‘Dream Team’ Releases First U.S. Open Government Playbook

Greg Otto | FedScoop | December 1, 2014

A working group of more than 40 government agencies and nonprofit organizations is asking for the public’s help in crafting a guide that details the best ways for the government to engage and collaborate with its citizens.  The U.S. Public Participation Playbook, released Nov. 26, is the first open source guide dedicated to sharing best practices and performance metrics on how agencies can effectively deploy programs and increase public participation. Led by the General Services Administration’s SocialGov community, the playbook focuses on three areas: Checklists, which lay out key considerations when creating a new participation program; case studies, which catalog past successful programs; and metrics, which give suggestions on how to measure a program’s success.

Developed with help from agencies like the Transportation Department, State Department, Federal Communications Commission, National Institutes of Health and National Park Service, along with assistance from the Sunlight Foundation, Case Foundation and Open Forum Foundation, the playbook benefited from a “dream team of public participation,” said GSA’s federal social media program lead Justin Herman.  “These are strategies that can be used to build and evaluate any public participation program, from in-person town halls to regulatory comment periods,” Herman told FedScoop via email. “We hope agencies will continue to add to the playbook to expand and refine this scope.”

The playbook is hosted on Madison, a collaborative document platform dedicated to citizen participation in government. Since going live last week, a number of metrics, case studies and accessibility additions have been made to the document...