Public Technology Institute announced today the launch of the Citizen-Engaged Community designation program for city and county governments.

Through this initiative, PTI will encourage more active participation by the public in government performance management and reporting by helping local governments connect, and promote their multi-channel citizen contact and service delivery systems.

Examples include Citizen Relationship Management (CRM) systems, 311 call centers, and Web portal technologies that local governments use to respond to citizens' requests for services.

The Citizen-Engaged Community designation program will:

  • Identify best practices in multi-channel contact centers that utilize integrated technology systems, and share these practices with local government practitioners
  • Develop, then disseminate a roadmap for multi-channel contact centers that local governments will use to improve citizen engagement and seamless service delivery
  • Recognize those local governments that meet the criteria and guidelines for designation as a citizen-engaged community.

Each local government that is designated a citizen-engaged community will receive special recognition, to include an official seal to place on its Web site. The designation lasts for two years, after which the local government may re-apply for designation.

"Multi-channel contact has become the face of government to the public. This designation program will challenge all local governments to achieve high standards in service delivery, citizen participation, and government accountability - as set by government and the community," said Alan Shark, executive director of PTI.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is funding the start-up of this program as part of its goal to make municipal governments more responsive to their citizens. The PTI program will work closely with other initiatives that the Sloan Foundation supports, including programs under way with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the Rutgers University Public Performance and Reporting Network. PTI, ICMA and Rutgers have come together to create the 311/CRM Project Coordinating Group to serve as a resource and expertise bank on 311/CRM systems, and to create a unified public voice on 311/CRM systems.

After the second year, the program will be self-sustaining through local government and private industry support and participation.

Officials from PTI member governments participate in councils and forums that address specific technology areas. Through a corporate partner program with leading technology companies, and partnerships with federal agencies and other governmental organizations, PTI shares the results of these activities and the expertise of its members with the broader audience of the thousands of cities and counties across the U.S.