The rise of the citizen CIO

Jason Hibbets | OpenSource.Com | August 6, 2013

Are citizen CIOs a threat to local governments or a blessing in disguise? With government IT departments producing more open data and participation from community interest groups and citizens on the rise, we’re beginning to see the start of a new movement within open government: telling our government which technologies to deploy.

Citizens are identifying—and some are creating themselves—the next wave of applications and resources for their municipalities, such as a crowdsourced answering platform for city services, an open data catalog, and a civic infrastructure adoption website for fire hydrants and storm drains. With this, the role of the citizen CIO is beginning to emerge.

The citizen CIO can be a passionate citizen or an organized group of citizens. Examples include a citizen champion that is enthusiastic about technology and open source or a Code for America Brigade whose mission is to help stand up civic applications for their community. A citizen CIO is a partner with their local government IT department, maybe even an extension. Their efforts are not haphazard, but strategic.

Open Health News' Take: 

An excellent article on the citizen CIO. Make sure you answer their survey question. Are citizen CIOs a partner or a threat to local government? Seems like most people agree that citizens are partners with government - not a threat. Local government, Pay Attention!  -  Peter Groen,  Senior Editor, Open Health News (OHN)