The “key word” to be used in this is the “citizens engagement” in the various phases of the service definition, development, refining and monitoring, and the whole concept of user-centric services is based on “putting the citizen (user) at the centre of innovative services” starting from enabling of a specific procedure: citizens shall be involved in the user-centric services development driven by what users want and operate on a scale that is relevant to them.
The whole approach can be actualised through very different ways and using very different tools, often not only ICT-based; public workshops and consultation are still a powerful instrument to create a co-operative debate
Indeed ICT is only a tool, both for information gathering and information delivering, as we can elicit useful information through face-to-face discussions, and the first challenge is to define the most suitable interface for users/citizens we shall use to empower the citizen to interact.
Citizen-centric governance means also creating a so-called ‘smart environment’ that see the users/citizens as their main stakeholders. The user-centricity will be the basis for adopting a shared approach: people living in a smart multimodal environment which maximizes the economies of scope and scale across its multiple infrastructure layers. Here, the ‘smartness’ shall not be referred uniquely to the technologies, but includes a broader view of ensuring a minimum QoS for public and private services, the direct contact and management of the resources in the territory, the coopetition among citizens and the other actors (government, industry, academia) working together to co-drive structural changes. It’s the application of the Quadruple Helix model, introduced within the Open Innovation 2.0 (OI20) main vision, and applied to the territorial open government.
The ideal citizen centric governance scenario might be described as one with freedom of choice to participate in the design, delivery and review of public services with governments that focus on enabling user initiating and implementing levels. However, realising this relies on a number of factors, among all the interactivity and including active citizen participation through discussion, dialogue and debate, possibly supported by social networks and platforms. It has been emphasised that techniques such as narratives, games or even art may be important vehicles for expressing evidence and forming opinion.
Following this preliminary analysis, and keeping in mind that an informed citizenry might engage with experts from many domains in generating scenarios for improving the quality of urban life and urban performance, we can list some initial recommendation targeted to the Community at large:
- It’s important to assess methodologies for users and citizens’ engagement that imply the active participation of users especially in the phase of the service definition. Empowering citizens to be decision makers: individuals, small communities and organizations can participate in the entire decision making process in a manner that was not possible earlier.
- The use of new technologies and the 2.0 tools through mobile devices empowers the co-participation of users, being these the interface that almost all citizens and users are going to use for the management of all the information of his/her daily life. The focus shall be on ways in which citizens can first access information about what is happening in their communities and cities but also explore ways in which a wide range of different groups can become actively involved in the design and planning process, both remotely and in face-to-face situations using data, models and scenarios all informed by contemporary ICT.
- The business perspective for the service’ sustainability is a boundary requirement when thinking about the need of provision of added-value content information. More users, more trust, more engagement, more feedback, more info to be elaborated by third parties.
- Core Principles for Making Governance Citizen Centric
- In our country there is a tendency for some enforcement agencies not to rigorously enforce the provisions of law. This is particularly evident in case of traffic related violations, civic offences, infringement of pollution control laws etc. For their part, sometimes, the citizens are equally to blame for flouting rules with impunity and without regard to public health, safety and consideration for others. A crackdown on these types of offences in some cities like Delhi, whether enforced by Courts or otherwise, have tended to operate as campaigns and may therefore be unable to create and sustain a long term impact because they are driven by personalities or by court verdicts rather than by the institutions themselves.
- Hence all public agencies should adopt a zero tolerance strategy towards crime, in order to create a climate of compliance with laws leading to maintenance of public order. This strategy should be institutionalized in the various public agencies by creating appropriate statistical databases, backed up by modern technology, to monitor the level and trends of various types of offences and link these to a system of incentives and penalties for the officials working in these agencies. It should be combined with initiatives to involve the community in crime prevention measures. The core principles for making governance citizen centric are:
- Making Institutions Vibrant, Responsive and Accountable
- Active Citizens’ Participation – Decentralization and Delegation
- Civil Service Reforms
- Ethics in Governance
- Process Reforms
- Periodic & Independent Evaluation of the Quality of Governance
Citizen expects good governance and high quality performance from Government. Good governance brings prosperity. Instead bad governance, brings conflict result in civil war, as it restricts opportunities of its citizen which make them frustrated.
Having said all this, it is important to re-iterate that the success of the governance depends on proper policy making and policy implementation which in turn depends on the successful implementation of different methodologies of good governance at the ground level rather than managerial skills of the administrators, mainly because of the in-built variable and dynamic nature of the problems wherein the success of the decisions more depend on whether the understanding of the administrator is congruent to the nucleus of the problem as it was perceived by the public at large. Further not only the administrators are expected to identify the issues but also the relative weights which needs to ascribed to the various issues and their related aspects. Lastly the manner in which the issues are addressed again is very organic and fluid which ascribes ultimate importance to the sensitivities and perceptions of the clientele in accordance with the situational features. Thus, participation of all stakeholders as government, judiciary, institutions, civil society and citizens are necessary to bring good governance.