Quote of the week
“Canada has the most engaged Internet users in the world.”
— Stratford Institute report: “Becoming a Digital Nation”
Governments in Canada know they need to use the Internet better to connect with citizens. One reason is cost. The other is in response to the fact that Canadians are online a lot: more than our neighbours to the south (45.6 hours a month versus 40.3) and almost twice as much as the worldwide average of 24.4 hours a month.
A recent study commissioned by the Stratford Institute for Digital Media assesses how provinces are doing in providing interactive services for their citizens and rates them accordingly. The federal government, unfortunately, is not part of the study.
The report looks at three areas of citizen-government interaction: completing basic services online; accessing government information online; and engaging/interacting with government online. This last category looks specifically at the use of social media such as Twitter.
The report gives Quebec the highest rating for the provision of online services, praising it as providing “the most sophisticated citizen-centric services” in the country.
For providing information online, Ontario rates the highest. The report credits the province with understanding best how citizens consume online information, breaking it down into useable chunks and making sophisticated use of hyperlinks to send readers to other related information.
Alberta wins the engaging/interacting honours, though the report notes that only six governments even qualified to be assessed. Alberta, the report says, makes good use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and has linked the social media platforms well to other ones such as websites.
British Columbia gets kudos for providing the “most consistent, integrated, citizen-centric online experience overall.” They did well in all categories and are praised for embracing open government and launching Open Data and Open Information sites.
The report can be found at http://stratfordinstitute.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/eGovernment_final_web.pdf