Co-producing spatial information with citizens: Understanding practices, preferences, and challenges within government
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In today’s era of digital media, collecting and sharing location-based information has become easier and more accessible for many people. This exchange of spatial information, created and shared by the public, is beneficial to different government operations such as disaster management, monitoring of air pollution, and effective planning. With these advancements of technology, as well as practices of information exchange, opportunities are emerging for governments to co-produce spatial information with citizens and acquire current and detailed information following the concept of ‘citizens as sensors’. Though these practices of co-production are becoming more common, there is a gap in understanding how governments are adopting, implementing, and managing co-production practices. Understanding these aspects is crucial, especially to evaluate the benefits, trends, and motivations associated with these practices. This research aims to address this gap, discussed in two main chapters: first, understanding the existing approaches and motivating factors for government co-producing spatial information; second, identifying the existing and potential challenges to implement a project for co-producing spatial information between government and citizens. To meet these research objectives, 18 officials from both local and national levels in North America and Europe were interviewed. The officials are affiliated with projects that are currently co-producing spatial information with citizens, or have potential tools or plans to implement the process. These semi-structured interviews reveal that at the local level, co-production practices involve collecting new information or observations of citizens and are also used to observe citizen preferences and practices. These insights are augmenting the existing operations and service delivery of government organizations with the frequent and detailed contribution of citizens. Furthermore, the role of technology and different partners such as private or research organizations were found to support government to undertake co-production approaches. The results from these interviews also indicate that both organizational and technical challenges prevail for adopting co-production processes. Based on these challenges, a set of best practices are also recommended for government. The overall study outlines the current contexts of government, trends of co-production of spatial information with citizens, and possible best practices for implementation and management of the co-production process.
Cite this version of the work
Zarin Khan (2019). Co-producing spatial information with citizens: Understanding practices, preferences, and challenges within government. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/15196