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.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.