Technology is driving change at a fast and furious pace, altering our lives in ways that we could never have imagined only a short time ago. Now, in an economy of shrinking budgets and staff, emerging technologies are allowing the public sector to completely rethink how they function, deliver services, and engage their citizens.
Enter Civic Commons Marketplace, a recently launched app "store" that was highlighted in a Fast Company article. Developed by Civic Commons, a nonprofit organization that is helping the public sector navigate the tech world, this site is a place where governments can search for software, compare alternatives, and share the technologies that they are already using. Some of the exciting software includes DistrictBuilder program which allows for creating and editing redistricting plans (Detroit is one of seven cities using it in the country) and check out SeeClickFix, which encourages a more engaged citizenry to report non-emergency problems in their neighborhoods with one quick click.
This new app store is a resource that can spur the public sector to think outside the traditional parameters of operation and create more transparent and efficient governments.
Colleen Layton is Director of Policy Development for the Michigan Municipal League. She can be reached at 734-669-6320 or by firstname.lastname@example.org.