Engagement key to perception, finds report

Local government engagement with its constituency is crucial to informing public perceptions while also improving quality of services, new research has found.

Published in the Journal of Public Sector Management, the research found that establishing online routes for citizen sourcing leads to dramatic upticks in trust, confidence and quality of service provision.

The research examined the effectiveness and impact of the Austrian MyLinz platform, which allows citizens to engage with local government bodies and enter submissions on urban development and planning.

In this case, the research found a dramatic improvement in general public perception of local government, legitimacy of decision making and broader trust and satisfaction levels.

The report’s lead author, Dr Lisa Schmidthuber, concluded that ease of use, transparency and allowing citizens to offer feedback are just some of the outcomes of moving to a platform like MyLinz.

“Citizens value these new forms of interacting with public employees independent of time and place. They take the chance to collaborate with the government online and respond to the call for participation. This active interaction between citizens and government might also increase citizens’ trust in government,” Dr Schmidthuber said.

The analysis of the MyLinz program also found that by better engaging with its citizenry, a local government body can better tailor solutions for the local community.

The full report can be downloaded here

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