dramatically improve things. I have seen it happen over and over again.
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