Innovation from Desperation

Stephen Goldsmith’s recent article in Governing looks at how difficult financial times have offered opportunities for reconsidering how public officials undertake difficult tasks. ¬†While he raises a number of issues relating to technology (from crowdsourcing to data analysis) the article also demonstrates that these build on fundamental questions about the role of the citizen and the level of government:

Since we are in the midst of a holiday season of cheer and good will, let’s recognize at least one way that 2011 has been a great year for governments.

It’s true that the year has brought Scrooge-type looks from budget directors trying to balance a budget, furrowed eyebrows from governors or mayors announcing at a town meeting a drop in resources, and anguished countenances from struggling workers and homeowners.

But for dedicated public officials, 2011 has produced a broad array of operational innovations.

You can read more here.

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