Open Government is an Open Conversation

President Obama launched the first U.S. Open Government National Action Plan in September 2011, as part of the Nation’s commitment to the principles of the global Open Government Partnership. The Plan laid out twenty-six concrete steps the United States would take to promote public participation in government, increase transparency in government, and manage public resources more effectively.

A  year and a half later, we have fulfilled twenty-four of the Plan’s prescribed commitments—including launching the online We the People petition platform, which has been used by more than 9.6 million people, and unleashing thousands of government data resources as part of the Administration’s Open Data Initiatives.

We are proud of this progress, but recognize that there is always more work to be done to build a more efficient, effective, and transparent government. In that spirit, as part of our ongoing commitment to the international Open Government Partnership, the Obama Administration has committed to develop a second National Action Plan on Open Government. 

To accomplish this task effectively, we’ll need all-hands-on-deck. That’s why we plan to solicit and incorporate your input as we develop the National Action Plan “2.0.”

We’ve already started the input-gathering process. Just two weeks ago, Syracuse University Professor Tina Nabatchi of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs convened a “Public Participation and Open Government Workshop.”  At the workshop, experts from academia, civil society, and government exchanged ideas with the goal of developing best practices and metrics for public participation in policymaking. And leading up to the workshop, the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation held an online dialogue to solicit ideas around public participation evaluation and metrics. 

Over the next few months, we will continue to gather your thoughts. We will leverage online platforms such as Quora, Google+, and Twitter to communicate with the public and collect feedback.  We will meet with members of open government civil society organizations and other experts, to ensure all voices are brought to the table.  We will solicit input from Federal agencies on lessons learned from their unique experiences, and gather information about successful initiatives that could potentially be scaled across government.  And finally, we will canvass the international community for their diverse insights and innovative ideas.

For the latest updates and information about our work on open government and opportunities to collaborate—please check back regularly on and follow @opengov on Twitter.

We believe that Open Government is an open conversation.  We look forward to working with you. 

Lisa Ellman is Chief Counselor for the Open Government Partnership and Senior Advisor to the Chief Technology Officer and Hollie Russon Gilman is Open Government and Innovation Policy Advisor  

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