Government and Public organizations have taken positive moves in opening up data to the public. We are now seeing a next step in the process to involve citizens to solve challenges that government agencies face today and rewarding them in the process. And now there’s a central place to find these government challenges and contests.
U.S. Government agencies, in partnership with ChallengePost, have launched a new portal Challenge.gov. This portal provides a platform that brings together government agencies and citizens in a common cause, to solve problems. These problems or challenges are posted by agencies and citizens are invited to participate in them by supporting them, spreading the word and even solving them to earn recognition and some significant prizes.
At the time of writing, there are over 35 challenges from more than 15 agencies in the portal. Not all the challenges are programming related though. Some of them involve idea suggestions, logo design, authoring articles and so on. But all of them address a clear challenge that the government agencies are looking forward for public participation. Each challenge has final submission dates, prize money as applicable and judging criteria.
One of the challenges that is programming related is the Consumer Apps to Visualize Health Care Quality, that is part of the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge. This challenge invites developers to create tools that will help visualize quality of health care services based on several health care quality indicators that are made available as a data set. By visualizing the data, it would help citizens to make better and more informed choices about their health interests.
It is expected that the portal will continue to see newer challenges and it is great to bring them under one umbrella. ChallengePost is an excellent example of how governments are now working with citizens to address everyday challenges. By making the citizens equal stakeholders in current issues, the model is bound to be successful in the long run.