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Better government through civic engagement

Removing Barriers with Accela Contractor Central

Removing Barriers with Accela Contractor Central
When we started our pilot program with Tampa last year, our goal was simple: make it easy for contractors to work with government agencies on the permitting process. Through joint collaboration with the Tampa agency and the contractors they work with, Accela used interviews, prototypes and a fully functioning application to really try and address issues that slowed down the permitting process. The result is a streamlined Contractor Central application, available on iOS and Android, that works with contractors to make their day-to-day jobs easier. How this app idea came about As a company, our mission is to provide the tools that make being a citizen, a business owner and a government employee easier. When we looked at the issues plaguing contractor and government agency interaction, it became clear that there was no one solution for contractors to manage all of the daily tasks they have. Even if an agency has......
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The Mobile Citizen: Winter Storm Jonas, Philly 311 and a New Form of Customer Service (Part 4 of 4)

The Mobile Citizen: Winter Storm Jonas, Philly 311 and a New Form of Customer Service (Part 4 of 4)
This is the fourth post in a series on "The Mobile Citizen," a look at how the Civic Platform is helping agencies of all sizes engage their mobile citizens and stay ahead of the "mobile mind shift." ------ Late last month, Winter Storm Jonas hit much of the east coast. From Friday, January 22 to Sunday, January 24, the storm affected 102.8 million people and covered about 434,000 square miles in 26 states, according to the NOAA. For many local government officials, Winter Storm Jonas meant around-the-clock work to keep citizens safe, roads accessible and communication constant. In Philadelphia, the nationally renowned Philly 311 call center received more than 21,000 calls (8x more than normal), nearly 8,000 requests via its Accela-powered mobile app and website and 6,000 requests through social media. The efforts of the team behind Philly 311 are evidence of the changing nature of customer service in local government.......
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You Can Build Your Own Mobile App without Writing a Single Line of Code. (Yes, You.)

You Can Build Your Own Mobile App without Writing a Single Line of Code. (Yes, You.)
One of the favorite things about my job is that I’m focused on how to make our customers’ lives easier. So I’m particularly excited to share the news of Accela’s partnership with APPCityLife, the grand prize winner of our Civic App Challenge earlier this year. Why am I so excited? While it’s great to hear stories about government agencies using mobile apps to increase efficiencies and connect directly to their citizens, it’s still a daunting prospect. Creating a mobile app often requires a) someone who majored in Computer Science and has mastered multiple, complex programming languages and b) a great deal of time and money to get an app up and running. Not anymore. Government agencies across North America (and Accela customers, of course) can now create and manage their own mobile apps in record time — in days versus weeks or months — without having to write a single line of code. The C......
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