Statewide E-Government Project
The Community Connect Foundation, with funding from the Benedum Foundation and the West Virginia Office of Technology, and in partnership with the West Virginia Municipal League, West Virginia Association of County Officials, West Virginia Department of Education, and West Virginia Interactive has developed a Statewide E-Government Project. The primary goal of this project is to create a sustainable, informative, and professional website for every county and incorporated municipality in West Virginia to be housed on the West Virginia State Portal (wv.gov). In order to accomplish this task one high school was selected per county. The chosen high school was responsible for engaging their county and every incorporated municipality in their county to collect the necessary written and multimedia content that would be used to develop websites for political subdivisions that do not currently have an official web presence. Community Connect Foundation provided the selected high schools with a laptop computer, digital camera, digital camcorder and all the necessary accessories that would be needed to collect the website content. The selected high schools will use this project based learning experience as a means to learn about how county and municipality governments are organized and operated as well as provide a valuable service to their local communities.
Statewide E-Government Project: Goals
The Statewide E-Government Project had many goals and objectives. In general these goals fell under three categories; Community Outreach, Educational, Government efficiency/transparency.
Given the rural nature of West Virginia, and the limited number of condensed population centers, it is necessary to nurture and embrace the autonomy of individual communities while introducing new concepts that seek to embrace commonality and uniformity on a statewide level. Through focused community building activities, the Statewide E-Government project has enabled communities to showcase their individuality through their websites while providing a foundation to bridge a technology gap that will inevitably lead to increased government efficiency and transparency. As the benefits of this program continued to be embraced it is our hope that it will serve as a catalyst for increased adoption of technologies and as a demand driver for technology services that would otherwise be relegated to areas with high population centers. Increasing community strength and identity has been the key for this project and will continue to play an important role as communities look to build upon this project.
In preparing for the launch of this project, it was surprising to find so many students who were disengaged or ambivalent to their county and municipality government structure and function. The Statewide E-Government Project has served as a unique learning tool that engages the creativity, insight, and skill sets of students while providing a valuable service to their hometowns. Students involved with the project have not only increased their knowledge of how local government operates but have also been personally engaged with elected officials and government employees as they sought to gather the information for the websites. This level of interaction has increased social, research, and analytic skills and has enabled students to apply their knowledge to a real world application.
Government Efficiency and Transparency:
With the decline in monetary resources for government operation and the increased calls for accountability, it is imperative that governments increase efficiency and transparency in order to be successful. The Statewide E-Government project has provided an opportunity for every county and incorporated municipality to accomplish the publishing phase of the PITA E-Government principle. By achieving this first step, local governments now have in place a framework in which to pursue interactive and transactive applications that can further increase government efficiency and transparency. As a result of this project and the continued project promotion pursued by CCF, local governments are starting to strategically pursue other technologies that may increase the efficient delivery of government information and services.
To further streamline this process, CCF has just launched an Online Content Collection Form to assist participating high schools as they seek to gather content for county and municipality webpages. The instructions on how the Online Content Collection Form works and the link to the system can be found below.
Click Here to access the Statewide E-Government FAQ
Click Here to access The Online Content Collection Form
Click Here to access the Online Content Collection Form Instructions