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Community as a Service 

How changes in citizen expectation will drive a new wave in technology enabled community engagement.

Ben Cowling, Executive Director, Civica ANZ

I’m pleased to today launch Community as a Service, Civica’s new report which looks into citizen expectations of the local government sector.

The report, based on research conducted in partnership with the Institute of Public Policy and Governance at University of Technology Sydney, seeks to understand what citizens want from their interactions with their local government and how digital technologies can be used to improve services and engagement.

The findings, from surveying more than 1,000 citizens from both regional and metropolitan Australia, reveal citizens want their local council to use digital technologies to streamline existing processes and improve community services and quality of life.  

Key findings from the research include:

  • Technology in every-day life is growing in importance: 79% of citizens expect their main interactions with their council to be through self-service technologies in the next five years
  • Citizens perceive a future where they are more likely to participate in local decision-making: 64% expect to engage with their local council on local issues over the next five years
  • Social media is likely to increase as a form of engagement with local councils: 47% of citizens agree they will primarily use social media to connect with their local council in the future
  • Citizens don’t trust local government to manage data: Although citizens expect their council to employ digital technologies to improve community services, only 28% completely trust their councils to manage data

As part of the research, citizens also suggested their own ideas for how new technologies can be leveraged by local councils, including greater communication and transparency between councils and residents, improved safety and crime deterrence, parking and traffic management, and environmental sustainability.

There is a wealth of information contained within the report, including the areas local councils can most improve on to benefit their community. I encourage you to download and read it for yourself, and pass it onto your colleagues.

At Civica, these reports drive our own research and development as we strive to develop and deliver products and services that will continue to meet the growing needs of our customers and their citizens, including cloud-based solutions for local government and digital solutions for democracy and community engagement.  

I’m proud to be part of an organisation that is passionate about delivering solutions for the local government sector, and hope that Community as a Service will help councils Australia-wide meet the needs of their citizens. 

We’d love to talk to you more about how we can help you in this journey. For more information, you can access the full report here.