Technology, Transparency, and Local Government
This chapter outlines a definition of transparency and explains how technology is being used to enhance transparency. It reviews evidence that discusses the various ways enhanced transparency is contributing to "good governance", if at all. The chapter provides an overview of challenges that local governments face when using information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance transparency. Transparency has long been seen as a defining feature of good governance. Historically, public organizations have transmitted information to external stakeholders, namely citizens, via direct face-to-face interactions in forums such as town hall meetings. For some time, transparency has been seen as a key tool in attempts to improve quality of governance. The use of multiple forms of technology to disseminate information by local governments is a positive development, as doing so will help to overcome various challenges posed by an ever-evolving digital divide. Many in society today may, for various reasons, have difficulty reading information that is posted to local government web portals.