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Accela Insights

Better government through civic engagement

The Accela Partner and Developer Conference: Growing Partners and Growing Scale

 We’re kicking off the seventh annual Accela Partner and Developer Conference this morning and this meeting couldn't come at a better time. We are acutely aware of increasing government scrutiny, polarized political parties, and the expectation that governments, large and small, will continue to deliver the same level of service despite staffing and budget cuts. Along with the proliferation of social networks and mobile and tablet usage, we know that governments must adapt to better connect to the citizens they serve. We spent the morning defining citizen engagement. An attendee from Kansas discussed engagement as creating easier ways for citizens to request services, making systems easier for businesses to work with government and to make turnaround time faster with less bureaucracy. Gavin Newsom’s book, Citizenville, has brought to light that companies like Accela have a tremendous opportunity to help governments innovate, to define, build and distribute solutions that make an impact, and to create sol......
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"Data-Hungry" Is the Sentiment at the Code Across America Hackathon

 "In just one word, how are you feeling this morning?" That was one of the ice-breaker questions every participant of the "Hack Your City with Your City" event in San Francisco answered as we went around the room and introduced ourselves. The most common answers were 'excited' or 'over/under-caffeinated,' but the answer that struck me most, and which was also a common theme amongst participants whom I spoke with throughout the day, was the phrase 'data-hungry.' It succinctly summarizes the primary challenge facing the Open Data movement today -- giving Developers an understanding of what data is available, how to get at it, and how to use it most effectively for common good. Once the data floodgates are opened, we just stand back and see what amazing apps spring forth. Accela partnered with Code for America to host a hackathon on Saturday, February 23 at their Headquarters on 9th Street. I'd guess about......
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