Transforming the National Archives: A Conversation with David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States

The National Archives is more than just the nation's record keeper and protector of records. It is the steward of the American story that preserves the past to protect the future. The records it holds are the original sources of that story, documenting the collective history of our nation through the actions of individuals and institutions.

Throwing Rocks and Birds

In 2002, British academic Jake Chapman wrote a paper for Demos, a UK think tank, entitled: “System Failure:  Why Governments Must Learn to Think Differently.” It is based on his experiences in working with large government challenges, especially in the energy and health care sectors.  In his paper, he contrasts the traditional, linear approach to problem-solving with a more holistic, systemic approach.  He says it is like the difference between throwing a rock and a live bird:

Four Approaches to Crowdsourcing

Gavin Newscom is California’s lieutenant governor, and was formerly the mayor of San Francisco.  He is a huge advocate of the use of technology to engage citizens, which he describes in his book, Citizenville.  But advocates of greater citizen engagement extend beyond political leaders to many frontline government executives at all levels – federal, state, and local.

 

Transparency, Legitimacy, and Trust

The Open Government movement has captured the imagination of many around the world as a way of increasing transparency, participation, and accountability.  In the US, many of the federal, state, and local Open Government initiatives have been demonstrated to achieve positive results for citizens here and abroad. In fact, the White House’s science advisors released a refreshed Open Government plan in early June.

Empowering Citizens with Money and Social Media

work in practice? Do busy citizens actually get involved? Inspired by successful efforts in Brazil and other countries around the world, several U.S. communities have undertaken pilot efforts to allow citizens to directly decide how monies are spent in their neighborhoods. However, one of the biggest concerns raised by critics of this approach is that not enough citizens actually participate to make the efforts meaningful and legitimate. A new report for the IBM Center by Dr.

ICYMI: Looking Back at 2014

My goal in blogging has been to provide context, insight, and inspiration on government management challenges for public sector managers, especially at the U.S. federal level. Following are blog posts from the past year organized around several themes, largely reflecting the trends reflected in the IBM Center’s research agenda. Hope you find this useful!

Understanding the "New Power" Trend

Reinventing Government was organized around ten values, such as government being catalytic, community-owned, competitive, etc. Today, a new management reform trend is evolving, with its own models and values, again inspired by private sector and societal trends. A recent Harvard Business Review article by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms examines this 2010s trend, at least as it has evolved in the private sector, and they call it “New Power.” Not catchy, but their article does crystalize some powerful ideas.

Recovering from the Recovery Act (Part 5)

 potential of extending such requirements.

Since 2009, the public has been able to track the outlay of more than $275 billion in federal contracts, grants, and loans as a result of the unprecedented transparency and accountability provisions included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), part of the federal economic stimulus program.

Does Citizen Participation Work?

As federal agencies tighten their belts, they’ll be questioning the value of citizen participation initiatives under the Obama Open Government Initiative. Do they lead to better results or reduced costs?

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