- Honolulu has launched Honolulu Dashboard, a tool that gives the public greater transparency into the city's progress on key services and issues. The dashboard was created in collaboration with What Works Cities and had been in beta testing since December.
- The site currently features 13 individual dashboards on topics including homelessness, affordable housing, roads and park improvements. The various sections display similar base data for easy user navigation, but they are flexible to allow the city to show different supporting resources such as graphs, photos, GIS data and story maps.
- “[W]e have been committed to transparency, community engagement, and clear priorities,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said in a statement. “We take accountability seriously, and the dashboard helps to ensure that we track our progress and reach our goals.”
Nashville, TN launched a similar dashboard concept last year, but few cities have such a clear, comprehensive, publicly facing system that Honolulu has built, allowing residents to track their progress and hold municipalities accountable.
Greater transparency and accountability builds trust between a government and its citizens. Experts point to that trust as a key element for long-term municipal success, along with the important element of ensuring the government is citizen-centric.
Trust deficits are easy to create and difficult to solve, and they create ripple effects throughout a city. For example, citizens won't engage with local government programs or events if they don't have trust and buy-in, dooming the initiatives to fail. One area in which citizens are particularly distrustful is municipal data collection. But by creating a publicly-facing portal such as Honolulu Dashboard, cities can clearly show citizens how collected data is being used to solve the most pressing issues.