Opening Up About Open Government: Do Open Government Initiatives Measure Up?

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Next Steps
The goal of open government is to better inform, share, and engage with the American people. However, some significant changes are needed before it can claim success. The most effective initiatives will respond to clearly defined objectives the public wants and needs. If thought leaders such as Kundra and Chopdra continue to solicit ideas from the public and lead forums to learn best practices from successful private industry leaders, they can leverage the knowledge gained across the government. Best practices should include development of an evaluation methodology, a measurement strategy, and a search strategy. These components should be incorporated with every initiative throughout the life cycle of a project, i.e., from conception to completion. There is a better chance for success when project goals align with an agency's mission and the voice of the people. The ability to derive reliable metrics will not only assure greater success but it will validate the ROI that can be gained in meeting the OGov objectives.

Katie Paine, author and founder and CEO of KDPaine & Partners, a research consultancy that provides measurement and accountability services to organizations, sums it up clearly and succinctly: "The answer isn't how many you've reached, but how those you've reached have responded."

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