The Far-Reaching Benefits of Citizen Engagement Software

Lena Eisenstein
5 min read

Citizens are a central and important part of governance. There is some thought at the municipal level that working toward citizen engagement may slow things down. The reality is that citizen engagement can happen at different levels and at different capacities. Citizen engagement works best when it's collaborative, so the primary goal is to work as partners to plan for major community development.

One of the many benefits of citizen engagement is that it can neutralize the influence of powerful interests. Security, citizen engagement, innovation, efficiency, and transparency help to build trust between citizens and their local governments. Community by Diligent is citizen engagement software that's customized according to the local government's needs and in ways that support efficiency, accountability, and transparency. Citizen engagement software is capable of reaching all citizens, so inclusivity with the entire community is possible.

Cybersecurity Is Becoming Increasingly Problematic for Local Governments

While we live in the age of cybersecurity, many local governments are still using outdated equipment which is becoming more difficult to maintain or replace. In addition, older technologies often don't work with newer technologies at all, creating security gaps or even rendering them completely useless. Outdated equipment is also susceptible to being hacked which can cause a multitude of problems for local governments including liability problems and associated costs, system shutdowns, and reputational damage.

Local governments collect lots of personal data on their citizens so they can provide them with services. This is a big responsibility for local government staff workers because it requires the utmost in confidentiality. Citizen engagement software helps to reduce the human error that can be problematic when dealing with sensitive information. With Community by Diligent, all documents get stored in the cloud and all data gets safely and regularly backed up, so there's never a danger of anything getting lost or otherwise compromised. Community has state-of-the-art security features built directly into the platform and they're backed up by top-of-the-line technical expertise. It provides the best defense for cybersecurity.

Citizen Engagement Supports Community Development Now and in the Future

Citizen engagement doesn't have to be complicated. The fear of citizen involvement slowing things down is a complete fallacy. In fact, public policies tend to be more effective and better received when community members have an opportunity to become involved. When citizens can engage effectively and on a timely basis, things tend to go smoothly and more predictably. Citizens often come up with great ideas that council members haven't thought about that may prevent costly mistakes and may save time and money in the long run.

Community by Diligent supports inclusiveness, so those who are differently abled have equal access to council meetings and citizen engagement as everyone else in the community.

Citizen Engagement Software Meets the Challenges of Innovation

Local government processes have historically been bureaucratic and clogged with red tape. Citizens have gotten used to doing many of their errands and other transactions completely online. They also appreciate having the ability to pay their utility bills, obtain permits, and take care of other local government business online as well and citizen engagement software affords them the ability to do it.

Community by Diligent makes searching for old, archived documents fast and easy. Citizens and local government staff workers have the ease of accessing any documents that are approved for public use simply by inputting a few words into the search box. The software also supports a process where government staff can easily find hard copies of paper documents within their facilities.

Mobility is another issue that is important to citizens. Nearly everyone has mobile phones and they've come to rely on them as a staple of their lives. With Community by Diligent, citizens can interact with their local governments using mobile phones or other devices as easily as using a laptop.

Digital innovations continue to develop. By implementing a modern citizen engagement software program, local governments will be more easily able to adapt technology for automation, artificial intelligence, data collection, analytics, security, and IoT connected cities.

Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness Have a Far-Reaching Impact for Citizens

Citizen engagement software creates efficiency for local government workers and citizens, making it a win/win software solution. The software gives council members and other government staff the ability to hold meetings that are completely paperless.

Citizen engagement software allows citizens to apply for boards and commission online and do most any other business with their local governments that they could do at the office.

The software has a feature that allows them to video record council meetings and make them available via a citizen engagement portal where anyone can view them at home or anywhere else using a mobile device.

The software features timestamps, so citizens can go directly to the part of the meeting they're interested in without having to watch the entire thing.

Another feature that saves time and money is that the software collects data and consolidates it, making it available for any department to use it. This means that various departments don't have the same information siloed and unavailable to other departments that need it.

Transparency Incites Far-Reaching Trust

Getting needed information from the government shouldn't be complicated or difficult. With Community by Diligent, it's not. Citizens can take care of their own freedom of information requests completely online. The software makes it just as easy to obtain copies of meeting agendas, meeting minutes, and other reports. The design of the software was built with inclusivity and community engagement in mind. These are all features that help to build trust between citizens and their local governments which goes a long way toward paving the way for future civic engagement.

Citizen Engagement Brings Multiple Payoffs

One of the many challenges for council members is being able to line up priorities with their stated goals. Citizens often have valuable input for helping to translate priorities into concrete action and service delivery. Without the benefit of having trust, local governments face higher costs and complications because it may motivate citizens to seek services outside formal public systems.

A citizen software management system puts all the information that citizens need at their fingertips. It's searchable, mobile-friendly, expedient, and accurate. Community by Diligent supports key modern governance practices that are critical to the ongoing success of the communities you serve.