Albany, NY - A pair of new resources introduced by the Center for Technology in Government (CTG) at the University at Albany aim to help government agencies design affordable and manageable information access programs that put citizens and other users in control of their search for public information.
The resources, now available on CTG's Web site, provide a framework that guides agency work teams through the process of designing programs that enable direct access to electronic government information. The Opening Gateways Guide and Online Workbench help government managers design these programs in an interactive Web-based collaborative environment.
"All types of government information is used for research and decision-making," said CTG Director Sharon Dawes. "Now that much of this information is collected and maintained in electronic form, most agencies are trying to give more direct access to it.
"If designed well, an electronic information access program allows users to readily locate, use, analyze, and compare relevant data to answer questions that are important to them. While such programs can make life simpler for information users, they are not easy or simple to design," Dawes said.
The Opening Gateways resources are designed to help government agencies develop affordable, manageable, and user-friendly electronic information access programs. They walk program designers through the assessment, diagnosis, design and cost estimation phases of developing an access program.
"Creating an access program that accounts for data, users and organizational concerns has to be a human process. It depends on project managers who are skilled at cultivating individual commitment and group process and participants who have a stake in the outcome," said Theresa Pardo, CTG deputy director and lead author of the Opening Gateways Guide. "The Workbench supports this human process by providing a design framework to share, organize, and analyze the information needed to reach a sound design."
For more information and to access the guide visit CTG's Web site at www.ctg.albany.edu.
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