July 17, 2008 By News Report
A pothole in the street? A loose dog running around the neighborhood? Missed trash pick-up? Every day Americans want or need to make a call to their local government for service or information, but don't always know where to call. An emerging technology, 311 service, is making it easier for citizens to connect with their local government when they need help. And all through a simple phone call to 3-1-1 or the touch of a button on a government Web site.
A new group created by several leading organizations has formed to promote the use of and serve as a resource on centralized customer service systems, such as 311 call centers, citizen relationship management (CRM) systems, and online service requests, to improve local government service delivery and performance.
The 311/CRM Project Coordinating Group was created by Rutgers University's Public Performance Measurement and Reporting Network, 311 Community of Practice; the International City/County Management Association (ICMA); Community Research Council (CRC); and Public Technology Institute (PTI).
By coming together, the members of the 311/CRM Project Coordinating Group hope to:
Each founding member of the 311/CRM Project Coordinating Group has received funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to conduct research on 311 and CRM systems as part of its goal to help municipal governments be more responsive to their citizens, and strengthen the connection citizens and their local government.
Research projects that coordinating group members are conducting include:
311/CRM Project Coordinating Group members will disseminate information on their research initiatives through their respective Web sites, and will explore opportunities for collaboration with other organizations interested in the promotion and diffusion of 311/CRM systems when appropriate.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.