Open Government Brainstorm: Collaboration in Action
A few days ago, we posted our analysis of the Brainstorming phase of this unique policymaking process. Several groups have done their own analysis. While no endorsement is intended, we are excited that others are getting involved in the public debate and collaborating in the collective discussion. We thought you might be interested in what they found. Please let us know about other such analyses we might not have seen.
Sunlight Labs did an analysis of the Open Government Dialogue compared to comments by government employees on the the OMBMax wiki. By generating word clouds and doing some analysis of the metadata in the dialogue, they found that people on the outside of government are focused on transparency and making data more available to the public, and on the inside, government officials want to build collaborative and participatory tools.
Debategraph is a visual policy mapping tool that is being used for running citizen engagement on climate change in Europe. Debategraph translated our mindmap of the redacted transparency proposals into the interactive Debategraph. In this format, the different proposals are rateable, addressable, and open to collaborative editing. People can also add supporting and opposing arguments to the proposals. "The aim with visual policy maps of this kind is to collaboratively weave together all of the salient proposals and arguments dispersed through the community into a single rich, transparent structure—in which each idea and argument is expressed just once—so that anyone can explore quickly and gain a good sense of the perceived merits of the relevant choices," says David Price, Debategraph's co-founder.
OMB Watch, with assistance from other organizations, organized a 14-page analysis of the public data received through the NAPA website during Phase 1. The analysis compared the ideas from Phase 1 to themes and recommendations in the 21st Century Right to Know Report, a collaboratively written document signed by 350 people and organizations on federal transparency policies aimed mainly at improving the government environment for openness, strengthening information usability, and addressing national security openness. The analysis shows the ideas during Phase 1 were largely consistent with the recommendations in the 21st Century Right to Know Report.
Beth Noveck is Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Open Government.