New Findings: The Potential and Challenge of Using New Technologies to Transform Governance

In “Globalization of E-government: Open Government as a Global Agenda, Benefits, Limitations and Ways Forward,” Maxat Kassen studies the recent history of e-governance programs, like the U.S. data repository Data.gov, to determine the best practices and central challenges for the inevitable development of new global open government initiatives.

“Although none of the conclusions found in the paper in setting e-government as a global agenda is presented as a reason for avoiding international cooperation in promotion of the idea, analysis of current developments shows that, despite the impressive achievements of collaborative efforts in this direction…further progress will require the solution of many challenges, in particular, mitigating the effects of the global digital divide, harmonization of corresponding legislation and realization procedures all over the world, project outreach, and lastly, developing a robust e-government terminology and paradigm.”

Stephanie Camay, Lloyd Brown and Meghan Makoid examine the challenges and benefits to the use of social media in transportation industries in their paper, “Role of Social Media in Environmental Review Process of National Environmental Policy Act.” Through a number of case studies, the authors find that while social media can be unquestionably useful for engaging with the public, more guidance is needed on their use, particularly for members of industries that have not traditionally utilized such tools.

“Transportation professionals do not have a choice in whether to use social media; it is a question of how well these new tools are used for communicating with the public.”

“The recent proliferation of social media in the planning and public outreach process also represents a new challenge. Professionals may not fully understand how to effectively use social media to engage all persons interested or affected by a transportation project. There is a need for best practices to be developed to help public professionals understand the most appropriate social media tools to use, when to use them, and how to best mobilize these tools.”

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