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Role of Social Media in Information Sharing & Transparency

Role of Social Media in Information Sharing & Transparency

ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Social Media is being progressively used for seeking feedback from citizens; pronouncement of public policy; issue based as well as generic interaction and brand building or public relations.
  • In order to encourage and enable government agencies to make use of web 2 technologies which is a dynamic medium of interaction the Department of Information Technology, Gol has released a draft social media strategy.
  • The Framework & Guidelines for Use of Social Media for Government Organization hopes to help the government enhance its outreach, engage and interact with the Indian internet users.
  • The Planning Commission of India has taken the initiative and put itself on Facebook with a page on the “Twelfth Plan,” 2012 through 2017.

INITIATIVES FOR OPEN ADMINISTRATION

Alongside action on the well considered recommendations of the ARC, attention of the Central and State governments have to turn towards further meaningful and systematic efforts to strengthen freedom of information and participatory governance.

The following initiatives will have to be thought of in order further the cause of more open administration:

  • More progressive proactive publication and updating of information useful to the public, including online.
  • Strict adherence to the mandate of the R.T.I Act covering supply of information sought under the Act swiftly, following the salutary principle of secrecy as an exemption, treating information as a ‘public good’
  • Quick reduction of backlog of information sought.
  • More effective records management and retrieval.
  • Publicizing information on financial disclosures
  • Furthering measures to improve the country’s budget transparency and taking action for putting information on budget allocations, releases, expenditure, procurement, etc
  • Enactment and enforcement of whistle blower protection law, to further the cause of openness and improve discipline and accountability
  • Putting in practice the principle of ‘Open Meetings’, including passing of the open meetings law.
  • 24/7 channels for feedback, complaints, secure protected whistle blowing.
  • Furthering measures for a more enabling environment for civil society participation in public affairs affecting the citizen.                Role of Social Media in Information Sharing & Transparency

Pending finalization and earnest implementation of the national policy on open data, data sharing and accessibility, social media in governance, and National Information Technology Infrastructure and nationwide Distributed Database with Public Information Infrastructure under way, earnest I C T application on the following lines will further the cause of Open Government.

  • Facility to secure feedback from the public on the Internet
  • Use of mobile phones to inform, chat rooms, and bulletin boards.
  • More progressive use of the Internet, web2 technologies, government wikis, data feeds, department blogs, channels on social media to communicate with citizens, on line town hall meetings, discussion groups, memberships’ forums, etc
  • Virtual town square for crowd sourcing of opinions, ideas etc.
  • Computerized neighborhood environment tracking
  • e-rule making

Improving government agencies’ and particularly Local government capacity to inform, consult, interact, and collaborate is possible through tools for each activity as shown below.

  • Inform citizens through interviews, surveys, public hearings,
  • Consult through nominal groups, focus groups etc, and get feedback and to stimulate public debate,
  • Engage through public issue forums, citizen panels, workshops and incorporating citizen views in discussion process, and
  • Collaborate with the citizen and create long term partnerships of citizens, and
  • To address issues through study circles and community task force, and
  • Educate the civil society to improve their capacity to effectively and collaboratively use open data, as and when it becomes a reality, for public good, including the government.                      Role of Social Media in Information Sharing & Transparency

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