Digital Governance – Uber for regions?
In a recent inquiry submission, developed in partnership with SAP Australia, the RAI suggested that a platform allowing the sharing of data and information between Government, industry and communities could be extremely valuable to regional development and decision making for all parties involved.
We know that the emergence of social and peer-to-peer service networks like Uber, Airbnb and Kickstarter are changing the control and management of data, information and resources in many markets. These digital platforms help vast communities of people to communicate, interact, share ideas, reviews, experiences and provide feedback that constantly allows the platforms to keep refining and improving.
Could similar models be applied as successfully to government? And what could digital governance look like in regional Australia?
The RAI sees the potential for similar models to better prioritise and provide feedback on regional investment projects. Collective, real time feedback, would allow community leaders to assess attitudes and reactions during key decision making in much more sophisticated ways. It could assist in sharing and leveraging innovative regional development ideas based on the experience of others, reducing the cost and effort needed to execute similar projects from scratch. It also has the potential to help leaders make informed decisions at short notice in response to current events.
For example, this approach to digital governance would be useful in designing and delivering large, multi-million dollar rail infrastructure projects such as Inland Rail or the Regional Rail Fund investments announced at the last election. Managers could ask the community their opinions on where best to lay the tracks, while leveraging google maps traffic data and State Transport department datasets to assess which routes are the best, and what improvements rail might make to that area’s economy.