3 Things County Governments Want You to Know

August 8, 2016 11:54 am PST | Data as a Service

The National Association of Counties (NACo) represents 3,000 plus counties in the United States and was founded in 1935. Recently, I had the privilege of attending the 2016 NACo Annual Conference and Exhibition in Long Beach, Calif. The event brought together county administrators, commissioners, law enforcement, and other government staff from across the country. Here are three major themes from the presentations, educational sessions, and conversations I had with county leaders from all across the country. 

1. Whether big or small, county governments are being asked to do more with less. 

Like many cities and states, counties are tightening their wallets and streamlining resources. Commissioners and administrators talked about how constituents are demanding more services than ever, and budgets aren’t necessarily expanding at an equivalent rate. In light of our ever-growing digital society, governments are looking for new and innovative ways to leverage technology to help centralize and streamline service delivery and operational efficiencies. Doing so allows them to meet constituents’ expectations, without extending unavailable resources.  

2. County governments are actively working to improve police-community relationships.

It’s easy to understand why public safety was top of mind for just about every government official at this conference. County governments of all sizes are leveraging public safety data — data that’s already available, and has been collected for years, in many cases —  to help engage and foster positive community relations with citizens. With the right tools, municipalities can communicate the work public safety officials do day in and day out, share crime data, provide context around datasets, and increase citizen engagement and involvement.

3. Performance management programs are evolving from strategic planning.

Strategic planning is a constant topic of conversation — counties are eager to identify what makes their communities special and set goals for future improvements and plans. The next step in this strategic planning process is to map these goals and priorities to a performance program. Doing so provides municipalities with the ability to measure progress in achieving goals, and enables staffers and residents with the ability to connect policies with outcomes, fostering a data-driven mentality.  

Whether the desired outcome is to increase operational efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery, or proactively engage a community, a performance management program is vital for a successful digital government.  

Explore how your government can connect the dots between policy and outcomes in this on-demand webinar with Socrata’s own Ryan Mannion.

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