Citizen-government partnership: Understanding government perspective on co-creating information with citizens

Authors: Zarin Khan*, University of Waterloo
Topics: Canada, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: VGI, Crowdsourcing, GIS, citizen, government
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: 8222, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Open government and smart city initiatives are rapidly becoming a part of our society. As a component of these strategies, governments are welcoming new opportunities for partnerships with private organizations, business companies, and also with citizens. With the emergence of digital communication platforms and access to information, there are more channels to collect citizen contributions to support government tasks. For instance, accepting VGI to update an authoritative database can not only strengthen the relationship between government and citizens but also help the government to adapt to challenges like shrinking resources. Despite such importance of geographic inputs from citizens in public administration, its use in the government sector is quite limited. To address this gap, the paper attempts to fulfill two research objectives. First, to appraise the prospects of establishing a citizen-generated geographic information system in the Canadian government sector. Second, to identify the challenges in implementing such a system. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with officials, involved with government institutions in European and North American countries, which employ VGI or crowdsourcing for data collection and planning. Additionally, GIS or planning officials from Canadian cities were interviewed to assess their perspectives on accepting geographic inputs from citizens at the local level. The findings from the interviews helped to understand the variation of government scopes and limitations for accepting geographic contributions from citizens. The overall analysis of the context, perspective, and the factors are expected to provide insights for government to foster better practices of accepting geographic contribution from citizens.

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