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Publisher's Summary

As the speed and complexity of the world increases, governments and nonprofit organizations need new ways to effectively tackle the critical challenges of our time-from pandemics and global warming to social media warfare. In Power to the Public, Tara Dawson McGuinness and Hana Schank describe a revolutionary new approach - public interest technology - that has the potential to transform the way governments and nonprofits around the world solve problems. Through inspiring stories about successful projects ranging from a texting service for teenagers in crisis to a streamlined foster care system, the authors show how public interest technology can make the delivery of services to the public more effective and efficient.

At its heart, public interest technology means putting users at the center of the policymaking process, using data and metrics in a smart way, and running small experiments and pilot programs before scaling up. And while this approach may well involve the innovative use of digital technology, technology alone is no panacea - and some of the best solutions may even be decidedly low-tech.

Clear-eyed yet profoundly optimistic, Power to the Public presents a powerful blueprint for how government and nonprofits can help solve society's most serious problems.

©2021 Princeton University Press (P)2021 Tantor

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  • 13-05-2021

Practical and Inspiring

This book provides meaningful, real-world stories about the challenges of advancing government through technology. As someone who has worked in government, and now in civic tech, so much of the book resonated. For example, the authors implore readers to “never be afraid to ask why.” This simple question can often uncover the fundamental challenges that should first be solved, before any technical solutions are introduced. No matter where you are in your journey toward better government, this is a great read.

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