Who’s accountable?

February 13th, 2013  |  Published in Civics, Ideas

This is another “inspiration” I submitted to the 2013 Knight News Challenge. The original post is here.

Your block has been skipped in trash pickup for the last month! The air conditioning in your child’s public school building doesn’t work very well! Details about entitlement benefits are changing or confusing but you’re not sure who to ask!

There has been awesome progress for helping people identify their elected officials based on geopgrahic boundaries, or reporting issues that are a government’s responsibility, but there is still a gap in identifying the individuals or entities within a structure of governance that are responsible for specific services or information. This creates a frustrating lack of responsiveness, real or perceived, to civic concerns.

Can technology be used to visualize and query boundaries of civic accountability around services, programs, issues or problems in the same way that we can with geographic boundaries? Can this be done in a way that is open, scalable and deployable across government and civic entities?