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What Does Citizen Engagement Look Like in Alaska?

Deputy State Chief Information Officer Jim Steele explains how the state’s unique geography ups the ante when it comes to government-constituent interaction.

by / November 29, 2017

Government doesn’t have the luxury of going all-in on digital. It’s not enough to serve most constituents; the public sector has to make sure it serves every citizen, including those who make phone calls and write letters to get questions answered and issues resolved. 

At the annual National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) conference in October, state CIOs talked to Government Technology about their efforts and challenges around citizen engagement. But perhaps none are more challenged than the IT team in Alaska — a state with 17 percent of the country’s land area but with fewer than 750,000 in total population.

Here, Alaska’s Deputy Chief Information Officer Jim Steele, alongside state CIO Bill Vajda, articulates the scope of the challenge. “We need to maintain some of that infrastructure and capability to serve these populations that are very hard to reach and rely on these old methods,” Steele said. 


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Noelle Knell Editor

Government Technology editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.

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