Thursday, April 9, 2009

Is Transparency 2.0 Finally Coming to Washington?

Several of the nation's leading deliberative democracy organizations have been crafting detailed recommendations for President Obama to consider as part of his commitment to create an "Open Government Directive," the goal of which is to make the federal government more participatory, transparent and collaborative. Two efforts, in particular, are worth noting. First, AmericaSpeaks, Everyday Democracy, Demos, and the Ash Institute at Harvard have completed a report based on its "Champions of Participation" conference that convened 34 federal managers from 23 different federal agencies (including the EPA, Dept. of Energy, NIH, Dept. of the Interior, and others). Recognzing that the focus of most of this discussion has been on technology and transparency issues, AmericaSpeaks focuses its report more on what can be done to increase and improve face-to-face participation and collaboration by federal agencies. Read the report here.

The National Coalition on Dialogue and Deliberation, along with the International Association of Public Participation and the Co-Intelligence Institute, is also pulling together a set of recommendations for the administration using a truly open source process in which thousands of people were invited to weigh in. Read more about the project here (and, if you're reading this and work at an organization that's interested in this issue, consider endorsing the document).

Beth Noveck, director of President Obama's Open Government Directive, discusses both of the above in a nationally broadcast webinar.

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