The revolutionary Civic Tech and Gov Tech bring more efficiency, transparency, cost savings, inclusion and collaboration.
IT technicians, engineers, experts of AI, IoT sensors, Analytics and Open Data are not the only ones working on civil and governmental technologies. Sociologists, economists and representatives of public institutions are also are involved to make an important contribution to the future of urban services and infrastructures.
The growing interest in Civic Tech and Gov Tech
The interest in civil and governmental technologies varies from country to country. More mature markets, such as the United States, have long exploited the Civic Gov to make the public administrations more efficient, responsive and able to better serve society.
The benefits are remarkable, both for the government and for businesses, citizens and communities. Even some european countries such as United Kingdom, France and Germany invest heavily in the Civic Gov.
An example of a successful implementation of Civic Tech can be found in India, where an intense virtual dialogue between citizens and the government has persisted on important governance issues.
In Italy the growth trend of the two sectors is still low, even if many governments are showing an increasing interest in this regard.
The difference between Civic Tech and Gov Tech
The Civic Tech and Gov Tech concepts are characterized by some differences: the two approaches are distinguished from each other according to goals and objectives to be achieved.
Civic Tech to improve the wellness of the citizens
Civic Tech refers to technologies aimed at informing, involving and connecting public administrations with urban users in order to improve their well-being.
Citizens, accustomed already to digital services (home banking, online shopping, etc.) have the same expectations regarding to the services of public administrations.
There are a lot of advantages that can change the live of the citizens: the possibility of schedule hospital appointments comfortably at home, get online access to smart public transport ticketing to plan the travels, access digital documents without having to go to the municipality, etc. Some solutions are already active in Italian cities, many of them are still to be implemented.
Civic Tech provides as well, urban interfaces that allow the government to interact with citizens with the intention to inform them about traffic problems, emergency situations, accidents, etc.
Information is available not only from classic devices (smartphones, tablet computers, etc.), platforms, social media and even interactive totems, panels and monitors, positioned in central urban points, give access to information, offer virtual reception, give quick and optimized access to innovative services for citizens, tourists and companies.
In addition, Civil Technologies offer new channels to encourage community participation in improving urban services, encouraging them to evaluate the quality of public services
and to identify and report problems to be solved. User inputs may report on the presence of holes in the streets, non-functioning street lamps, flooding due to adverse weather conditions, etc.
The integration of apps, platforms and social channels with reporting systems leads to substantial savings in staff costs and reduce the average time for road repairs.
The success and functioning of civil technologies is assessed on the basis of the engagement achieved, the number of users involved and their sentiment.
Gov Tech to increase the efficiency of public administration
Gov Tech refers to a wide range of innovative technologies made available to public administrations.
The huge amount of data collected, monitored and processed through platforms, sensors, information technology and telematics is analyzed for the benefit of the city.
Traditionally, governing institution referred to large IT companies for the development of proprietary software and platforms that are very different from one another and aren’t interconnected.
The design and the implementation of smart technologies allow to digitize many offline activities, besides the possibility to offer better services, to reduce errors, to easily share data, to operate in a transparent manner and to considerably decrease public spending.
Gov Tech points to change the way in which public bodies achieve the pre-set goals in different sectors of the city: traffic management, access to services, water monitoring, air pollution, climatic factors, etc.
Civic Tech and Gov Tech act virtually by monitoring, collecting and processing the huge amount of data in order to facilitate citizens, businesses, tourists and government. These technological models represent an opportunity to create an environment in which innovation thrives and where new solutions can emerge to improve results.