How Local Governments Can Reach Each Generation

Connecting citizens to government means lots of things, most notably, informing, engaging, and enabling action. It means providing easy ways for residents to interact with agencies and consume information relevant to them. It means creating successful, user-centered policy and program delivery that allows constituents to become part of the government process.

But can a “one-size-fits-all” approach to these connections work? What happens when communities – and they all do – include distinct generations with very different experiences, expectations, and approaches to local government?

Governments can maximize service delivery, enhance public participation, and foster partnerships necessary for tomorrow’s solutions only by reaching, serving, and engaging citizens in ways that work across generations. In order to do this, government leaders need to more fully understand how each generation views its current and ideal government interactions. Knowing the barriers each generation faces as well as each cohort’s desires with respect to engagement can inform the most successful way forward.

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