We will looking back at the first year of the White House's "Open Government Initiative" for "Lessons Learned" (not to be confused with "Lessons-To-Be-Learned"). As a starting point, we will talk with the authors of three articles in the current issue of the International Journal of Public Participation: “Obama Administration and Public Participation".
Here is an brief desription, by IJP2 Editor Steven N. Pyser, about the special theme of the current issue:
The International Journal of Public Participation (IJP2) brings together academicians and practitioners interested in a multidisciplinary forum for the exchange of information among researchers, practitioners, decision makers, and citizens about public participation and its impact around the world. We seek to provide a scholarly record through intellectual contributions to the literature for research, practice and teaching.
This Special Symposium issue (Volume 4, Number 1) examines, among other things, what, if any influence electing Barack Obama has had on the field of public participation. Through a commitment to continuous improvement and sharing innovative approaches, IJP2 continues to offer intellectual contributions that support multidisciplinary-based scholarship, the public interest, practice and learning as well as professional preparation.
At the same time, these materials add a necessary public participation voice to the political discourse and a resource for consideration by political leaders, public managers, citizens and all those who help to shape and implement public policy and national/local governance.
SPECIAL NOTE: An hour is not long enough to do anything more than scratch the surface in discussing the points raised in these three articles (see links, below). Therefore, I will be hosting a show for each author, so that we (i.e., including our callers) can delve more deeply into each of their articles. I'm not ignoring the other fine articles in this issue but, at this point, I'm trying to be judicious. -- SB
1. President Obama, Public Participation, and an Agenda for Research and Experimentation
Thomas A. Bryer is an assistant professor of public administration in the Department of Public Administration at the University of Central Florida. His research interests include civic engagement, collaborative public management, and bureaucratic responsiveness.
2. Practicing a Participatory Presidency?: An Analysis of the Obama Administration’s Open Government Dialogue
Stephen P. Konieczka is a fifth year doctoral candidate in the University of Colorado, Boulder, Department of Communication. His primary scholarship foci are in group communication, communication theory and philosophy, and qualitative methods of inquiry. In this article, he refers to the "Core Values for the Practice of Public Participation" adopted by the International Assn. for Public Participation (IAP2).
3. Deterring Fake Public Participation
J.H. Snider, Ph.D., the president of iSolon.org, has written extensively about information policy and democratic reform. During Spring Semester 2008, he was a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government‘s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. From 2001 to 2007, he was a Markle Fellow, Senior Research Fellow, and Research Director at the New America Foundation. From 1999 to 2000, he was an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in Communications and Public Policy. He has served on many public bodies, including as an elected school board member in Burlington, Vermont. A draft version of this essay was submitted to the Obama Administration’s Open Government Brainstorm.
Some handy, standard OpenGov references:
4. President Obama's Memorandum on "Transparency and Open Government" (1/21/09)
5. White House's Open Government Directive (12/8/09)
6. White House's Open Government: A Progress Report to the American People (December 2009)
7. The IAP2's "Core Values for the Practice of Public Participation"
8. The "Core Principles for Public Engagement" from the NCDD (National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation)
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