Everyone has a stake in providing E-Government services to their communities. Corporate and nonprofit, government, education, social service and other sectors are all potential partners in ensuring that all people have the resources and skills they need to live, learn, work and govern successfully.
Building national, state, and local partnerships with key groups is a primary strategy for delivering E-Government services. At the national level, the American Library Association can promote awareness and collaboration with federal agencies and national non-profit organizations. Likewise, state library associations and state libraries can forge partnerships at the state level. Locally, public, academic, school, and special libraries can join forces with government and other agencies to ensure successful delivery of E-Government services. Roles for partners can include training, citizen advocacy, assistance, translation, and assessment. Partnerships require careful relationship building if they are to provide mutual benefits and sustain the member’s participation.
Creating E-Government partnerships requires:
- Creating a common vision for E-Government in your community
- Strategic planning for E-Government services
- Creating an E-Government partnership
- Identifying partners
- Identifying funding sources and negotiating costs and payments
- Identifying training needs and preparing training plans and responsibilities
Steps to success
- Identify potential partners with a common concern and commitment. Recruiting key players early on will help to attract other participants.
- Promote a sense of ownership among all participants. Success is more likely when all partners are involved in the planning stages.
- Create a shared vision. Involve all participants in identifying community needs, available resources, potential strategies and desired outcomes. A facilitator may be helpful.
- Respect that partner groups have different constituencies and agendas. It is important to keep an open mind, stay flexible and be willing to negotiate.
- Make a plan and assign tasks. Promote a “can do” attitude. If those involved have a willingness to do whatever it takes, the project will be successful.
- Run good meetings. Have a clear agenda and adjourn on time. Solicit everyone’s input. Do not meet more than is necessary.
- Maintain regular communication. Keep everyone informed by using each agency’s established communication channels as well as creating new outlets.
- Keep your community informed. Prepare a communications plan and provide opportunities for public input when appropriate.
- Express appreciation. Make sure each group is recognized for its participation as well as the joint outcome.
- Evaluate your effort. Identify what worked, what did not and next steps.