Web 2.0 Enabling Government to Engage and Empower Citizens, Accenture Report Shows

Report provides strategic framework for government innovators to leverage Web 2.

RESTON, Virginia; July 27, 2009 – Early public-sector adopters of Web 2.0 are using it to improve services to citizens and to foster collaboration internally and with their stakeholders, according to a new report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

The report, titled “Web 2.0 and the Next Generation of Public Service,” lays out a strategic framework to help governments approach and make use of Web 2.0, which Accenture defines as a broad category of social-networking and collaborative-communication technologies such as blogs, wikis, crowd-sourcing, websites such as Facebook and MySpace, so-called Rich Internet applications, “virtual worlds,” and RSS publish-and-subscribe services.

Accenture’s research looks at national, state and city government agencies’ use of Web 2.0 technologies and highlights examples of public sector benefits of the new technology applications. It points to Web 2.0’s public sector value in the following areas:

· Improving the scope and timeliness of services to citizens;

· Improving collaboration between agency executives/managers and agency workforces;

· Engaging citizens to participate directly in governance;

· Delivering cost efficiencies by enabling and encouraging self-service; and

· Driving innovation by engaging internal and external constituents to find and pursue new solutions to public challenges.

“Web 2.0 technologies resonate with governments because these technologies support a deeper engagement of people in their own governance,” said Greg Parston, director of Accenture’s Institute for Public Service Value. “The era of ‘e-government’ is now moving to ‘e-governance’ and is the subject of an upcoming Accenture report. The shift is really being driven by citizens, and public-sector leaders are responding by figuring out how to use Web 2.0 technologies to improve services to, and more deeply engage with, their citizens.”

Accenture’s Web 2.0 report is based on the company’s experience working with governments around the world to implement Web 2.0, supplementary desk research and input from Accenture industry and policy experts. It also builds on findings from previous Accenture research, explaining how the Accenture Public Service Value Governance Framework can help governments evaluate and plan for Web 2.0 in terms of four criteria:

1. The social and economic outcomes that Web 2.0 can produce;

2. The balance that Web 2.0 can provide between choice and flexibility on the one hand and fairness and common good on the other;

3. The potential for Web 2.0 to support higher levels of public engagement by enabling and enrolling the public as co-producers of public value; and

4. The capacity of Web 2.0 to create more accountability in government and facilitate public recourse.

Accenture developed the guiding principles of the Public Service Value Governance Framework based on the findings of a series of Global Cities Forums the company conducted in major metropolitan centers around the world beginning in 2007. Accenture has conducted 13 forums to date, with five more scheduled for later this year, in Austin, Texas (US); Johannesburg, South Africa; Mexico City, Mexico; New Delhi, India; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

More information about Web 2.0 and the Next Generation of Public Service can be found at www.accenture.com/publicserviceWeb20.

About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With approximately 177,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$23.39 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2008. Its home page is www.accenture.com.


Joe Dickie
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Peter Soh
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